Friday, February 20, 2015

An African Safari In New Mexico

After a good day of fossil hunting at Cibola Spring we headed for home.  It is a long pleasant drive through the beautiful grasslands.  The sun was shining and it seemed that once again everyone was pleased with the weather.

                      The Mountain Bluebirds were everywhere.

                        We watched a coyote romping through the tall grass.

Pronghorn were out and about but apparently we did not get a picture because we were still mesmerized by what we had seen just prior.  The Piece de Resistance, after three months on the refuge, we finally saw...

                                              the ORYX!

For those not familiar, the Oryx is a native of the Kalahari Desert.  They can weigh up to 450 pounds and stand nearly four feet tall at the shoulders with horns almost three feet long.  They were introduced to White Sands Missile Range in the 70’s to increase big game hunting opportunities.  We had been keeping a keen eye out for these beautiful creatures each time we drove in this area but had never seen them.  Before leaving, we let Alex know that they were out there but that they continued to elude us.  So it seemed that with only one day available to take him to the grasslands chances were slim for a sighting.

Guess he was our lucky charm because we wound up seeing four on this day!

                They were as curious about us as we were about them.

We turned the car off and watched for a good long while as they gradually worked their way toward the distant mountains.

                  They’d move a bit and then turn back and look.

The height of the mountains really came into perspective as they lined up in front of them.

                                   One last long look for them and for us

                  before trotting off to a point where we could no longer see them.

         We drove the rest of the way home in amazement of what we had experienced.
                                                What a good day it was.