Category: Critters

Globemallow Leaf With Beetle

Milkweed Beetle on Globemallow Leaf

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.

Butterfly and Mexican Hat

Tailed Copper on Mexican Hat

A Tailed Copper butterfly drinks nectar from a Mexican Hat wildflower high in the Sandia mountains.


Boisduval’s Blue

A Boisduval's Blue butterfly (I think)

This is a Boisduval’s Blue butterfly, I think. (I’m not an expert with butterfly IDs.) I saw it a bit west of Chama about a week-and-a-half ago.

Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly

Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly

A tiger swallowtail pauses to drink nectar from some golden pea plants in the high Sandia mountains.

Prickly Pear Blossom with Butterfly

Prickly Pear Blossom with Butterfly

I saw some prickly pear blossoms with red-orange centers last year and have been eagerly keeping an eye on their location, hoping to see more this year. Alas, there’ve been only a handful of buds, and no flowers yet. So you can imagine how completely thrilled I was last week when I saw this single blossom in a totally different place. I sat down to take some photos (it was pretty close to the ground) and in the 10 minutes I spent there, all sorts of pollinators came to visit. One was this skipper butterfly (a duskywing, maybe?). For whatever reason, I was completely charmed by the spiral its proboscis created.

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