In my last installment of the diary, I said I was hoping for some weather at Bosque del Apache. Well I got it – perhaps I should have been more specific. I wasn’t hoping for deep, dark clouds and driving rain. I was shut out at the blast off. There was no light. But I did find some new spots that I’ll shoot from later. I made exactly one exposure and some video during the morning.
This is a good example of the patience it takes to be a nature or wildlife photographer. Unlike studio shooters who can control just about every aspect of their shoots, those photographing birds spend most of their time in a state of NO control.
You can’t control the weather, the light, the birds, the wind direction and strength, etc. You just need patience, luck and the basic knowledge required to put you in the best position to GET some luck.
This is why so many people give up nature or wildlife photography. They go out once or twice and if conditions are bad, they form an opinion that it will always be that hard and they move on. It takes incredible patience, spanning years sometimes, to do this work. When you get some luck and everything fits together, it’s very rewarding.
I did have some luck this week. Some deer were grazing on the reserve. Usually they are very timid and hard to photograph. This week they seemed more accessible. I managed a decent shot of one.
As always happens at Bosque, each day is packed with meeting more old friends who’ve also come here for years, and I even met some new ones. I was gratified at the number of people who came up and introduced themselves to me saying the read the site or listen to the podcast.
Because of the bad weather, I spent a few extra hours in Socorro. There are a few new restaurants, (If you go, try the new Mexican place directly across from Taco Bell. It’s really good) and a few old ones are victims of the recession. The old grocery stores are still here despite the newish Walmart. The Holiday Inn Express is one of the newest hotels in town, and it’s the most expensive and the nicest in my opinion. That said, it’s not exactly a great place. No Internet for the first two days of the trip and the hotel is badly in need of a renovation, but it’s still better than the choices we had in the mid 90s.
As I close this section of the diary I’ll say that now I’ve had enough time to form a reasonable opinion, there’s no doubt that my fears about Bosque turned out to be true. As bad as it’s been, I’ve been fortunate to get some good images. But it’s not like the old days. The refuge is simply seeing fewer birds than in past years. I talked with a wildlife biologist who assured me the bird populations are holding steady, it’s just that the birds aren’t stopping at the Bosque while on the flyway. I probably won’t be spending next Thanksgiving here.
To steal from Forest Gump – “Nature/Wildlife photography is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get!”
One more post coming from Bosque.
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