A tiger swallowtail pauses to drink nectar from some golden pea plants in the high Sandia mountains.
This must be one of the best years ever for cholla blossoms.
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.
An inquisitive mule deer, all ears, contemplates the photographer in front of her.
I haven’t mentioned that I injured my right arm pretty badly while hiking about two months ago. Fortunately my camera was in its case and remained unscathed; I, however, took about 6 inches of skin off the underside of my arm. Thanks to truly outstanding medical care from the Presbyterian Wound Center, I’m well on the road to recovery.
Both my fitness and photography took a hit. I honestly haven’t felt much like taking photos since I hurt myself. Hiking was a total slog the first few weeks after I got back into it and I’m still struggling to get back to the fitness level I had before the accident. Last weekend I attempted the longest hike I’ve done since I injured myself: I went about 2½ miles up La Luz Trail (Sandias, outside Albuquerque). This is the scene that motivated me to go that far — one of my favorites.