Whipple’s penstemons, with a background of nodding groundsel and some red berries whose name I don’t know, beckoned to me (and my camera) a couple of weeks ago in the high Sandias. Most of the wildflowers were gone when I was up there today — it’s definitely starting to feel like fall there.
A painted lady butterfly (Vanessa cardui) browsing on wild spike verbena in the high Sandia mountains.
One of my all-time favorite views (I probably post a photo of this area every single summer), this time with late-blooming irises. Seems like everything bloomed pretty late this year.
It would be so easy to miss this little wild orchid — it’s only about 4-5 inches high, at the most, and it nods down toward the ground. I definitely don’t see it every year but when I do, it’s always very high in the Sandias. It’s super-hard to get a good shot of it because it’s so close to the ground; let me just say that I really feel my age every time I try. The pain is well worth it though — it’s such a happy little flower!
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.