Each fall and winter when the cottonwood trees turn brilliant gold and the marshes and grasses take on orange and russet hues, visitors and hoards of photogra-
phers armed with massive lenses descend on Bosque del Apache to witness and docu-
ment the riotous arrival of the Snow Geese and Sandhill Cranes that spend the winter in this precious wildlife refuge. Th e Festival of the Cranes is held annual-
ly in November and there is a steady stream of tourists who marvel at the activity in the Bosque during the winter months. When the cranes and geese depart in mid-February, there’s a brief period of odd silence in the marshes. Th e pace at the ref-
uge is a little more serene and the ducks and coots, permanent residents of the refuge, seem to relish the extra space and calm.


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