First Butterfly of the Year

Sandia Hairstreak, 2021 Edition

And it’s a Sandia hairstreak, which I found earlier today, exactly when and where I would think I would. But today was even more special than usual because, after I’d taken a number of photos, I hiked further, to an area I’ve always thought should be a great habitat for Sandia hairstreaks but where I’ve never seen any. My plan was just to sit on a rock and soak up the sun, a bit like a lizard. Just a few minutes after I sat down though, a small flying thing came and landed right on my shirt and, lo and behold! it was a Sandia hairstreak! Later it came back and perched on my camera case for a while.

So here’s the thing: I’ve always thought it’s a huge gift when a butterfly lands on me (or anyone else), and a number of butterflies have indeed landed on me over the years. But I don’t believe any of the small butterflies (hairstreaks, blues, or coppers) have ever landed on me before today. So I understand this as a benediction of sorts — perhaps something to add to the blessing of my first COVID shot a few days ago, and/or a reminder that the world is finally, for people at least, starting to reopen, however slowly.


Ojito Wilderness Sandcastles

Ojito Wilderness Sandcastles

Mounds of striated rock in the Ojito Wilderness look like leftover sandcastles from long, long ago.


Colorful Furniture Trailer

Colorful Furniture Trailer

We now take a break from our regularly scheduled, dull, brown winter colors to feast our eyes on a trailer full of bright, colorful furniture. I spotted it many years ago in southern New Mexico.


Lovin’ Lichen

Heart-Shaped Lichen

Heart-shaped lichen for Valentine’s Day. Hope you’ll be celebrating Valentine’s Day with someone (or, as in the case of lichens, something) you love.


Winter Sunset

Winter Sunset

A few weeks ago, when the light was truly spectacular for all of about 60 seconds. For once, I was in the right place at the right time, with the right camera.


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