Category: Spring

Neighborhood Roadrunner

Portrait of a Roadrunner

We’ve had a family of roadrunners hanging around for a year or two but I do believe the family has increased in size this spring. They’re devilishly cute troublemakers and not too shy; I guess they’re pretty used to us. I’m used to them too — so much so that I almost didn’t bother to take this shot.

Prickly Pear Twins

Prickly Pear Twin Blossoms

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.

Wild Calypso Orchid, 2020

Calypso Orchid

There are years I see none of these orchids. That doesn’t mean they haven’t been there — they are so tiny and close to the ground, and grow only in the shadiest areas, that it’s incredibly easy to miss them. Despite that, I’ve noticed more this year than I’ve ever seen before. They seem to grow exclusively above 10,000 feet (at least in the Sandias) in areas where the ground is spongy and mulchy. It is probably only because I’ve figured out what the ground feels like where they live that I’ve seen so many: I feel the change in the ground first, then start looking for them. They are quite charming, I must say.

Early Monsoon Season

Early Monsoon Season

Seems as if summer’s come earlier to the Sandias than I can remember. Last year, on May 31, I slid down a huge snowdrift not far from this spot; this year the aspens are already leafed out and it looks as if monsoon season’s blowing in close to a month earlier than usual.

If you think you’ve seen this view before, you have — it’s one of my favorites.

Wild Lupine

Wild Lupine

There’s plenty of lupine growing wild on the east side of the Sandias right now.

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