Category: Critters

Bluebird at Valles Caldera

Bluebird on corral fence at Valles Caldera

I call him the bluebird of suspicion because he really didn’t want me to get very close. Nonetheless, I was able to sneak up on him, kinda sorta.


Painted Lady and Spike Verbena

Painted Lady and Spike Verbena

A painted lady butterfly (Vanessa cardui) browsing on wild spike verbena in the high Sandia mountains.


Female Collared Lizard

Female Collared Lizard

A female collared lizard I ran into in the Sandia foothills a couple of weeks ago. I swear she posed for me! I was only about 18 inches from her when I took this shot.


Sandia Hairstreak on Apache Plume

Sandia Hairstreak on Apache Plume

You may (or may not) have noticed that I didn’t post any photos of Sandia hairstreaks this spring. Usually I see them in March and the beginning of April — and that’s it. This spring I saw exactly one Sandia hairstreak, despite the fact that I looked all over for them.

I have seen them in June on a couple of occasions, most notably the very first year I ever saw them (in 2005) but that’s the exception rather than the rule. So imagine my absolute delight (not to mention relief) when I saw two sipping from Apache plume flowers this morning (I had seen a third about a half hour earlier, on beargrass).

Honestly, I was worrying that they were going extinct. I know that’s extreme, but I saw very few last year and only the one this spring. My worry is greatly alleviated now that I’ve seen these little guys. As I understand it, they must be part of the recently metamorphosed new brood that will overwinter until next spring. That they were on Apache plume, one of my very favorite flowers and oh-so-hard to get a good shot of, was icing on the cake.


Ruffled Feathers

roadrunner with ruffled feathers

Beep-beep!!! A family of roadrunners has moved into (taken over?) my neighborhood. They’re extremely cute little troublemakers.


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