The Great Journey in Photography

Apache Woods

Apache woods Crane

700mm f5.6 400iso 1/800sec

Bosque Del Apache is a flood plain in the Rio Grande valley of New Mexico. More than being a gathering place for hundreds of thousands of birds it is also an oasis in the desert. It is not hard to find out that the name translates to “Apache Woods” and at first thought I was content to believe that it simply ment that it was a forest where Apache Indians lived. When I first arrived at Bosque  one of the things I noticed was that there was really no forest. Plenty of foliage and cotton wood trees sure but a far cry from what most people would consider a forest. It was not until later, at our orientation class that I learned the true story of how Bosque Del Apache earned its name.

Spanish settlers used the Rio Grande Valley as a route to transport goods and people to places further North, usually with horses and livestock. After a long dry passage through the desert they approached the Bosque flood plain rich with water. The animals could smell the water and became anxious to get to it. That made them hard to control. The Apache Indians saw that the settlers were occupied controlling the animals and it was a perfect time to attack. The would emerge from the treeline and conduct a surprise raid on the unsuspecting travelers. The name Bosque Del Apache was given as a warning “beware when you approach the wooded area”.

That is how one of the most prolific bird photography places in the world got its name-Bosque Del Apache.

PS-No surprise attacks on this trip!

Thanks so much for reading my blog. I hope you enjoy the photos and the stories.

You can see more of my Bosque photos here.


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