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