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    Posted June 1, 2014 by
    New Mexico
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Wildlife photography

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    Breathing New Life Into the Drought Stricken West


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     ecotraveler stopped by New Mexico in 2013 and was thrilled to see geese and other wildlife while hiking through the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. 'The drought was obvious and prevalent from the time we entered the Midwest, and on the tips of residents’ tongues everywhere. So Bosque del Apache, this wet and ample enough refuge to welcome thousands of migratory birds late winter to early spring, was a welcome and uplifting sight,' she said.
    - Jareen, CNN iReport producer

    While traveling to California last year, I stopped in New Mexico in hopes of witnessing a mass migration of geese, joined by a hundred or so Sandhill Cranes, which are not found where I live on the East coast.
    Near sunset, the huge Cranes began flying from nearby fields to the large pond where small Snow and Ross Geese had all converged.
    They successfully cohabitated, swimming, preening and feeding until as if on cue, they all simultaneously took flight. The reason? Two birds perched high in the lone tree in the middle of the pond decided to vacate their perches and fly. They were bald eagles.
    The migration only happens once a year, and all the beauty surrounding me was frankly overwhelming. Trees barren and lifeless from the western drought and season suddenly glowed in golden colors as the suns setting rays breathed new life into them. Cooling temperatures corralled clouds that puffed and stretched to mirror the colorful rays and bright white geese dotted the sky, quickly changing into vivid then deepening colors.
    I count it as one of the most beautiful experiences I have and may ever witness.

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