Thursday, January 28, 2016

365 True Things: 305/Likes

Occasionally I like to get up very early. I like coffee. I like to look at birds. I like to enjoy fabulous eating experiences. I like to drive. I like to make new friends (slowly). I like to geocache. I like to photograph. I like to photograph landscapes well enough, but especially if they have something human in them (like a human, or like something manmade). I like to get to my motel room and finally have some peace and quiet and me-time after a long day of anything but. (Which is not to say I don't appreciate, even love, the socializing, but right now: can you hear my long sigh of relief?)

Today: up at 5 to watch the snow geese do their morning flyover at the Bosque. Incredible. Photos (at least mine) cannot do it justice. I had to simply stand there and stare. The moon high in the sky; their white bellies and black wingtips; the sound of their honking and their beating wings; the long, long, long skeins that would weave in and out of one another. At one point two separate waves of beautifully ordered geese (often they would form a cluster-clump, so beautiful order was not necessarily the norm) merged from opposite directions, and it was truly like seeing opposing tides unite, all movement and sway and momentum. Just incredible.

I filled my big thermos coffee cup at the motel before we set off, so I was sufficiently fueled.

We then looked at sandhill cranes arrive an hour or so after the geese had settled in their field. I think the geese are the wake-up call for those lazy (but equally noisy) cranes. We also saw a bald eagle dining on something (a goose, we think: white feathers scattered about, but it was far away, so we weren't sure); a harrier hawk; and a roadrunner! Roadrunners fill me with delight! Meep-meep! 

The fabulous eating experience was the Buckhorn Tavern in tiny San Antonio, rated #7 on the Food Channel for their green chili cheeseburger—which of course we had to have, all four of us. It deserved the high praise. The fries weren't bad either. And the owner of the Buckhorn was a hoot and a half. (I wish I'd gotten his picture, but he was too formidable to ask. However, there's the Internet! Here he is demonstrating how to cook his green chili. Bobby Olguin. Formidable—and very friendly, actually.)

The drive: from Socorro to the Bosque, the Bosque to San Antonio, San Antonio to White Sands National Monument (140 miles right there)—and back to Socorro. So, easily 300, 325 miles. I like to drive, but I'm hoping tomorrow can be an easy driving day, because Saturday: 366 miles, Socorro to Tempe AZ.

On the five-hour drive, Melony—whom I only know via FB—and I chatted, about this and that. A couple of times I considered turning on the radio or putting on a CD, but I liked the silence interrupted every so often by easy conversation. It was comfortable. She no longer is a stranger. She's now a Hui friend in the flesh.

Geocaching: one cache, called Carrizozo Crop Circle. Plus Melony and I wandered the rundown little town of Carrizozo taking photos. I started to "feel," get into, the picture-taking, given urban (not landscape or purely avian) subject matter.

And once we arrived at White Sands, I was even more inspired to try to get some shots. Which I probably didn't succeed at. But I was reminded of a photo I took long ago—maybe 1989?—one of my favorite ever. Here it is, scanned from a print. I wish I had the original negative, but twenty-seven years later, I suppose I should be glad I even have the print. (If I do; not sure about that anymore. At least I have the scan.)

I see I already posted this picture elsewhere: I'm repeating myself!
Oh well, it's worth reposting. As I said, one of my favorites ever.

And now . . . I'll look at my photos and see if any are worth working with. But the "developing" will be for another day. I'm tired. It's been a long—but excellent—day.