2016—Cold Morning On The Pond
Our last morning at Bosque del Apache dawned cold, clear, and windless. As we drove to the NWR in the dark, the outside temperature hovered at around 13° . Moose was hoping for 10° or less but 13° seemed cold enough to me. We were lucky the wind from previous days had stopped blowing making the cold morning more tolerable. As we watched the Sandhill Cranes at the Train Ponds in the morning sunrise, we realized that many of the birds were standing with their legs encased in ice because the water had frozen around them as they slept in the night. They put on quite an amusing show as they shook the ice off. Chunks of ice clung to their tail feathers and the birds that shuffled along on top of the ice slipped and slid. The hoarfrost that clung to this crane’s back feathers sparkled in the morning light as he stood one-legged on the ice.