Saturday, May 9, 2009

San Antonio, NM

We're here at Birdwatchers RV Park, right outside Bosque del Apache, and it is lovely. A bit warm, but cooler than at Elephant Butte.

Yesterday (Saturday) there was a free seminar at the Bosque about identifying, propagating and cooking cactus, so of course we had to attend. It was quite informative, but we were a bit disappointed that they cancelled the cooking part of the demonstration! At least they talked about how to harvest and prepare cactus for cooking, so we may be tackling that in the future.

One interesting fact we learned. You know how in the old cowboy movies, they always cut off a piece of cactus to drink the water? Well, that's not possible, because the cactus catches any available water and turns it into a gelatinous liquid. Since this liquid is viscous it doesn't evaporate, but stays available for the plants nourishment.

The arboretum at the Bosque
is in full bloom.
It's certainly worth a trip
if you're in the area.

They've done a beautiful job
of combining the various plants.

I can't seem to take
enough pictures of these cactus roses.
They're so delicate, yet so vibrant.

I'm always fascinated
with the fences here in New Mexico.
They use every available bit of wood,
achieving enchanting and functional results.

Cliff Swallows have built
dozens of nests
in the eaves of the Visitors Center

Above is the original shot
and here's a closeup
of this baby looking out at me.
He kind of looks like a seal,
don't you think?
(Remember to click to enlarge).

Once again we've put up
the window feeders
for the hummingbirds.

On these two shots
I was shooting from about twenty feet away
and only noticed the shadows
when I looked at them in the computer.
The shadows look better than the hummers!

In addition to the hummingbirds,
we've attracted a BUNCH
of Bullock's Orioles.
These guys LOVE to sit on the feeders.

And even though their beaks
don't really fit in the feeder holes,
they still manage to drink.

If they can't get a drink,
they've learned that if they put their beak
between the window and the feeder,
they can "snap" the feeder,
splattering drops of liquid
on the window and the feeder.
They seem just as pleased with this.

But they make a bunch of noise!

They also like to tap
on their reflection in the window.
We've started tapping back at them
resulting in this look.

This is my favorite shot
of the Bullock's Oriole.
They're much brighter than this,
but I was shooting through our tinted windows.

And of course I had to include a sunset.

I thought I'd mention that we've learned that the reason we came down here is a definite go, so we're excited!


photowannabe said...

Stunning shots as usual Kate. The picture of the baby swift is fantastic. Love the Oriole looking askanse.
Ok, what a teaser...what are you going to be doing????

Jan Marker said...

Kate - Your bird photos are great! It is like they are posing just for you.

When are you going to tell us what you are going to be doing? Dying of curiosity.