Saturday, November 05, 2016

Valle de Oro

I've seen and heard a few sandhill cranes recently, so I decided to load some color in my Sears/Ricoh TLS with the 400mm Tele Vivitar and headed down to the Valle de Oro seven miles south of central Albuquerque.  There was not a bird in sight when I got to the old dairy farm that has recently become a National Wildlife Refuge.  So, I left the tripod and the long lensed camera in the truck and headed down  with my Pentax and a normal lens to the riverside bosque there which I had not visited before.  It turns out to be a spectacular place, and I'm looking forward to getting back there again soon.

The Refuge is adjacent to the Rio Grande Valley State Park which is populated by a mature cottonwood forest.  Most of the old giants were holding onto to their leaves still, but they are quickly turning to gold.  The forest floor is covered by a thick carpet of newly fallen leaves as well as those from years past.

When I first spotted this skull in the leaf litter I thought it was a coyote because of the size.  Looking closer, however, I saw that the two biggest teeth were right up front.  Turning the skull right side up showed a flattened shape rather than the domed and ridged cranium that drives the coyote's massive biting capacity.  So, my guess is that I had found a beaver.


James Harr said...

Fall in the Southwest is such a different thing. Beautifully captured here Mike. I haven't been to Albuquerque, but it is on the list for sure... maybe in the Fall time.

Mike said...

Fall is the nicest time of year here. Be sure to let me know if you are going to be in the neighborhood.