I’ve always loved sunflowers (I may have mentioned this before, possibly ad infinitum) but I’ve developed a bit of an obsession the last couple of years with those that are on their way out. They exude happiness (at least to my eyes), even as they fade.
I think this is a great spangled fritillary but can’t swear to it. It might be a northwestern fritillary. Speaking of which, I feel the need to remind you, dear reader, that my IDs are far from authoritative; I’m a photographer, not an entomologist.
Probably the most perfect two-tailed swallowtail I’ve ever seen in my life, hanging out on yellow sweet clover in Cienega Canyon (Sandia Mountains).
A butterfly I’ve never seen before — a queen — atop one of my all-time favorite wildflowers, spike verbena.
It’s been an odd year. OK, I know that’s an incredible understatement, in so many ways, but Mother Nature has gotten into the act here in central New Mexico too. The yuccas didn’t bloom hardly at all (although they were amazing last year). The prickly pears also looked as if they wouldn’t bloom, or even bud — but then, they did bud, much later than usual. I don’t know whether it was because it was so late, or for some other reason, but most of the buds never really opened. These two were exceptions. I love their orange centers.