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).
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.