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Friday, March 1, 2013

A trip to New Mexico!


In January, I was invited by my friend, Gary Kelly to ride with him to New Mexico for several days of photography. Gary is the field trip chairman for the Dallas Camera Club. The field trip was mainly centered around the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge but we also spent some time at several other locations. Bosque is know for it's huge populations of Snow Geese and Sandhill Cranes that winter at the refuge and it didn't disappoint. Both mornings we witnessed massive blast-offs of the geese from one of the lakes at the refuge. However, I probably spent most of my efforts towards the cranes. Lots of good opportunities for shots whether they were flying, landing, or just walking in the lake.










During the trip, I had the opportunity to shoot some with a 600mm lens. While driving the refuge road I got this image of a White-Crowned Sparrow.




About an hours drive west of Socorro is the The Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array. The skies on Friday afternoon cleared so we decided to make the drive to the Array and get some night shots. Conditions couldn't have been better.... Actually, the elevation is 7000 feet and the temperature was 9 degrees when we finished shooting that night. Fortunately, the wind had died down or it would really have been hard to have spent much time out of the car.




We spent the middle of the day on Saturday driving to White Sands National Monument near Alamogordo, New Mexico. Our plan was to shoot the evening and following morning at the monument. I was able to get some good images but I do wish they would open the gates and let you drive in a little earlier in the mornings. The sun is already up by the time you are able reach your location and start shooting. I bet photographers have spent many a tortured moment sitting in line at the entrance gate watching a great sunrise go to waste. Fortunately, it was a cloudless sky and we didn't really miss anything.








Everything about the trip was great until.............the drivers side window broke and was stuck in the down position. This happened about an hour into the last morning at White Sands and it was about 7 degrees outside. I guess its good that it didn't happen the first day because locking the car with it full of camera equipment would have been a moot point. Dealing with that would have been a PITA. Driving home that day was a little cold. Fortunately, I had brought some of my serious cold weather head gear with me. I don't even want to think about how cold my face would have gotten without it.