Tuesday, March 9

A walk along the Rio Grande River

I had a nice long river walk today. About an hour and 10 minutes worth and my legs feel fine, at least now. I went north this time and ended up beside the river for most of the northerly jaunt. But then veered west along a maintenance road that apparently services those angle metal beam fences placed perpendicular to the river to control flooding, I guess. These fences were in the flood plain but high and dry.

When I realized how long I'd walked, I turned around to head back to the car, but thought I'd like to walk south along the river if I could, not in the bosque where I was. I found an easterly river-bound path and followed it to a wide sandy area where the river once flowed but now is considerably west of the present river bed.

I tried to fight my way through willows to the river but it soon looked like more trouble than it was worth so I stumbled my way back to the sandy area and went south again. Soon I came to game trail heading east again through the thicket to the river. I went along it and, sure enough, reached the wide flowing river.

Waterfowl galore --- a whole flock of Canadian geese floating on the river. Actually they were paddling upstream but staying stationary with respect to me as the current carried them downstream at about the same speed as their upstream paddling. Two geese were standing on a mudflat and looked so huge I first thought they were swans, silhouetted against the sun.

Many different types of ducks. Mallard ducks, which I recognized, and others. Bird cries, squawks, honks. I could have walked right up to an island where ducks waddled but didn't want to scare them. I headed back inland, walked a bit more south and followed another path back to the river, which I followed to the bridge and then to the car.

It was beautiful. A river full of birds, cottonwood-tree bare branches against the blue sky, white clouds, and the white Sandias.