I’d never even heard of an American Snout until a few weeks ago. Days after I first saw a picture of one, I got a chance to take my own photo. Its snout is quite charming.
Well, it’s just about the wettest summer I can ever remember here in the Albuquerque area, and the wildflowers and butterflies are loving it. So am I, for that matter! I happened upon a Wiedemeyer’s Admiral last week with its wings closed and jumped at the chance to get a photo. (The last time I had the opportunity was about six years ago.)
I was walking along yesterday, high in the Sandias, when I came to a spot where I’d once seen a Milbert’s Tortoiseshell. I was just thinking that I’d love to see another when one landed on the wildflowers right in front of me! I think it’s a beautiful butterfly.
A skipper butterfly on spike verbena high in the Sandia mountains.
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.