By Sara Goodnick
Our January 2022 workshop that was partially in Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in southern New Mexico (and partially in White Sands National Monument-that’s another blog post) proved just how creative and adaptable determined photographers can be.
We had expected to photograph the famous Sandhill Cranes, as well as the beautiful Snow Geese. I had visited the area in November, and there were, indeed, some of both. But by the time our group arrived in January, the cranes were limited in number. It turned out that for reasons unknown to the public, there had been a decision by the refuge’s management that past spring to not plant the corn that has drawn the birds to the area for many years. For many years this has been done to help the local farmers by drawing the cranes away from the farmers’ fields and into the refuge.
Our intrepid and wonderful photography instructor, Michael DeYoung, knows how to make lemonade when life throws lemons at us! His great sense of humor and knowledge of meteorology kept us entertained and in the right locations for the best photographs.
We went hunting and found some wonderful surprises.
We stayed transfixed for a long time at an overlook watching a murmuration of Red-Winged Blackbirds in a field.
P.S. We saw that the corn rows were being plowed before we departed, so the cranes should return next winter!