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Re: A quick getaway to the "Red City". A cliff notes TR of Marrakech. LOL, very well written piece. Great pictures, too.
December 05, 2016, 09:30:09 AM
Re: A quick getaway to the "Red City". A cliff notes TR of Marrakech. Epic report, kept me laughing throughout.

Great pictures, too.

Just looked at them on my computer instead of my phone, and they look even better now. Well done.

December 05, 2016, 11:29:43 PM
Re: Guess The City! Broken water main in Lakewood?
December 06, 2016, 05:11:52 PM
Re: Best one-liners Just saw a Sriracha ad.

"There are those who love Sriracha and those who haven't tried it yet."

December 06, 2016, 09:38:51 PM
Re: Something Fishy's Maui and Lanai Trip Report, Courtesy of Delta
handsome couple

Indeed 8)!

December 12, 2016, 12:11:14 PM
Re: The funny/strange/interesting/random pictures thread
December 14, 2016, 09:26:16 PM
Re: AJK's Maui And Big Island 2016 TR
December 15, 2016, 03:25:59 PM
Re: The funny/strange/interesting/random pictures thread

December 18, 2016, 01:15:46 PM
For The Birds: On A Wild Goose Chase With Something Fishy Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico has long been on my radar. About an hour and a half south of Albuquerque, this oasis in the northernmost reaches of the Chihuahuan Desert is one of the most important birding areas in the world. The Rio Grande provides water for a network of man-made ponds, canals, and dikes, which play host to immense numbers of migrating birds.

December is the biggest month on the refuge. The biggest attractions are the snow geese, normally numbering around 20,000, and the approximately 10,000 sandhill cranes. On top of these are tens of thousands of "assorted" ducks and birds, both predators and prey. A typical December could see as much as 100,000 individual birds in total.

The refuge is also home to one of the most amazing spectacles in nature: the morning blast-off. As soon as the sun rises, countless thousands of snow geese suddenly lift off as one from their ponds, in an amazing cacophony of sight and sound.

From the moment I learnt of this place I've been dying to photograph it, but every year brought another reason for postponing it. Finally, this year, I bit the bullet and booked tickets for a quick, two-day trip to the Bosque. It didn't take much work to - yet again ;D - rope in whYME and Cat In The Hat to join me.

Round-trip tickets on JetBlue to ABQ came in at a very reasonable 15.9k miles, plus 500 miles each way for Even More Legroom (gotta love Mosaic!).

The only town of any consequence in the area is Socorro, which is about 25 minutes away. Hotels in town were either $400/night affairs, or run-down Motel 6-style places. Being that all we needed was a bed-bug free mattress to spend a couple of hours in, we went with the terribly-reviewed Days Inn. 2 star rating wherever you looked, but everyone agreed that the place is at least clean. That was good enough for us, and for $50 a night it was just what we needed.

For a car we reserved a mid-size at National for around $80 all-in, hoping for easy pickings at the Executive Aisle. As a backup, we had a mini van reserved there as well (under a different name) for around $130.

Camera gear-wise I traveled relatively lightly, being that it was a short trip and that 99% of pictures will require the same basic setup (D500 and 150-600mm lens):

  • Nikon D500 camera
  • Nikon D600 camera
  • Sigma 150-600mm lens
  • Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 lens
  • Nikon 24-70 f/2.8 lens
  • Nikon 14/24 f/2.8 lens
  • Nikon 85 f/1.8 lens
  • Nikon TC1.4 teleconverter
  • Manfrotto 055XPROB tripod
  • Oben CC-2391 tripod
  • Oben BB-101 ballhead
  • Oben GH-50 gimbal
  • Lowepro ProRunner 450 backpack
  • The typical collection of batteries, filters, remotes, and such sundry

For food I decided to try a different type of KSML, one that I'd seen at my local grocery. Two of these plus some homemade food and I was good to go:

I ended up being quite happy with them. The food was simple yet tasty; nothing fancy, just good heimesha food. The cutlet was better than the sesame chicken, but both were quite good and filling. No, it isn't POM or its ilk; but for all of 9 bucks it was a solid value.

Finally it was time to go... The ride from the city to the airport at rush hour was horrendous, as expected; flight was quite nice, as expected; and despite some minor delays we landed in Albuquerque fairly on time, as expected.

For such a small airport, it sure is a pain to get to the car rentals in ABQ. But a short shuttle ride later we were in the rental lot, which to our great disappointment was pretty much empty. Just as we were coming to the conclusion that there's no Executive Aisle for us to pick from, the attendant walks up.

"What would you rather, the Cadillac Escalade, or the Infiniti QX80?"

Yes, sirree! Now that's what I'm talkin' about.

Without further ado, we were loading our bags into a brand-new QX80... with 11 miles on the clock:

For 40 bucks a day. Not a bad deal... not at all.

The drive down to Socorro was quick and painless. Before long we were settled in the hotel and in bed.

At 4:30 the next morning it was off on a literal wild goose chase.

December 19, 2016, 12:25:05 AM
Re: Guess The City!
A much skinnier and younger version of myself  :'(
Should be fairly easy I think.

Forget about you, just look at that antique camera!

December 22, 2016, 10:26:55 AM