I was walking in the Sandia foothills a couple of weeks ago when I saw several deer up ahead of me. I came closer to them and realized I was in the midst of the largest herd I’ve ever seen in the Sandias — at one point I counted 15 of them and I’m pretty sure I missed a few. They let me hang around for 10 or 15 minutes and yes, they really did seem to enjoy chowing down on the cholla.
Bright colors are hard to come by in a central New Mexican winter — but I found them in this wood duck at Tingley Beach in Albuquerque.
A heron sunning itself in a shallow area of the Rio Grande as it passes through Albuquerque.
It’s one of the loveliest late summers ever. After an incredibly dry winter, spring, and early summer, we’ve had tons of rain over the last 6 or 7 weeks — which was sorely needed. We’ve had a break from the heat too, and the Sandia foothills are now filled with blooming wildflowers; globemallow (orange) and verbena (pink/purple) in this photo. The beetle, which complements the globemallow perfectly, might be called a milkweed beetle. I won’t swear to that, and you probably shouldn’t either.
A Tailed Copper butterfly drinks nectar from a Mexican Hat wildflower high in the Sandia mountains.