The Apache Curse

You will remember that I came to the U.S. to attend a Bird Photography Course at Bosque del Apache in New Mexico. It was cancelled due to a strong cocktail of bad weather and Government shutdown.

I go to the Reserve anyway, I have come all the way from Okinawa so I might as well see the place. Although all the buildings are closed, there are masses of birds. I spend a wonderful day with my Tokina AT-X 300.

House Finch
To my shame, I do not know what this is. It should be so easy to identify with a crest like that. Any suggestions?
Red winged Blackbird
Meadow Lark
White winged dove.
Sandhill Cranes
There are lots.
Lots of Snow Geese too

At the end of the afternoon I notice that the love of my life is not feeling well. For some reason she will not focus at distance. This is not a good curse as this is, after all, a bird photography trip. Birds tend to be far away. I haven’t even got to Mexico.

I carefully scrutinize the lens and, sure enough, there are 3 tiny crosshead screws that are all very loose. I am surprised they have not fallen out. Phew, here is the problem, all I need is a tiny screwdriver. I rush back to Socorro.

Walmart has everything.
All tightened.


I am back at the reserve early, confident that the lens is fixed. It is not. The focus ring seems to lose traction as it moves out towards infinity. Oh dear. What a curse.

Last photo before lens bust. Northern Harrier? Anyway it is miles away.

Oh well, I go to San Antonio, tiny town near the reserve. The Owl Bar, on the corner of Highway 380 and Highway 1, is famous for its green chile cheeseburgers as well as having been a meeting place for the scientists who detonated the world’s first atomic bomb at the Trinity Site east of San Antonio on July 16, 1945.  I can’t wait to demolish a green chile cheeseburger and study the photos of physicists that must cover the walls. I have been looking forward to this. It is Sunday, it is closed. I have no food, I have not eaten all day. I cannot camp. I retreat to Socorro. Damned Apaches!

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4 Responses to The Apache Curse

  1. Ian Calder says:

    Just finished “The Making of the Atomic Bomb” by Holmes, published many years ago. Marvellous account, no mention of cheeseburgers.

  2. Ian Calder says:

    Ah yes, Richard Holmes wrote “The Age of Wonder” about Davy, Herschels, Faraday etc, which is also great and published many years ago. Obit of Panofsky humbling stuff. I hope Mexico is warmer.

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