Saturday, February 28, 2009

February 25, 2009

With a high in the upper 60s today, I took a walk to see signs of spring. One of the antlions in our front yard colony dug a pit today. I found a few blooming chickweeds. Despite a careful search of two creeks, I was unable to find a water strider. Some of my previous early water strider sightings were February 29, 2004, March 7, 2007, and March 21, 2008.

As the sun set, I turned on the deck light. It attracted about a dozen lacewings and four moths. The moths scattered as I opened the back door. One disappeared and two landed too high for me to reach. I collected the one that resettled close to the light fixture on the wall. At this point, it's been tentatively identified as Hypena sp. (Erebidae).

New Mexico:
North American Nature Photography Association Summit Meeting, February 18-21

February 17, 2009
Albuquerque Botanic Garden

Two more butterflies – a Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) and a white that had to remain unidentified when it flew over the wall before I could get close enough to really see it.

February 15, 2009
Bosque del Apache NWR

Another early spring butterfly – Checkered White (Pontia protodice).

February 14, 2009
Rio Grande Nature Center

First butterfly of the year, and I only saw a blur when someone else in our group shouted “Mourning Cloak!” (Nymphalis antiopa) Despite a diligent search, we couldn't find it again.