San Antonio is a small village of about a hundred residents by the Rio Grande where farming is the main means of support. It's most famous citizen was Conrad Hilton who was born and raised there. It is also the home of a couple of famous New Mexican bars that serve up green chile cheeseburgers with their beer and fries. If you live in New Mexico, you know that just about every restaurant serves up a version of a green chile cheeseburger. Green chile in New Mexican means Hatch Green Chile, thick-fleshed New Mexico chile pods roasted just after they're picked and served up chopped, or in a thick sauce, or cooked with pork or pinto beans and served as a bowl of Green Chile.
|The Buckhorn Tavern|
|Green Chile Cheeseburger at the Buckhorn Tavern|
After our green chile fix, we headed to the Bosque del Apache NWR, about 8 miles away. The daily entrance fee is $5 for a car but we had a Senior Pass so it was free for us. There are numerous hiking trails, a free guided walk most mornings, and two 7 mile auto loops. The Rocky Mountain Sandhill Cranes winter here and depart for the northern Rocky Mountains at the end of February. They were mostly feeding in farm fields. They eat 3/4 pound of grain each day, insects, amphibians and small mammals. About 15,000 cranes were at the Bosque del Apache this winter.
|Rocky Mountain Sandhill Cranes|
We did see a pair of American Bald Eagles in a snag in the water:
We didn't catch the Sandhill Cranes in flight because we left just about an hour before dusk and that's about the time when they take flight from their feeding and head back to the water for the night. Here is a stunning photograph from the website of what they look like in flight:
There are many other birds including Snow Geese and many mammals. Here is the brochure to see what you can encounter on a visit to the Bosque del Apache.