Sunday evening we took part in what for many families is a holiday tradition, a visit to Hagerman NWR to see the geese. Not our first trip out this season, by a long shot, but the first one with family members along.
Our son drove us all in his roomy pick-up and once at the Refuge, grandsons and daughter-in-law scrambled into the truck bed armed with binoculars and cameras. My birder husband relayed bird ID to the back of the truck as we slowly rolled along Wildlife Drive, stopping frequently for photos and just goose-gazing!
We were thrilled by birds on the wing as well, ducks, herons and the geese. We were not thrilled by a couple of vehicles blowing by well over the posted speed limit of 20 mph, raising a terrible cloud of dust. Our younger grandson even put a tech-edge on the experience, figuring out how to shoot pictures on his cell-phone through the binoculars, producing an interesting but admittedly jumpy video of the Refuge sights.
No one was in a rush to leave, just enjoying the peaceful scene and a sense of being on nature’s timetable, not our own. But too soon dusk arrived and time to move on to other activities, taking our photos and memories with us.
For more information about bird sightings and activities at the Refuge, please see http://www.friendsofhagerman.com/
Photo: Bufflehead in Flight, by Dick Malnory