Category: Sandias

Western Tanager, 2022 Edition

Male Western Tanager

A male western tanager, high in the Sandia mountains.


Southwestern Orangetip Butterfly

Southwestern Orangetip Butterfly

A Southwestern orangetip nectaring on rockcress. I have always called these butterflies Sara orangetips but nowadays they’re known as Southwestern orangetips. They’re very small butterflies — and the rockcress flowers are even smaller.


Claret Cup Cactus Blossoms

Claret Cup Cactus Blossoms

Each year is the same and each year is also different. Although these are the only claret cup blossoms I’ve seen this year, I saw lots of buds yesterday. And every single claret cup cactus I saw — including this one — was growing out of rock. Although I saw many claret cup cactuses last spring as well, I don’t believe any were growing out of rock.


Wild Pasqueflowers, 2022 Edition

Wild Pasqueflowers

I just love these little flowers, which grow wild in two very specific places I know of, both on the east side of the Sandias between about 6,000 and 8,000 feet. They almost always bloom right around Passover and Easter and this year, despite a very late spring, was no exception — I saw the first blossoms just a few days ago.

Happy Easter/Passover/Spring and/or whatever else you celebrate.


Sandia Hairstreak, 2022 Edition

Sandia Hairstreak, 2022 Edition

Despite a rather dry winter and a fairly chilly spring, New Mexico’s state butterfly — the Sandia hairstreak (Callophrys mcfarlandi) — has been quite visible in the Sandia foothills during recent weeks. This one is browsing on some three-leaf sumac flower buds which are just starting to open.


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