This blog is not just about birds and butterflies; sometimes I’ll throw in a few other pictures that caught my eye. No birds this time, but a few butterflies and and other critters first from a morning at the Botanic Garden and the next day with the Thursday Birder group at Cienega Canyon and later a successful butterfly hunt. First up, a closeup of a purple passionflower in the Hummingbird Pavilion at the Botanic Garden.
Pictures don’t always come out that well with my macro lens, but this one really did. Not as many butterflies active in the Pavilion as there were this time last year, but that may have something to do with our recent weather. Here are a couple of the better pictures I got that morning.
The Mexican Bluewing, like the next one, a Malachite, is not native to New Mexico but I have seen the latter in the Neotropics before.
I got several nice pictures of a Painted Lady (these and lots more can be found on my website at sandianet.com.
After spending quite a bit of time in the Hummingbird Pavilion, we then wandered around the Botanic Garden for awhile. Just happened to notice a small damselfly, which I think is an American Rubyspot, in the Japanese Garden that posed long enough against a perfect dark background for this picture.
Only picture I have from the birding trip to Cienega Canyon is this cool little gopher snake that Lefty moved further from the roadway.
Birding was a little slow that morning, although we did see a number of pretty good birds. Afterward, Rebecca and I checked out Balsam Glade and that excellent 8000′ meadow again and got quite a few butterflies. She noticed this vignette of a ghostly white spider (possibly a female Goldenrod Spider) dining on a honeybee.
Among the numerous butterflies we saw, particularly at the meadow, was the usual Hoary Comma,
and two new ones we’re pretty sure of the identification.
The Pahaska Skipper was hanging out near the overlook at Balsam Glade, which is essentially a hilltop in an area with a lot of short Gambel oak.
Also seen in the same area, the Pacuvius Skipper, although pretty difficult to distinguish from a number of similar skippers, had its trademark white fringe and was much more vividly colored than others we’ve seen recently.