If you’re reading this from New Mexico, the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge Grand Opening of Visitor Center and 10th Birthday is on Saturday, September 10th, about a month away. I hope you’ll join us!
It’s summer in New Mexico and it’s hot and dry. Not as hot as Phoenix, thankfully! We received nice rain in June and July to break a massive dry spell – 65% of New Mexico is classified as ‘Severe Drought’ or worse, compared with 96% 3 months ago – but I’m always hoping for more. Most days the clouds build up and merely tease us with a chance of rain. Sunflowers are thriving, so my yard (and driveway) is a beautiful mess of yellow.
I’ve dedicated more time to nocturnal critters this summer. It’s super rewarding to check the porch lights for moths and find a new one. So many cool insects hang out at night if you go and look.
There are plenty of diurnal critters too. Wasps (yes, wasps!) in all sizes and colors and a few new native bees for my yard list are among the highlights. It is lovely to sit outside with my camera, surrounded by nature. I enjoy watching bees collecting pollen, wasps hunting for a meal, and hummingbirds chasing each other.
Quick Biodiversity Update
iNaturalist is an invaluable resource for identifying wildlife and tracking my sightings. The numbers of species from my April blog post are in parentheses.
- 190 butterflies and moths (59)
- 93 flies (58)
- 90 ‘true bugs’ [Hemiptera] (50)
- 87 beetles (37)
- 85 bees (75)
- 81 wasps (45)
- 29 spiders (21)
- 14 antlions and lacewings [Neuroptera] (not mentioned before)
- 3 mayflies (1)