Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Behold Your Backyard

Last week New Mexico's Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge hosted the 20th Annual Festival of the Cranes. A year ago my sister Kelly flew-in to Albuquerque and together we made the short drive to the festival and to our first experience watching the fly-in and fly-out of more than 5000 Sandhill Cranes and 50,000 Snow Geese. Bosque del Apache in winter is a spectacle to behold - and easily one of the seven wonders of the natural world. It is the Serengeti of the bird world and definitely one of the most phenomenal places I have visited in my many travels around the globe.

But to discover this place was less than two hours from my home in Santa Fe all these years -- was a regretful reminder that we should spend more time exploring our own backyards.



It's a year later and I am now living back in Oklahoma and the lessons of the Bosque are well learned. On weekends when I am not traveling -- I take to the back roads - meandering to off-the-beaten-track places and making discoveries in my own backyard that constantly redefine my idea of home and place here where I live.

There is a great quote from turn-of-the-century naturalist John Burroughs that says, "
The lure of the distant and difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are. Do not despise your own place and hour. Every place is under the stars, every place is of the world." I keep this idea close to my heart and relish all that can be discovered right here in my own backyard.

The Bosque is now 600 miles from home but the call to return is overwhelming. For the moment I am reliving
the Bosque experience through other bloggers like Julie Zickefoose , The Hawk Owl's Nest, and Bill of the Birds. Meanwhile, plotting my return.



Sis got lots of lifers!


all images©2007 t.r. ryan

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