Category: Sandias

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.

Strawberry Hedgehog and DYCs

Strawberry Hedgehog Flower

When I was first starting to learn about wildflowers, I learned about DYCs. DYC is an acronym for Damn Yellow Composite and refers to the gazillion yellow wildflower species that are composites. (A composite — in wildflower terms, anyway — is a flower whose center is full of tiny flowers itself. A sunflower is an example of a composite.) Learning about DYCs was both good and bad: I had a name for a lot of flowers (sorta) so I didn’t feel that I had to learn anything at all about them. So … to this day, they’re all DYCs as far as I’m concerned.

In any case, the photo really is of a strawberry hedgehog cactus blossom with a few DYCs in front of and around it. I don’t see hedgehogs growing wild too often so it’s pretty hard to resist getting a photo when I do.

Passover/Easter Pasqueflowers

Wild Pasqueflowers

It’s said that pasqueflowers derive their name from the Hebrew word “pesach” (for Passover) or perhaps from the Christian “paschal mystery” (for Easter). In any case, both are celebrated today and these little wild pasqueflowers showed up just yesterday on the east side of the Sandias. Perfect timing!

May you find much joy in whatever you’re celebrating today, even if it’s something as simple as having survived another day. 🙂

Curve Billed Thrasher

Curve Billed Thrasher

One of the earliest announcers of spring, and certainly one of the very best singers.

The First Tiniest Bit of Green

Tiny Fern

After one of the coldest winters I remember, there are finally a few tiny hints of spring. One of the tiniest is this fern I saw in the Sandia foothills, its width about the same as a dime — at its widest point. The orange background is lichen.

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