“Voices of the Bosque” features voices of our community. It is a place where we can share what the Bosque means to us, why we are grateful to have this natural place as part of our city, why we come here to walk or pedal along, to witness the changing seasons, to observe the birds and other wildlife, to enjoy the solace and peace and beauty of nature, and why we want our great natural treasures to be preserved and protected.

If you'd like to contribute an essay, a poem, or other relevant ramblings (250-1000 words), please send your submission to savethebosque@gmail.com with the subject heading “Voices of the Bosque.” Photos and artwork are also welcome.


the magpie

By Kobie Boslough

I have always been outdoorsy. I’m the one who cups the moth in my hands before releasing it outside amidst the shrieks of startled girls, the one who nudges the cockroach under a table with my foot before someone has a chance to stomp the life out of its greasy, armored exoskeleton. When I was younger, I glorified the snakebites that occasionally speckled my hands as leprous badges of courage. I never missed a chance to inspect little dead carcasses of tangled fur out on the street in front of my house as they grayed and decayed into detritus, filling in the cracks in the pavement with matted felt.

As I grew older, the intrigue that surrounded all wild things drove me to pursue activities that would immerse me in quiet, forested places. I hiked, biked, and perched on boulders like a cairn, sitting still enough to feel the dry, piney tendrils of wind around my shoulders and to see the floating specks of turkey vultures circling above like dregs in a coffee mug. I waded knee-deep in the Rio Grande, mud-slathered and giddy, wreathed in the honeyed scents of rotting cottonwood leaves.

But I was still as oblivious as I was when I held my bull snake puncture wounds up to the eyes of my friends with glee. As a child I treasured the world in pieces: a glassy stone, a cicada shell, a thin, ropy segment of snakeskin. Nature was a mosaic and I was lost in the fragmentation of it all. Each piece was a shining trinket, and I was the magpie, clutching each luminous tidbit without looking up to see the rest.

During the past year, I have spent some time working with the Bosque Ecosystem Monitoring Program, accompanied by other high school students who save moths just as I do. I have spent hours searching for bear scat in the Sandias and days looking for amphibians just to end up finding a single tadpole in a stagnant pool. With these projects, I am finally able to see life through a wide-angle lens. The effect of humans on the wild places that surround us is unbelievably potent. We dam rivers and force frogs and toads to breed elsewhere. Our rancid garbage draws bears down from the mountains where they are then killed or relocated. The world is so incredibly linked, so amazingly interconnected, and I have only just seen a wisp of the tremendous, precarious spider web we call our home.


Photos by Kobie Boslough (click thumbnails to enlarge). See more of Kobie's photos in our "Visions of the Bosque" section here.


As a junior in high school at Albuquerque Academy, Kobie Boslough sometimes struggles to find enough time to be outside. Though preoccupied with typical teenage concerns like homework, band, and finding a job, she is determined to spend some portion of her time in nature or learning about the outdoors. This she accomplishes through her pursuit of understanding of the biological world, a passion that introduced her to both the New Mexico Museum of Southwestern Biology and the Bosque Ecosystem Monitoring Program (BEMP), where she volunteers regularly.

In addition to an interest in biology, Kobie also attempts to find aspects of nature in her other endeavors as well. She recently published an article about wildlife in her school newspaper, The Advocate, and greatly enjoys exploring her mountainous backyard in the form of cross-country running.