New Mexico trip - Oct. 2008 The Chihuahuan desert, White Sands, Organ and Sacramento Mountains

This gallery contains photos of the geology, wildflowers and insects of southern New Mexico.
Image Number Image (Click to Enlarge)CaptionImage Viewed
1 <strong>Sacramento Mountains and Chihuahuan desert</strong>

Kenny and I took advantage of my fall break from school and went to southern New Mexico from Sept. 30 - Oct. 8, 2008. We picked a perfect time to go there, the summer rains had made the des...

Sacramento Mountains and Chihuahuan desert Kenny and I took advantage of my fall break from school and went to southern New Mexico from Sept. 30 - Oct. 8, 2008. We picked a perfect time to go there, the summer rains had made the des...

Sacramento Mountains and Chihuahuan desert Kenny and I took advantage of my fall break from school and went to southern New Mexico from Sept. 30 - Oct. 8, 2008. We picked a perfect time to go there, the summer rains had made the desert explode in plant growth! I documented nearly 150 different wildflowers in that week! The Sacramento Mountains (9,000+ feet) can be seen in the background in this photo, they make up the eastern rim of the Tularosa Basin. White Sands National Monument, near Alamogordo (which means "fat Cottonwood" in Spanish, by the way), is just a few miles away. The geology of this area is incredible. Much of this gallery will discuss the white sands, the valley and the numerous mountain ranges. map... 2333
2 <strong>Threadleaf Broomweed</strong>
<em>Gutierrezia microcephala</em> / Aster Family
El Paso, TX
Sept. 30, 2008

This was the first plant I saw when we got off the plane in El Paso. It was growing along the highways all the way to Alamogordo. Be...

Threadleaf Broomweed Gutierrezia microcephala / Aster Family El Paso, TX Sept. 30, 2008 This was the first plant I saw when we got off the plane in El Paso. It was growing along the highways all the way to Alamogordo. Be...

Threadleaf Broomweed Gutierrezia microcephala / Aster Family El Paso, TX Sept. 30, 2008 This was the first plant I saw when we got off the plane in El Paso. It was growing along the highways all the way to Alamogordo. Being a "DYC" ("#*! Yellow Composite), it is a great nectar source for insects. There are thousands of tiny flowers on these plants.


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3 <strong>Sandbur</strong>
<em>Cenchrus spinifex</em>
Alamogordo, NM
Sept. 30, 2008

I just <u>had</u> to get out and photograph the wildflowers and scenery as we drove up the highway from the airport in El Paso, TX to Alamogordo, NM. I had not yet ...

Sandbur Cenchrus spinifex Alamogordo, NM Sept. 30, 2008 I just had to get out and photograph the wildflowers and scenery as we drove up the highway from the airport in El Paso, TX to Alamogordo, NM. I had not yet ...

Sandbur Cenchrus spinifex Alamogordo, NM Sept. 30, 2008 I just had to get out and photograph the wildflowers and scenery as we drove up the highway from the airport in El Paso, TX to Alamogordo, NM. I had not yet unpacked my hiking boots and I quickly realized that was a BIG mistake if you are traipsing around in the desert! I suddenly felt a stabbing pain on my ankles; I looked down and saw my socks, shoelaces and jeans were covered in these awful, needle-sharp seeds! What an unfriendly welcome to New Mexico! It certainly made me have a better respect for the plants in the desert. And to think I had been concerned about snakes and scorpions, I hadn't thought much about the wicked seeds I might encounter! Ha!


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4 <strong>Fleshy Tidestromia</strong>
<em>Tidestromia lanuginosa</em>
Alamogordo, NM
Sept. 30, 2008

This was the first wildflower I identified on this trip. It is a perfect example of a desert plant. The wooly, white hairs scatter sunlight to help ...

Fleshy Tidestromia Tidestromia lanuginosa Alamogordo, NM Sept. 30, 2008 This was the first wildflower I identified on this trip. It is a perfect example of a desert plant. The wooly, white hairs scatter sunlight to help ...

Fleshy Tidestromia Tidestromia lanuginosa Alamogordo, NM Sept. 30, 2008 This was the first wildflower I identified on this trip. It is a perfect example of a desert plant. The wooly, white hairs scatter sunlight to help keep the plant from getting sunburned and losing too much water.


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5 <strong>Rosy Palafox</strong>
<em>Palafoxia rosea</em> / Aster Family
Alamogordo, NM
Sept. 30, 2008

This is one of the plants I suffered for to photograph, I pulled Sandburs out of my socks and shoelaces for 5 minutes when I got back in the car! ...

Rosy Palafox Palafoxia rosea / Aster Family Alamogordo, NM Sept. 30, 2008 This is one of the plants I suffered for to photograph, I pulled Sandburs out of my socks and shoelaces for 5 minutes when I got back in the car! ...

Rosy Palafox Palafoxia rosea / Aster Family Alamogordo, NM Sept. 30, 2008 This is one of the plants I suffered for to photograph, I pulled Sandburs out of my socks and shoelaces for 5 minutes when I got back in the car! I also had to lean over a barbedwire fence to get this picture. Oh, the sacrifices I sometimes have to make for my flower photos! :)


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6 <strong>Golden Crownbeard</strong>
<em>Verbesina encelioides</em>
Alamogordo, NM
Sept. 30, 2008

This plant grew <u>everywhere</u> along the roadsides and in the desert. It had a very strong aroma that really got my allergies going! Many people co...

Golden Crownbeard Verbesina encelioides Alamogordo, NM Sept. 30, 2008 This plant grew everywhere along the roadsides and in the desert. It had a very strong aroma that really got my allergies going! Many people co...

Golden Crownbeard Verbesina encelioides Alamogordo, NM Sept. 30, 2008 This plant grew everywhere along the roadsides and in the desert. It had a very strong aroma that really got my allergies going! Many people complained about these flowers! They are quite pretty though and the insects loved them.


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7 <strong>Golden Crownbeard</strong> - plant

Golden Crownbeard - plant

Golden Crownbeard - plant 1428
8 We visited <strong>White Sands National Monument</strong> on Oct. 1. This was our first view of the beautiful white dunes. Plants grow at the edges of the dunes, slowing their advance for a while. Some of the more hardy and tenacious plants can grow ro...

We visited White Sands National Monument on Oct. 1. This was our first view of the beautiful white dunes. Plants grow at the edges of the dunes, slowing their advance for a while. Some of the more hardy and tenacious plants can grow ro...

We visited White Sands National Monument on Oct. 1. This was our first view of the beautiful white dunes. Plants grow at the edges of the dunes, slowing their advance for a while. Some of the more hardy and tenacious plants can grow roots up to 30 feet to reach water. map... 1317
9 This is not a great photo, (I took it in a dark exhibit room at the White Sands Visitor Center) but it gives an idea of how the Tularosa Valley, where White Sands is located, formed. The valley (low middle section) was once a huge dome that collapsed 1...

This is not a great photo, (I took it in a dark exhibit room at the White Sands Visitor Center) but it gives an idea of how the Tularosa Valley, where White Sands is located, formed. The valley (low middle section) was once a huge dome that collapsed 1...

This is not a great photo, (I took it in a dark exhibit room at the White Sands Visitor Center) but it gives an idea of how the Tularosa Valley, where White Sands is located, formed. The valley (low middle section) was once a huge dome that collapsed 10 million years ago. The Sacramento Mountains are on the right side of the exhibit, they are 1000 feet higher than the San Andreas mountains on the left side. We saw the bands of rocks as we drove along the highways near Alamogordo. Some bands were horizontal, others were nearly vertical, proof of the incredible upheaval the area once underwent. 1237
10 A close-up view of the <strong>Gypsum sand</strong> at White Sands National Monument. The small, coarse grains of sand originated several miles away in the gypsum beds of Lake Lucero. The lake is seasonal, it has water only after large rain. Gypsum for...

A close-up view of the Gypsum sand at White Sands National Monument. The small, coarse grains of sand originated several miles away in the gypsum beds of Lake Lucero. The lake is seasonal, it has water only after large rain. Gypsum for...

A close-up view of the Gypsum sand at White Sands National Monument. The small, coarse grains of sand originated several miles away in the gypsum beds of Lake Lucero. The lake is seasonal, it has water only after large rain. Gypsum forms as water brings minerals from the distant San Andreas mountain range. Wind breaks up the gypsum and blows it eastward forming the beautiful dune beds. 1724
11 The marked nature trails had numbered utility poles for signposts at White Sands. It is very important to stay on the marked trails because it is easy to get lost in the dunes. There is little or no shade or water in the park, people have died when the...

The marked nature trails had numbered utility poles for signposts at White Sands. It is very important to stay on the marked trails because it is easy to get lost in the dunes. There is little or no shade or water in the park, people have died when the...

The marked nature trails had numbered utility poles for signposts at White Sands. It is very important to stay on the marked trails because it is easy to get lost in the dunes. There is little or no shade or water in the park, people have died when they got lost and dehydrated. 1301
12 Here I am standing by a "pedestal", a mound of sand held in place by the roots of this Skunkbush. 
Photo by Ken Light

Here I am standing by a "pedestal", a mound of sand held in place by the roots of this Skunkbush. Photo by Ken Light

Here I am standing by a "pedestal", a mound of sand held in place by the roots of this Skunkbush. Photo by Ken Light 1293
13 <strong>Cottonwood tree</strong>

The Cottonwood ("Alamo" in Spanish) is the largest tree in White Sands. We were there a bit early to see them with yellow leaves.

Cottonwood tree The Cottonwood ("Alamo" in Spanish) is the largest tree in White Sands. We were there a bit early to see them with yellow leaves.

Cottonwood tree The Cottonwood ("Alamo" in Spanish) is the largest tree in White Sands. We were there a bit early to see them with yellow leaves. 1744
14 This fossilized tree root shows that sometimes fossils <u>can</u> develop relatively quickly. The minerals from the gypsum sand  replace the wood of the buried plants forming a fossil.

This fossilized tree root shows that sometimes fossils can develop relatively quickly. The minerals from the gypsum sand replace the wood of the buried plants forming a fossil.

This fossilized tree root shows that sometimes fossils can develop relatively quickly. The minerals from the gypsum sand replace the wood of the buried plants forming a fossil. 1330
15 This Stink beetle is in its spray position. My husband found out about these beetles the hard way when he got blasted by one when he tried to pick it up. I had learned about them by watching the Discovery Channel and Animal Planet on TV! :)
A few days...

This Stink beetle is in its spray position. My husband found out about these beetles the hard way when he got blasted by one when he tried to pick it up. I had learned about them by watching the Discovery Channel and Animal Planet on TV! :) A few days...

This Stink beetle is in its spray position. My husband found out about these beetles the hard way when he got blasted by one when he tried to pick it up. I had learned about them by watching the Discovery Channel and Animal Planet on TV! :) A few days later I was downwind of one of these beetles when it sprayed. Whew, did it stink! 1226
16 We enjoyed watching the Stink beetles  walking on the sand in the trails and on the dunes. They left interesting little tracks in the sand. (see following photo)

We enjoyed watching the Stink beetles walking on the sand in the trails and on the dunes. They left interesting little tracks in the sand. (see following photo)

We enjoyed watching the Stink beetles walking on the sand in the trails and on the dunes. They left interesting little tracks in the sand. (see following photo) 1226
17 It was fun to look for animal tracks in the sand. We saw tracks from beetles, lizards, jumping mice and foxes.

It was fun to look for animal tracks in the sand. We saw tracks from beetles, lizards, jumping mice and foxes.

It was fun to look for animal tracks in the sand. We saw tracks from beetles, lizards, jumping mice and foxes. 1210
18 This was a view looking up a large dune. I liked looking at the interesting ripples and the beetle tracks. The fact that there was no wind was a mixed blessing, I didn't have to worry about getting dust or sand in my camera, but the footprints of all t...

This was a view looking up a large dune. I liked looking at the interesting ripples and the beetle tracks. The fact that there was no wind was a mixed blessing, I didn't have to worry about getting dust or sand in my camera, but the footprints of all t...

This was a view looking up a large dune. I liked looking at the interesting ripples and the beetle tracks. The fact that there was no wind was a mixed blessing, I didn't have to worry about getting dust or sand in my camera, but the footprints of all the other visitors were not blown away. I had to hunt for untracked dunes to photograph! 1108
19 <strong>Tarantula Hawk Wasp</strong>
<em>Pepsis</em> sp.
White Sands National Monument
Oct. 1, 2008

This photo does not do this huge wasp justice! She was about 2 inches long! The female wasps sting and paralyze tarantulas, drag them into a burro...

Tarantula Hawk Wasp Pepsis sp. White Sands National Monument Oct. 1, 2008 This photo does not do this huge wasp justice! She was about 2 inches long! The female wasps sting and paralyze tarantulas, drag them into a burro...

Tarantula Hawk Wasp Pepsis sp. White Sands National Monument Oct. 1, 2008 This photo does not do this huge wasp justice! She was about 2 inches long! The female wasps sting and paralyze tarantulas, drag them into a burrow and then lay their eggs on them. The wasp larvae eat the spiders. 1350
20 Blister Beetle with short-wings 
<em>Megetra</em> sp.
White Sands National Monument
Oct. 1, 2008

I saw this strange beetle walking on the sidewalk in front of the visitor center at the park. Someone on Bugguide called it a "football player beetle...

Blister Beetle with short-wings Megetra sp. White Sands National Monument Oct. 1, 2008 I saw this strange beetle walking on the sidewalk in front of the visitor center at the park. Someone on Bugguide called it a "football player beetle...

Blister Beetle with short-wings Megetra sp. White Sands National Monument Oct. 1, 2008 I saw this strange beetle walking on the sidewalk in front of the visitor center at the park. Someone on Bugguide called it a "football player beetle" because of the short, shoulderpad-like elytra (cover wings). 1634
21 I was excited to see this beautiful Spider eating one of the gazillion grasshoppers we saw in the park. Thanks to the heavy summer rains the plants, and the insects that eat them, reproduced explosively. The spiders had plenty of food!

I was excited to see this beautiful Spider eating one of the gazillion grasshoppers we saw in the park. Thanks to the heavy summer rains the plants, and the insects that eat them, reproduced explosively. The spiders had plenty of food!

I was excited to see this beautiful Spider eating one of the gazillion grasshoppers we saw in the park. Thanks to the heavy summer rains the plants, and the insects that eat them, reproduced explosively. The spiders had plenty of food! 1211
22 One of the fun activities at White Sands is to run down the huge dunes. There are signs telling visitors not to remove sand from the park, but it is nearly impossible when you have shoes or boots full of it. We were amazed at how much white sand we saw...

One of the fun activities at White Sands is to run down the huge dunes. There are signs telling visitors not to remove sand from the park, but it is nearly impossible when you have shoes or boots full of it. We were amazed at how much white sand we saw...

One of the fun activities at White Sands is to run down the huge dunes. There are signs telling visitors not to remove sand from the park, but it is nearly impossible when you have shoes or boots full of it. We were amazed at how much white sand we saw in our hotel parking lot in Alamogordo! I even found white sand in my suitcase! I collect sand from different areas of the country, I didn't want to illegally take sand from the park, but any that was stuck to my boot soles was fair game! ;) Photo by Ken Light 1234
23 Visitors at White Sands can rent plastic "dune disks" to slide down the high dunes. The coarse sand is not quite as slick as snow, but the riders had a lot of fun.

Visitors at White Sands can rent plastic "dune disks" to slide down the high dunes. The coarse sand is not quite as slick as snow, but the riders had a lot of fun.

Visitors at White Sands can rent plastic "dune disks" to slide down the high dunes. The coarse sand is not quite as slick as snow, but the riders had a lot of fun. 1314
24 The picnic area at White Sands NM was the strangest we'd ever eaten at. There were no trees, plants, not even a blade of grass! The corrugated metal covering provided a bit of shade but they were quite hot to touch.

The picnic area at White Sands NM was the strangest we'd ever eaten at. There were no trees, plants, not even a blade of grass! The corrugated metal covering provided a bit of shade but they were quite hot to touch.

The picnic area at White Sands NM was the strangest we'd ever eaten at. There were no trees, plants, not even a blade of grass! The corrugated metal covering provided a bit of shade but they were quite hot to touch. 1341
25 Close-up of <strong>Broom Snakeweed</strong> 
<em>Guiterrezia sarothrae</em> / Aster Family
White Sands National Monument
Oct. 1, 2008

This plant was growing outside the visitor center. It is nice to have labeled plants every once in a while! :) ...

Close-up of Broom Snakeweed Guiterrezia sarothrae / Aster Family White Sands National Monument Oct. 1, 2008 This plant was growing outside the visitor center. It is nice to have labeled plants every once in a while! :) ...

Close-up of Broom Snakeweed Guiterrezia sarothrae / Aster Family White Sands National Monument Oct. 1, 2008 This plant was growing outside the visitor center. It is nice to have labeled plants every once in a while! :) I don't have to work as hard to identify them!


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26 <strong>Tohoka Daisy; Tansyleaf Spine Aster</strong> 
<em>Machaeranthera tanacetifolia</em> 
White Sands National Monument, NM
Oct. 1, 2008

Asters can be a pain to identify because there are so many different kinds. The leaves of this plant don't...

Tohoka Daisy; Tansyleaf Spine Aster Machaeranthera tanacetifolia White Sands National Monument, NM Oct. 1, 2008 Asters can be a pain to identify because there are so many different kinds. The leaves of this plant don't...

Tohoka Daisy; Tansyleaf Spine Aster Machaeranthera tanacetifolia White Sands National Monument, NM Oct. 1, 2008 Asters can be a pain to identify because there are so many different kinds. The leaves of this plant don't match the type of aster that was in the park plant list. This one had straight leaves, the ones in my ID books and in university plant webites have fernlike leaves. I just have to trust the National Park Service botanists!


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27 Aster 
Machaeranthera spp. 
Here is a close-up of the previous plant.

Aster Machaeranthera spp. Here is a close-up of the previous plant.

Aster Machaeranthera spp. Here is a close-up of the previous plant. 1335
28 <strong>Pickleweed</strong>
<em>Allenrolfea occidentalis</em> / Goosefoot Family
White Sands NM
Oct. 1, 2008

Believe it or not, these are the flowers of this plant! Some desert plants do not have leaves to help slow down water loss.

Pickleweed Allenrolfea occidentalis / Goosefoot Family White Sands NM Oct. 1, 2008 Believe it or not, these are the flowers of this plant! Some desert plants do not have leaves to help slow down water loss.

Pickleweed Allenrolfea occidentalis / Goosefoot Family White Sands NM Oct. 1, 2008 Believe it or not, these are the flowers of this plant! Some desert plants do not have leaves to help slow down water loss.


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29 <strong>Oak-leaf Thornapple</strong>
<em>Datura querifolia</em> / Nightshade Family
White Sands NM
Oct. 1, 2008

I found this plant growing at the edge of the White Sands Visitor Center. It is a smaller-flowered relative of the beautiful Sacred Da...

Oak-leaf Thornapple Datura querifolia / Nightshade Family White Sands NM Oct. 1, 2008 I found this plant growing at the edge of the White Sands Visitor Center. It is a smaller-flowered relative of the beautiful Sacred Da...

Oak-leaf Thornapple Datura querifolia / Nightshade Family White Sands NM Oct. 1, 2008 I found this plant growing at the edge of the White Sands Visitor Center. It is a smaller-flowered relative of the beautiful Sacred Datura, so I would imagine it is poisonous too. Two of the spiky seedpods are visible at the top of the photo, slightly out of focus.


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30 <strong>Seepwillow Baccharis</strong>
<em>Baccharis glutinosa</em> / Aster Family
White Sands NM
Oct. 1, 2008

This plant was growing near the parking lot behind the visitor center. The tiny white flowers had a strong, unpleasant aroma and were co...

Seepwillow Baccharis Baccharis glutinosa / Aster Family White Sands NM Oct. 1, 2008 This plant was growing near the parking lot behind the visitor center. The tiny white flowers had a strong, unpleasant aroma and were co...

Seepwillow Baccharis Baccharis glutinosa / Aster Family White Sands NM Oct. 1, 2008 This plant was growing near the parking lot behind the visitor center. The tiny white flowers had a strong, unpleasant aroma and were covered with flies, moths, butterflies, wasps, and many other insects. I liked this little fly!


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31 <strong>California Sister Butterfly </strong>
<em>Adelpha bredowii</em>
Las Cruces, NM
Oct. 4, 2008

I had seen this kind of butterfly at White Sands NM too. It was commonly seen in many of the desert areas on our trip.  What a beauty this butterf...

California Sister Butterfly Adelpha bredowii Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 I had seen this kind of butterfly at White Sands NM too. It was commonly seen in many of the desert areas on our trip. What a beauty this butterf...

California Sister Butterfly Adelpha bredowii Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 I had seen this kind of butterfly at White Sands NM too. It was commonly seen in many of the desert areas on our trip. What a beauty this butterfly is! The following photo shows the underneath view of the wings. While reading about this butterfly, I learned the name "sister" comes from someone with an active imagination who thought the wing pattern looked like a nun's head wear. :) 1489
32 <strong>California Sister Butterfly</strong> - closed wings
<em>Adelpha bredowii</em>
Las Cruces, NM
Oct. 4, 2008

I chased this butterfly around the visitor center for several minutes at White Sands before I could get a good shot of it! This phot...

California Sister Butterfly - closed wings Adelpha bredowii Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 I chased this butterfly around the visitor center for several minutes at White Sands before I could get a good shot of it! This phot...

California Sister Butterfly - closed wings Adelpha bredowii Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 I chased this butterfly around the visitor center for several minutes at White Sands before I could get a good shot of it! This photo made the chasing worth it. :) 1250
33 <strong>Hartweg's Evening Primrose</strong>
<em>Calylophus hartwegii</em> / Evening Primrose Family
White Sands NM
Oct. 1, 2008

This pretty yellow flowers add splashes of color on the bright white sand. I was glad we got to the park early, many d...

Hartweg's Evening Primrose Calylophus hartwegii / Evening Primrose Family White Sands NM Oct. 1, 2008 This pretty yellow flowers add splashes of color on the bright white sand. I was glad we got to the park early, many d...

Hartweg's Evening Primrose Calylophus hartwegii / Evening Primrose Family White Sands NM Oct. 1, 2008 This pretty yellow flowers add splashes of color on the bright white sand. I was glad we got to the park early, many desert flowers, including this one, close in the heat of the afternoon. Hartweg's Evening Primrose likes to grow in gypsum soil, so it should be very happy at White Sands!


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34 <strong>Hartweg's Evening Primrose</strong> - close-up of flower
<em>Calylophus hartwegii</em> / Evening Primrose Family
White Sands NM
Oct. 1, 2008

Hartweg's Evening Primrose - close-up of flower Calylophus hartwegii / Evening Primrose Family White Sands NM Oct. 1, 2008

Hartweg's Evening Primrose - close-up of flower Calylophus hartwegii / Evening Primrose Family White Sands NM Oct. 1, 2008 1398
35 <strong>Bleached Earless Lizard</strong>
<em>Holbrookia maculata ruthveni</em>
White Sands National Monument
Oct. 1, 2008

I nearly missed this little guy, he (or maybe she) was very well camouflaged against the white sand. I wish the brown grass ...

Bleached Earless Lizard Holbrookia maculata ruthveni White Sands National Monument Oct. 1, 2008 I nearly missed this little guy, he (or maybe she) was very well camouflaged against the white sand. I wish the brown grass ...

Bleached Earless Lizard Holbrookia maculata ruthveni White Sands National Monument Oct. 1, 2008 I nearly missed this little guy, he (or maybe she) was very well camouflaged against the white sand. I wish the brown grass had not been in the way, but nature is not always perfect! These lizards are endemic to White Sands, a few miles up the valley a darker species of this lizard lives in the black lava fields. 1513
36 <strong>Threadleaf Groundsel</strong>
<em>Senecio douglasii longilobus</em> / Aster Family
White Sands National Monument
Oct. 1, 2008

I'm so lucky to be married to a very patient husband! This was another of those, "Stop! There's a plant I don't ...

Threadleaf Groundsel Senecio douglasii longilobus / Aster Family White Sands National Monument Oct. 1, 2008 I'm so lucky to be married to a very patient husband! This was another of those, "Stop! There's a plant I don't ...

Threadleaf Groundsel Senecio douglasii longilobus / Aster Family White Sands National Monument Oct. 1, 2008 I'm so lucky to be married to a very patient husband! This was another of those, "Stop! There's a plant I don't have a picture of yet!" wildflowers. He pulls over and I jump out and snap a few photos. It turned out to be a "Two-fer" stop, I got another new wildflower there also!


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37 <strong>Sand Verbena</strong>
<em>Abronia angustifolia</em>
White Sands National Monument
Oct. 1, 2008

This is usually the first flower listed in the scientific name listing of western wildflower books! Sometimes it has darker pink flowers, this ...

Sand Verbena Abronia angustifolia White Sands National Monument Oct. 1, 2008 This is usually the first flower listed in the scientific name listing of western wildflower books! Sometimes it has darker pink flowers, this ...

Sand Verbena Abronia angustifolia White Sands National Monument Oct. 1, 2008 This is usually the first flower listed in the scientific name listing of western wildflower books! Sometimes it has darker pink flowers, this one was a pale pink. Note the fuzzy leaves, this is a common adaptation of desert plants to help prevent dehydration.


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38 The best time to see the dunes at White Sands is at sunrise and sunset when the light is softer. The mid-day sun is too harsh on the nearly snow-white sand. We noticed a large number of cars entering the park at around 5:00 PM. We enjoyed watching the ...

The best time to see the dunes at White Sands is at sunrise and sunset when the light is softer. The mid-day sun is too harsh on the nearly snow-white sand. We noticed a large number of cars entering the park at around 5:00 PM. We enjoyed watching the ...

The best time to see the dunes at White Sands is at sunrise and sunset when the light is softer. The mid-day sun is too harsh on the nearly snow-white sand. We noticed a large number of cars entering the park at around 5:00 PM. We enjoyed watching the sun slip behind the San Andreas Mountains to the west. 1296
39 Kris and Ken (and a Yucca plant) at White Sands National Monument
Photo by the Self-timer on my camera! :)

Kris and Ken (and a Yucca plant) at White Sands National Monument Photo by the Self-timer on my camera! :)

Kris and Ken (and a Yucca plant) at White Sands National Monument Photo by the Self-timer on my camera! :) 1227
40 Had we been at White Sands 2 weeks later, we would not have been chased off by the rangers! I got so enraptured by the waxing crescent moon and Venus nearby (not visible in this photo), I lost track of the time. We had to be out by 8:00 PM (the rangers...

Had we been at White Sands 2 weeks later, we would not have been chased off by the rangers! I got so enraptured by the waxing crescent moon and Venus nearby (not visible in this photo), I lost track of the time. We had to be out by 8:00 PM (the rangers...

Had we been at White Sands 2 weeks later, we would not have been chased off by the rangers! I got so enraptured by the waxing crescent moon and Venus nearby (not visible in this photo), I lost track of the time. We had to be out by 8:00 PM (the rangers came by at 7:40, they were very nice about telling us we had to go!). Had we been there for the full moon 2 weeks later, we could have stayed a little longer. The park stays open on the night of the full moon each month for moonlight walks on the dunes. 1213
41 We drove up to the Sacramento Mountains on Oct. 2. It was a drastic change from the desert and white sand dunes we had seen the day before! As we gained elevation, the plant life changed a great deal. The plants went from yuccas, cholla cactus, and oco...

We drove up to the Sacramento Mountains on Oct. 2. It was a drastic change from the desert and white sand dunes we had seen the day before! As we gained elevation, the plant life changed a great deal. The plants went from yuccas, cholla cactus, and oco...

We drove up to the Sacramento Mountains on Oct. 2. It was a drastic change from the desert and white sand dunes we had seen the day before! As we gained elevation, the plant life changed a great deal. The plants went from yuccas, cholla cactus, and ocotillos to aspens, firs, and pines. This was a view of a canyon in the lower elevation of the mountain. 1127
42 The Geology in the western states can be quite dramatic. This roadcut shows the result of the violent uplift the area underwent millions of years ago. It takes a tremendous amount of pressure to make solid rock layers turn nearly vertical! This roadcut...

The Geology in the western states can be quite dramatic. This roadcut shows the result of the violent uplift the area underwent millions of years ago. It takes a tremendous amount of pressure to make solid rock layers turn nearly vertical! This roadcut...

The Geology in the western states can be quite dramatic. This roadcut shows the result of the violent uplift the area underwent millions of years ago. It takes a tremendous amount of pressure to make solid rock layers turn nearly vertical! This roadcut was seen along the highway to Cloudcroft up on Sacramento Mountain. There are many different colors in this sedimentary rock. 1143
43 We stopped in by the Forest Service office in Cloudcroft to get a map for the Osha trail. The trail is named for a wildflower, <u>not</u> the government branch of OSHA! :) The trail is an easy 2.5 mile loop (the little dotted trail in the middle of thi...

We stopped in by the Forest Service office in Cloudcroft to get a map for the Osha trail. The trail is named for a wildflower, not the government branch of OSHA! :) The trail is an easy 2.5 mile loop (the little dotted trail in the middle of thi...

We stopped in by the Forest Service office in Cloudcroft to get a map for the Osha trail. The trail is named for a wildflower, not the government branch of OSHA! :) The trail is an easy 2.5 mile loop (the little dotted trail in the middle of this map). Many of the trails in the area used to be an old railroad bed, so once you get up to them they are nice, level trails. 1270
44 This iron Osha trail sign should be vandalism and bear-proof!

This iron Osha trail sign should be vandalism and bear-proof!

This iron Osha trail sign should be vandalism and bear-proof! 1352
45 <strong>James Geranium</strong>
<em>Geranium caespitosum</em>
Cloudcroft, NM
Oct. 2, 2008

This was the first flower I saw when we hiked the Osha Trail. Geraniums usually bloom in the spring, so I was surprised to see it in early October.

James Geranium Geranium caespitosum Cloudcroft, NM Oct. 2, 2008 This was the first flower I saw when we hiked the Osha Trail. Geraniums usually bloom in the spring, so I was surprised to see it in early October.

James Geranium Geranium caespitosum Cloudcroft, NM Oct. 2, 2008 This was the first flower I saw when we hiked the Osha Trail. Geraniums usually bloom in the spring, so I was surprised to see it in early October.


clr: 3-p
2022
46 When we came upon this meadow along the Osha trail I had to switch to my wide-angle lens to get the full effect of the beautiful golden aspens. <a href="http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en&gl=us&ie=UTF8&oe=UTF8&msa=0&msid=111048428162997367442.00045a2...

When we came upon this meadow along the Osha trail I had to switch to my wide-angle lens to get the full effect of the beautiful golden aspens.

When we came upon this meadow along the Osha trail I had to switch to my wide-angle lens to get the full effect of the beautiful golden aspens. map... 1329
47 I had hoped we would see the golden Aspens when we got into the higher elevations at Cloudcroft (~8200 ft.) and I was not disappointed! They were a bit past their peak, but still quite stunning.

I had hoped we would see the golden Aspens when we got into the higher elevations at Cloudcroft (~8200 ft.) and I was not disappointed! They were a bit past their peak, but still quite stunning.

I had hoped we would see the golden Aspens when we got into the higher elevations at Cloudcroft (~8200 ft.) and I was not disappointed! They were a bit past their peak, but still quite stunning. 1357
48 <strong>Scouler's Catchfly</strong>
<em>Silene scouleri</em>
Cloudcroft, NM
Oct. 3, 2008

I found this flower blooming along the beginning of the Osha Trail at ~8000' elevation. It was in fairly heavy shade in the woods. When we came back by it a ...

Scouler's Catchfly Silene scouleri Cloudcroft, NM Oct. 3, 2008 I found this flower blooming along the beginning of the Osha Trail at ~8000' elevation. It was in fairly heavy shade in the woods. When we came back by it a ...

Scouler's Catchfly Silene scouleri Cloudcroft, NM Oct. 3, 2008 I found this flower blooming along the beginning of the Osha Trail at ~8000' elevation. It was in fairly heavy shade in the woods. When we came back by it a couple of hours later, the flowers had begun to wilt.


clr: 1-w
2052
49 Unknown mint plant on Osha Trail
Cloudcroft, NM

I have not been able to find this plant in any of my books or online. It was growing on a shaded section of the trail. There were several of the plants, they had thin, woody stems.

Unknown mint plant on Osha Trail Cloudcroft, NM I have not been able to find this plant in any of my books or online. It was growing on a shaded section of the trail. There were several of the plants, they had thin, woody stems.

Unknown mint plant on Osha Trail Cloudcroft, NM I have not been able to find this plant in any of my books or online. It was growing on a shaded section of the trail. There were several of the plants, they had thin, woody stems. 1528
50 <strong>Nodding Groundsel</strong>
<em>Senecio bigelovii</em> / Aster Family
Cloudcroft, NM
Oct. 2, 2008

I had seen several of these plants that had gone to seed along the Osha trail before I finally found this one in bloom. It bloomed in the woods.

Nodding Groundsel Senecio bigelovii / Aster Family Cloudcroft, NM Oct. 2, 2008 I had seen several of these plants that had gone to seed along the Osha trail before I finally found this one in bloom. It bloomed in the woods.

Nodding Groundsel Senecio bigelovii / Aster Family Cloudcroft, NM Oct. 2, 2008 I had seen several of these plants that had gone to seed along the Osha trail before I finally found this one in bloom. It bloomed in the woods.


clr: 5-y
1985
51 <strong>Parry's Thistle</strong>
<em>Circium parryi</em> / Aster Family
Cloudcroft, NM
Oct. 2, 2008

I found this yellow thistle growing in a large, grassy meadow along the Osha Trail.

Parry's Thistle Circium parryi / Aster Family Cloudcroft, NM Oct. 2, 2008 I found this yellow thistle growing in a large, grassy meadow along the Osha Trail.

Parry's Thistle Circium parryi / Aster Family Cloudcroft, NM Oct. 2, 2008 I found this yellow thistle growing in a large, grassy meadow along the Osha Trail.


clr: 5-y
1886
52 <strong>Bracted Strawberry</strong>
<em>Fragaria bracteata</em>
Cloudcroft, NM
Oct. 2, 2008

I was very surprised to see a wild strawberry blooming high on a mountain in early October. The fruits will never be able to develop and ripen before the ...

Bracted Strawberry Fragaria bracteata Cloudcroft, NM Oct. 2, 2008 I was very surprised to see a wild strawberry blooming high on a mountain in early October. The fruits will never be able to develop and ripen before the ...

Bracted Strawberry Fragaria bracteata Cloudcroft, NM Oct. 2, 2008 I was very surprised to see a wild strawberry blooming high on a mountain in early October. The fruits will never be able to develop and ripen before the first frost!


clr: 1-w
1897
53 <strong>Skyrocket</strong>
<em>Ipomopsis aggregata</em> / Morning Glory Family
Cloudcroft, NM
Oct. 2, 2008

I had stopped to take a photo of some distant aspen trees when I spotted this beautiful wildflower. I'm sure it is visited by hummingbirds,...

Skyrocket Ipomopsis aggregata / Morning Glory Family Cloudcroft, NM Oct. 2, 2008 I had stopped to take a photo of some distant aspen trees when I spotted this beautiful wildflower. I'm sure it is visited by hummingbirds,...

Skyrocket Ipomopsis aggregata / Morning Glory Family Cloudcroft, NM Oct. 2, 2008 I had stopped to take a photo of some distant aspen trees when I spotted this beautiful wildflower. I'm sure it is visited by hummingbirds, due to its shape and color.


clr: 2-r
1866
54 <strong>Skyrocket</strong>
<em>Ipomopsis aggregata</em>
Cloudcroft, NM
Oct. 2, 2008

This one of my favorite western wildflowers! I was delighted to find it growing along the road from Cloudcroft to Sunspot.

Skyrocket Ipomopsis aggregata Cloudcroft, NM Oct. 2, 2008 This one of my favorite western wildflowers! I was delighted to find it growing along the road from Cloudcroft to Sunspot.

Skyrocket Ipomopsis aggregata Cloudcroft, NM Oct. 2, 2008 This one of my favorite western wildflowers! I was delighted to find it growing along the road from Cloudcroft to Sunspot. 1257
55 After hiking the Osha Trail, we drove several miles up the mountain to the <strong>Sunspot Solar Observatory</strong>. It is located at 9000+ feet in the Sacramento Mountains. We stopped here at the Visitor Center to get oriented and to learn about the...

After hiking the Osha Trail, we drove several miles up the mountain to the Sunspot Solar Observatory. It is located at 9000+ feet in the Sacramento Mountains. We stopped here at the Visitor Center to get oriented and to learn about the...

After hiking the Osha Trail, we drove several miles up the mountain to the Sunspot Solar Observatory. It is located at 9000+ feet in the Sacramento Mountains. We stopped here at the Visitor Center to get oriented and to learn about the studies done at the observatory. 1168
56 This is the Dunn Solar Telescope at the National Solar Observatory, it is used to study sunspots. The day we were there, there were no spots to study! We enjoyed talking to a couple of the scientists when we went into this building. This telescope is v...

This is the Dunn Solar Telescope at the National Solar Observatory, it is used to study sunspots. The day we were there, there were no spots to study! We enjoyed talking to a couple of the scientists when we went into this building. This telescope is v...

This is the Dunn Solar Telescope at the National Solar Observatory, it is used to study sunspots. The day we were there, there were no spots to study! We enjoyed talking to a couple of the scientists when we went into this building. This telescope is visible far away from the highway in Alamogordo. For more information see: National Solar Observatory 1459
57 <strong>Wild Rose</strong>
<em>Rosa</em> spp.
Sunspot, NM
Oct. 2, 2008

There was a large field of these roses beneath the Dunn Solar Telescope.

Wild Rose Rosa spp. Sunspot, NM Oct. 2, 2008 There was a large field of these roses beneath the Dunn Solar Telescope.

Wild Rose Rosa spp. Sunspot, NM Oct. 2, 2008 There was a large field of these roses beneath the Dunn Solar Telescope.


clr: 3-p
1887
58 The telescope in the Evans Solar Facility at the National Solar Observatory is used to photograph the surface of the sun, the corona, and solar flares. This building is open to the public; the following photo shows the telescope.

The telescope in the Evans Solar Facility at the National Solar Observatory is used to photograph the surface of the sun, the corona, and solar flares. This building is open to the public; the following photo shows the telescope.

The telescope in the Evans Solar Facility at the National Solar Observatory is used to photograph the surface of the sun, the corona, and solar flares. This building is open to the public; the following photo shows the telescope. 1266
59 The telescope at the Evans Solar Facility is open to the public, although visitors can't view the sun.

The telescope at the Evans Solar Facility is open to the public, although visitors can't view the sun.

The telescope at the Evans Solar Facility is open to the public, although visitors can't view the sun. 1298
60 <strong>Many-flower Puccoon</strong>
<em>Lithospermum multiflorum</em> / Borage Family
Sunspot, NM
Oct. 2, 2008

I spotted this wildflower growing along a trail at the National Solar Observatory.

Many-flower Puccoon Lithospermum multiflorum / Borage Family Sunspot, NM Oct. 2, 2008 I spotted this wildflower growing along a trail at the National Solar Observatory.

Many-flower Puccoon Lithospermum multiflorum / Borage Family Sunspot, NM Oct. 2, 2008 I spotted this wildflower growing along a trail at the National Solar Observatory.


clr: 5-y
1943
61 <strong>Bluff Springs</strong> is located off Rio Penasco Road off the highway to Sunspot. This travertine cliff is the result of hundreds of years worth of heavily mineral-laden water dripping and flowing over the side of the hill. All of the plants o...

Bluff Springs is located off Rio Penasco Road off the highway to Sunspot. This travertine cliff is the result of hundreds of years worth of heavily mineral-laden water dripping and flowing over the side of the hill. All of the plants o...

Bluff Springs is located off Rio Penasco Road off the highway to Sunspot. This travertine cliff is the result of hundreds of years worth of heavily mineral-laden water dripping and flowing over the side of the hill. All of the plants on the cliff and in the foreground are the rare Sacramento Thistles. Most of the flowers had quit blooming, but I found a few across the road that still had flowers on them. The land near the bluff is fenced off to protect the plants. 2261
62 <strong>Sacramento Mountain Thistle</strong>
<em>Cirsium vinaceum</em> / Aster Family
Cloudcroft, NM
Oct. 2, 2008

I learned about this rare wildflower while we were at the Forest Service office in Cloudcroft. The biologist told me it could be fou...

Sacramento Mountain Thistle Cirsium vinaceum / Aster Family Cloudcroft, NM Oct. 2, 2008 I learned about this rare wildflower while we were at the Forest Service office in Cloudcroft. The biologist told me it could be fou...

Sacramento Mountain Thistle Cirsium vinaceum / Aster Family Cloudcroft, NM Oct. 2, 2008 I learned about this rare wildflower while we were at the Forest Service office in Cloudcroft. The biologist told me it could be found at Bluff Springs. The thistle is not the most beautiful flower I saw on our trip, but it is always exciting to find a rare plant!


clr: 3-p
2159
63 <strong>Harebell</strong>
<em>Campanula rotundifolia</em> / Bellflower Family
Cloudcroft, NM
Oct. 2, 2008

This is one of my favorite wildflowers! It is always a treat to find them blooming in a field. I found these blooming high in the Sacramento...

Harebell Campanula rotundifolia / Bellflower Family Cloudcroft, NM Oct. 2, 2008 This is one of my favorite wildflowers! It is always a treat to find them blooming in a field. I found these blooming high in the Sacramento...

Harebell Campanula rotundifolia / Bellflower Family Cloudcroft, NM Oct. 2, 2008 This is one of my favorite wildflowers! It is always a treat to find them blooming in a field. I found these blooming high in the Sacramento Mountains.


clr: 7-b
1843
64 <strong>Wild Cosmos</strong>
<em>Cosmos parviflorus</em> / Aster Family
Cloudcroft, NM
Oct. 2, 2008

We stopped at Bluff Springs on our drive back from Sunspot to look for the rare Sacramento Mountain Thistle. As we were driving back to the main h...

Wild Cosmos Cosmos parviflorus / Aster Family Cloudcroft, NM Oct. 2, 2008 We stopped at Bluff Springs on our drive back from Sunspot to look for the rare Sacramento Mountain Thistle. As we were driving back to the main h...

Wild Cosmos Cosmos parviflorus / Aster Family Cloudcroft, NM Oct. 2, 2008 We stopped at Bluff Springs on our drive back from Sunspot to look for the rare Sacramento Mountain Thistle. As we were driving back to the main highway, I spotted some flowers along the gravel road. That stop was a "three-fer", I got 3 flowers in one stop! This Cosmos was a new one for my life list.


clr: 1-w
1909
65 <strong>Common Dogweed</strong>
<em>Dyssodia pentachaeta</em> / Aster Family
Alamogordo, NM
Oct. 2, 2008

This was a common little roadside wildflower.

Common Dogweed Dyssodia pentachaeta / Aster Family Alamogordo, NM Oct. 2, 2008 This was a common little roadside wildflower.

Common Dogweed Dyssodia pentachaeta / Aster Family Alamogordo, NM Oct. 2, 2008 This was a common little roadside wildflower.


clr: 5-y
1857
66 On October 3rd we drove on West Side Road from High Rolls to go to Alamo Canyon in search of the elusive rare poppy! It was on our DeLorme Atlas map book, but we didn't know it looked like <u>this</u>! It is a good thing our rental car didn't have a GP...

On October 3rd we drove on West Side Road from High Rolls to go to Alamo Canyon in search of the elusive rare poppy! It was on our DeLorme Atlas map book, but we didn't know it looked like this! It is a good thing our rental car didn't have a GP...

On October 3rd we drove on West Side Road from High Rolls to go to Alamo Canyon in search of the elusive rare poppy! It was on our DeLorme Atlas map book, but we didn't know it looked like this! It is a good thing our rental car didn't have a GPS unit in it, I don't think the company would have approved of us going on this adventure! :) We were surprised how much other traffic went along this road, which didn't seem to go anywhere. Those people didn't creep along stopping every 100 yards or so either; we ate a lot of dust that day! map... 1398
67 <strong>Agertina</strong>
<em>Agertina herbacea</em> / Aster Family
High Rolls, NM
Oct. 3, 2008

I spotted this flower as we were driving along a dusty mountain road. We were hunting for a rare white poppy (which I never found). I <u>love</u> gett...

Agertina Agertina herbacea / Aster Family High Rolls, NM Oct. 3, 2008 I spotted this flower as we were driving along a dusty mountain road. We were hunting for a rare white poppy (which I never found). I love gett...

Agertina Agertina herbacea / Aster Family High Rolls, NM Oct. 3, 2008 I spotted this flower as we were driving along a dusty mountain road. We were hunting for a rare white poppy (which I never found). I love getting off the highways onto back roads where we can stop relatively safely when I see a new flower, I'm really in my element then! It took us over an hour to drive the 9 miles to our destination because I kept seeing new flowers! :)


clr: 1-w
1944
68 <strong>Golden-beard Penstemon</strong>
<em>Penstemon barbutus</em>
High Rolls, NM
Oct. 3, 2008

This was one of those plants I had to walk back up the gravel road a way to see. Often we can't stop right where the plant is growing because we are d...

Golden-beard Penstemon Penstemon barbutus High Rolls, NM Oct. 3, 2008 This was one of those plants I had to walk back up the gravel road a way to see. Often we can't stop right where the plant is growing because we are d...

Golden-beard Penstemon Penstemon barbutus High Rolls, NM Oct. 3, 2008 This was one of those plants I had to walk back up the gravel road a way to see. Often we can't stop right where the plant is growing because we are driving too fast to stop quickly, or it is not a real safe place to pull over. I really wanted to get a photo of this plant, so it was worth walking back for. It is a favorite of hummingbirds.


clr: 2-r
1976
69 <strong>Golden-beard Penstemon</strong> - close-up

Golden-beard Penstemon - close-up

Golden-beard Penstemon - close-up 1290
70 We drove on West Side Rd. near High Rolls in search of a rare white poppy I had learned about at the Forest Service office the day before. We never found the poppy, but we sure picked up a considerable amount of dust in our attempt! Fortunately, a good...

We drove on West Side Rd. near High Rolls in search of a rare white poppy I had learned about at the Forest Service office the day before. We never found the poppy, but we sure picked up a considerable amount of dust in our attempt! Fortunately, a good...

We drove on West Side Rd. near High Rolls in search of a rare white poppy I had learned about at the Forest Service office the day before. We never found the poppy, but we sure picked up a considerable amount of dust in our attempt! Fortunately, a good rain in Las Cruces washed most of it off for us. :) One of the nice things about renting a car is learning what kind of car you wouldn't want to buy! I really didn't want to rent the PT Cruiser because it didn't have a trunk, but we had no choice at the rental agency. Our only other option was a Ford Explorer, which would have had worse gas mileage (and no trunk either). I like having a trunk so I don't have to carry my camera equipment everywhere, at 20+ pounds, that pack gets pretty heavy! Photo by Ken Light 1283
71 <strong>Red Barberry; Algerita; Red Oregon-Grape</strong>
<em>Berberis haematocarpa</em>
High Rolls, NM
Oct. 3, 2008

I photographed this shrub in Alamo Canyon.

Red Barberry; Algerita; Red Oregon-Grape Berberis haematocarpa High Rolls, NM Oct. 3, 2008 I photographed this shrub in Alamo Canyon.

Red Barberry; Algerita; Red Oregon-Grape Berberis haematocarpa High Rolls, NM Oct. 3, 2008 I photographed this shrub in Alamo Canyon. 1469
72 Good grief, I never expected to find a couch in the middle of nowhere in a canyon! I had hiked down Alamo Canyon to look for the rare poppy when I spied this badly damaged couch. There must be an interesting story behind this! :)

Good grief, I never expected to find a couch in the middle of nowhere in a canyon! I had hiked down Alamo Canyon to look for the rare poppy when I spied this badly damaged couch. There must be an interesting story behind this! :)

Good grief, I never expected to find a couch in the middle of nowhere in a canyon! I had hiked down Alamo Canyon to look for the rare poppy when I spied this badly damaged couch. There must be an interesting story behind this! :) 1347
73 <strong>Sparsely-flowered Bog Orchid</strong>
<em>Habenaria sparsiflora</em>
High Rolls, NM
Oct. 3, 2008

I never found the elusive rare white prickly poppy when I ventured down the Alamo Canyon watershed, but this little wildflower more than made...

Sparsely-flowered Bog Orchid Habenaria sparsiflora High Rolls, NM Oct. 3, 2008 I never found the elusive rare white prickly poppy when I ventured down the Alamo Canyon watershed, but this little wildflower more than made...

Sparsely-flowered Bog Orchid Habenaria sparsiflora High Rolls, NM Oct. 3, 2008 I never found the elusive rare white prickly poppy when I ventured down the Alamo Canyon watershed, but this little wildflower more than made up for it! The plant was only about 6" tall and nearly all green, so I almost overlooked it. This was one of those times when it pays to know the habitat certain flowers like. I suspected I might find some orchids in the wet, seep area near the stream and sure enough, this one was growing there! I had to move a small fallen tree and lay on the ground to get this photo! I'm willing to sacrifice getting some dust or mud on my pants to get a shot like this! :) The plant was just down the trail from the abandoned couch.


clr: 6-g
1977
74 <strong>Indian Paintbrush</strong>
<em>Castilleja</em> spp.
High Rolls, NM
Oct. 3, 2008

Indian Paintbrushes can be very hard to identify to the species level because there are so many different types. This is one of those times I just have to giv...

Indian Paintbrush Castilleja spp. High Rolls, NM Oct. 3, 2008 Indian Paintbrushes can be very hard to identify to the species level because there are so many different types. This is one of those times I just have to giv...

Indian Paintbrush Castilleja spp. High Rolls, NM Oct. 3, 2008 Indian Paintbrushes can be very hard to identify to the species level because there are so many different types. This is one of those times I just have to give up! The actual flowers are the green points, the red parts are bracts.


clr: 2-r
1925
75 <strong>Thurber Desert Holly</strong>
<em>Acourtia thurberi</em>
High Rolls, NM
Oct. 3, 2008

I found this flower during a "gawking at the beautiful scenery" stop along West Side Rd. The stiff,pointed leaves give the plant its name Desert Holly.

Thurber Desert Holly Acourtia thurberi High Rolls, NM Oct. 3, 2008 I found this flower during a "gawking at the beautiful scenery" stop along West Side Rd. The stiff,pointed leaves give the plant its name Desert Holly.

Thurber Desert Holly Acourtia thurberi High Rolls, NM Oct. 3, 2008 I found this flower during a "gawking at the beautiful scenery" stop along West Side Rd. The stiff,pointed leaves give the plant its name Desert Holly.


clr: 3-p
2157
76 <strong>Common Raven</strong>
<em>Corvus corax</em>
Alamogordo, NM
Oct. 3, 2008

Common Raven Corvus corax Alamogordo, NM Oct. 3, 2008

Common Raven Corvus corax Alamogordo, NM Oct. 3, 2008 1264
77 We left Alamogordo and went to Las Cruces on Oct. 3. This is a beautiful view of the <strong>Rio Grande and the Organ Mountains</strong>, both natural landmarks in the area.

We left Alamogordo and went to Las Cruces on Oct. 3. This is a beautiful view of the Rio Grande and the Organ Mountains, both natural landmarks in the area.

We left Alamogordo and went to Las Cruces on Oct. 3. This is a beautiful view of the Rio Grande and the Organ Mountains, both natural landmarks in the area. 1299
78 <strong>Queen Butterflies</strong>
<em>Danaus gilippus</em>
Las Cruces, NM
Oct. 4, 2008

My cousin's yard is full of native wildflowers which the butterflies just love. The night before I took this photo, his daughter showed me a "Monarch" butterf...

Queen Butterflies Danaus gilippus Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 My cousin's yard is full of native wildflowers which the butterflies just love. The night before I took this photo, his daughter showed me a "Monarch" butterf...

Queen Butterflies Danaus gilippus Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 My cousin's yard is full of native wildflowers which the butterflies just love. The night before I took this photo, his daughter showed me a "Monarch" butterfly wing she had found. I said it looked very small and dark to be a monarch wing. The next morning the mystery was solved when I saw these butterflies in the garden. They are Queen butterflies and they are in the same genus as Monarchs. They are a bit smaller and the scales are more brown than orange. I was amazed at the number of butterflies we saw in the garden. I was in "butterfly heaven"! My camera got quite a workout that morning! The butterfly in the middle foreground is a male, his pheremone spot can be seen on the bottom wing. 1294
79 <strong>West Coast Lady Butterfly</strong>
<em>Vanessa annabella</em>
Las Cruces, NM
Oct. 4, 2008

This butterfly was also in my cousin's garden. I love the scientific name! It is interesting how some of the butterflies are named for girls! :)

West Coast Lady Butterfly Vanessa annabella Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 This butterfly was also in my cousin's garden. I love the scientific name! It is interesting how some of the butterflies are named for girls! :)

West Coast Lady Butterfly Vanessa annabella Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 This butterfly was also in my cousin's garden. I love the scientific name! It is interesting how some of the butterflies are named for girls! :) 1225
80 <strong>Greeneyes; Chocolate Daisy</strong>
<em>Berlanderia lyrata</em>
Las Cruces, NM
Oct. 4, 2008

My cousin's wife, Sara, had an extensive native wildflower garden in their yard, I was able to photograph many flowers there. These flowers must b...

Greeneyes; Chocolate Daisy Berlanderia lyrata Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 My cousin's wife, Sara, had an extensive native wildflower garden in their yard, I was able to photograph many flowers there. These flowers must b...

Greeneyes; Chocolate Daisy Berlanderia lyrata Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 My cousin's wife, Sara, had an extensive native wildflower garden in their yard, I was able to photograph many flowers there. These flowers must be enjoyed early in the day, by afternoon, they begin to wilt. There is a very similar wildflower that grows in Florida, it is the same genus.


clr: 5-y
1948
81 <strong>Spectaclepod</strong>
<em>Dimorphocarpa wislizenii</em> / Mustard Family
Las Cruces, NM
Oct. 3, 2008

It is not hard to see how this wildflower got its common name, the seedpods do look like little glasses! You can't help but smile when yo...

Spectaclepod Dimorphocarpa wislizenii / Mustard Family Las Cruces, NM Oct. 3, 2008 It is not hard to see how this wildflower got its common name, the seedpods do look like little glasses! You can't help but smile when yo...

Spectaclepod Dimorphocarpa wislizenii / Mustard Family Las Cruces, NM Oct. 3, 2008 It is not hard to see how this wildflower got its common name, the seedpods do look like little glasses! You can't help but smile when you see them! :) 1533
82 <strong>Sand Penstemon </strong>
<em>Penstemon ambiguus</em>
Las Cruces, NM
Oct. 4, 2008

My cousin and his wife, Sara, have many native wildflowers in their yard. She helped me add several flowers to my list! This is a popular landscaping plant.

Sand Penstemon Penstemon ambiguus Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 My cousin and his wife, Sara, have many native wildflowers in their yard. She helped me add several flowers to my list! This is a popular landscaping plant.

Sand Penstemon Penstemon ambiguus Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 My cousin and his wife, Sara, have many native wildflowers in their yard. She helped me add several flowers to my list! This is a popular landscaping plant.


clr: 1-w
1914
83 On Oct. 4 we hiked with my cousin's family at Aguirre Spring natural area on the eastern side of the Organ Mountains. Aguirre is pronounced "ah-GARY". <a href="http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?hl=en&gl=us&ie=UTF8&oe=UTF8&msa=0&msid=111048428162997367442....

On Oct. 4 we hiked with my cousin's family at Aguirre Spring natural area on the eastern side of the Organ Mountains. Aguirre is pronounced "ah-GARY".

On Oct. 4 we hiked with my cousin's family at Aguirre Spring natural area on the eastern side of the Organ Mountains. Aguirre is pronounced "ah-GARY". map... 1743
84 My cousin Sam, his wife Sara, and 14 year-old daughter Shelly took us hiking on the Pine Tree Trail on the east side of the Organ Mountains. This is a 4-mile loop trail, but we didn't make it very far due to time constraints and too many plant and anim...

My cousin Sam, his wife Sara, and 14 year-old daughter Shelly took us hiking on the Pine Tree Trail on the east side of the Organ Mountains. This is a 4-mile loop trail, but we didn't make it very far due to time constraints and too many plant and anim...

My cousin Sam, his wife Sara, and 14 year-old daughter Shelly took us hiking on the Pine Tree Trail on the east side of the Organ Mountains. This is a 4-mile loop trail, but we didn't make it very far due to time constraints and too many plant and animal distractions, we hiked only about 1 mile in 2 hours! 1245
85 <strong>Scarlet Spiderling</strong>
<em>Boerhaavia coccinea</em> / Four O'Clock Family
Las Cruces, NM
Oct. 4, 2008

I found this tiny flower growing near the outhouse of Aguirre Spring Campground before we even started out hike! It is a common wil...

Scarlet Spiderling Boerhaavia coccinea / Four O'Clock Family Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 I found this tiny flower growing near the outhouse of Aguirre Spring Campground before we even started out hike! It is a common wil...

Scarlet Spiderling Boerhaavia coccinea / Four O'Clock Family Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 I found this tiny flower growing near the outhouse of Aguirre Spring Campground before we even started out hike! It is a common wildflower in the southern New Mexico area.


clr: 3-p
1880
86 The Organ Mountains are rugged  outcroppings of ancient <strong>Quartz</strong>. The large crystals of the different minerals were easy to see in the boulders.

The Organ Mountains are rugged outcroppings of ancient Quartz. The large crystals of the different minerals were easy to see in the boulders.

The Organ Mountains are rugged outcroppings of ancient Quartz. The large crystals of the different minerals were easy to see in the boulders. 1176
87 One of the outstanding landmarks in the Organ Mountains are the <strong>Rabbit Ears</strong>, two prominent outcroppings of ancient granite. This rugged mountain range is wonderful for landscape photography!  (The sky wasn't really <u>this</u> blue, my...

One of the outstanding landmarks in the Organ Mountains are the Rabbit Ears, two prominent outcroppings of ancient granite. This rugged mountain range is wonderful for landscape photography! (The sky wasn't really this blue, my...

One of the outstanding landmarks in the Organ Mountains are the Rabbit Ears, two prominent outcroppings of ancient granite. This rugged mountain range is wonderful for landscape photography! (The sky wasn't really this blue, my polarizer got a little carried away!) This view was taken on the eastern side of the Organ Mountains on the Pine Tree trail. We liked it so much we went there twice! 1333
88 This warning sign on the Pine Tree trail will get your attention! We were amazed to see a woman pass us going up as we were ending the 4-mile trail late in the afternoon --- she was hiking alone, had no water, and was wearing tennis shoes! I guess she ...

This warning sign on the Pine Tree trail will get your attention! We were amazed to see a woman pass us going up as we were ending the 4-mile trail late in the afternoon --- she was hiking alone, had no water, and was wearing tennis shoes! I guess she ...

This warning sign on the Pine Tree trail will get your attention! We were amazed to see a woman pass us going up as we were ending the 4-mile trail late in the afternoon --- she was hiking alone, had no water, and was wearing tennis shoes! I guess she didn't read the sign! We hoped she didn't run into any problems. 1578
89 <strong>Sanvitalia</strong>
<em>Sanvitalia albertii</em>
Las Cruces, NM
Oct. 4, 2008

This flower was a tough one to identify until I found this website: <a href="http://www.wnmu.edu/academic/nspages2/gilaflora/eudicots.html">  New Mexico Wildlfow...

Sanvitalia Sanvitalia albertii Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 This flower was a tough one to identify until I found this website: New Mexico Wildlfow...

Sanvitalia Sanvitalia albertii Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 This flower was a tough one to identify until I found this website: New Mexico Wildlfowers. It had many of the wildflowers that my books didn't. I'm always thrilled to find sites that have most of the flowers that I need! When I first saw these flowers on the Pine Tree trail I thought they were dry, like a strawflower.


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1856
90 <em>Arphia pseudontoniana</em>
Las Cruces, NM
Oct. 4, 2008

We got quite a surprise when this grasshopper flew away, it had bright red flight wings which are probably a deterrent to predators. We saw this one on the Pine Tree Trail on the east side...

Arphia pseudontoniana Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 We got quite a surprise when this grasshopper flew away, it had bright red flight wings which are probably a deterrent to predators. We saw this one on the Pine Tree Trail on the east side...

Arphia pseudontoniana Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 We got quite a surprise when this grasshopper flew away, it had bright red flight wings which are probably a deterrent to predators. We saw this one on the Pine Tree Trail on the east side of the Organ Mountains. The following photo shows the grasshopper with open wings. 1326
91 <em>Arphia pseudontoniana</em>
Las Cruces, NM
Oct. 4, 2008

This is how the grasshopper looks with its wings open. It was not too happy being caught, note the drops of "tobacco juice" it spit on my husband's fingers!

Arphia pseudontoniana Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 This is how the grasshopper looks with its wings open. It was not too happy being caught, note the drops of "tobacco juice" it spit on my husband's fingers!

Arphia pseudontoniana Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 This is how the grasshopper looks with its wings open. It was not too happy being caught, note the drops of "tobacco juice" it spit on my husband's fingers! 1391
92 <strong>Jumping Spider</strong>
Unknown species 
Las Cruces,NM
Oct. 4, 2008

This little guy was quite active, I had a hard time getting a photo! He was scrambling over a rock in the trail.

Jumping Spider Unknown species Las Cruces,NM Oct. 4, 2008 This little guy was quite active, I had a hard time getting a photo! He was scrambling over a rock in the trail.

Jumping Spider Unknown species Las Cruces,NM Oct. 4, 2008 This little guy was quite active, I had a hard time getting a photo! He was scrambling over a rock in the trail. 1710
93 <em>Acmaeodera ampolicollis</em> / Coleoptera 
Las Cruces, NM
October 4, 2008

I spotted this pretty yellow and black beetle while hiking on the Pine Tree National Recreational trail in the Aguirre (pronounced "ah-GARY") Springs area on the eastern...

Acmaeodera ampolicollis / Coleoptera Las Cruces, NM October 4, 2008 I spotted this pretty yellow and black beetle while hiking on the Pine Tree National Recreational trail in the Aguirre (pronounced "ah-GARY") Springs area on the eastern...

Acmaeodera ampolicollis / Coleoptera Las Cruces, NM October 4, 2008 I spotted this pretty yellow and black beetle while hiking on the Pine Tree National Recreational trail in the Aguirre (pronounced "ah-GARY") Springs area on the eastern side of the Organ Mountains. Thanks to Eric at Bugguide.net for identifying this insect for me. There must not be a common name for this insect, there is nothing about it on the internet sites. The elytra (wing covers) are very intricately patterned with the yellow and black colors, note the tiny rows of dots and minute hairs. Many of these beetles are damaging wood borers. 1390
94 This Beetle had such long antennae I could not get all of it in the photo! I snapped this shot on the Pine Tree Trail in the Organ Mountains. The beetle is on an Apache Plume flower.

This Beetle had such long antennae I could not get all of it in the photo! I snapped this shot on the Pine Tree Trail in the Organ Mountains. The beetle is on an Apache Plume flower.

This Beetle had such long antennae I could not get all of it in the photo! I snapped this shot on the Pine Tree Trail in the Organ Mountains. The beetle is on an Apache Plume flower. 1200
95 "Striped, slant-faced" Grasshopper
<em>Metaleptea</em> spp. / Orthoptera
Las Cruces, NM
Oct. 4 2008

This funny grasshopper was seen along the Pine Tree Trail. Note how even the compound eyes are slanted on the head. I am unable to find a common n...

"Striped, slant-faced" Grasshopper Metaleptea spp. / Orthoptera Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4 2008 This funny grasshopper was seen along the Pine Tree Trail. Note how even the compound eyes are slanted on the head. I am unable to find a common n...

"Striped, slant-faced" Grasshopper Metaleptea spp. / Orthoptera Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4 2008 This funny grasshopper was seen along the Pine Tree Trail. Note how even the compound eyes are slanted on the head. I am unable to find a common name for this insect. 1300
96 <strong>Painted Grasshopper</strong>
<em>Dactylotum bicolor</em>
Las Cruces, NM
Oct. 4, 2008

This was yet another beautiful, brightly-colored grasshopper that we saw at Aguirre Springs. Because it is so colorful, it is most likely poisonous or di...

Painted Grasshopper Dactylotum bicolor Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 This was yet another beautiful, brightly-colored grasshopper that we saw at Aguirre Springs. Because it is so colorful, it is most likely poisonous or di...

Painted Grasshopper Dactylotum bicolor Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 This was yet another beautiful, brightly-colored grasshopper that we saw at Aguirre Springs. Because it is so colorful, it is most likely poisonous or distasteful. 1195
97 Sandstone-like Grasshopper

Sandstone-like Grasshopper

Sandstone-like Grasshopper 1200
98 <strong>Common Monkeyflower</strong>
<em>Mimlus guttatus</em> / Snapdragon Family
Las Cruces, NM
Oct. 4, 2008

Common Monkeyflower is a very common wildflower in the west. I have found it in Yellowstone and Yosemite National Parks.  It likes to gr...

Common Monkeyflower Mimlus guttatus / Snapdragon Family Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 Common Monkeyflower is a very common wildflower in the west. I have found it in Yellowstone and Yosemite National Parks. It likes to gr...

Common Monkeyflower Mimlus guttatus / Snapdragon Family Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 Common Monkeyflower is a very common wildflower in the west. I have found it in Yellowstone and Yosemite National Parks. It likes to grow in damp areas. This one was growing next to the spring-fed creek. Note the red-spotted nectar guides.


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1915
99 <strong>Bordered Patch Butterfly</strong> - male
<em>Chlosyne lacinia</em>
Las Cruces, NM
Oct. 4, 2008

I photographed this butterfly on a Buckwheat flower while hiking along the Pine Tree Trail.

Bordered Patch Butterfly - male Chlosyne lacinia Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 I photographed this butterfly on a Buckwheat flower while hiking along the Pine Tree Trail.

Bordered Patch Butterfly - male Chlosyne lacinia Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 I photographed this butterfly on a Buckwheat flower while hiking along the Pine Tree Trail. 1280
100 <strong>Red Harvester Ant</strong>
<em>Pogonomyrmex</em> spp.
White Sands NM
Oct. 1, 2008

Kenny and I enjoyed watching the Harvester Ants carrying leaves or insect parts into their nest and seeing how they remove large (for them anyway!) pebbles ...

Red Harvester Ant Pogonomyrmex spp. White Sands NM Oct. 1, 2008 Kenny and I enjoyed watching the Harvester Ants carrying leaves or insect parts into their nest and seeing how they remove large (for them anyway!) pebbles ...

Red Harvester Ant Pogonomyrmex spp. White Sands NM Oct. 1, 2008 Kenny and I enjoyed watching the Harvester Ants carrying leaves or insect parts into their nest and seeing how they remove large (for them anyway!) pebbles from inside the nest with their mandibles. Can you imagine carrying a boulder half-mile or so with your teeth?! Some ants would clear a large circle around their nest, no grass or plants were allowed to grow. See following photo... 1331
101 The rocky, cleared off area in this photo is a large Harvest Ant Nest, an amazing feat accomplished by 1/2" insects!

The rocky, cleared off area in this photo is a large Harvest Ant Nest, an amazing feat accomplished by 1/2" insects!

The rocky, cleared off area in this photo is a large Harvest Ant Nest, an amazing feat accomplished by 1/2" insects! 1228
102 <strong>Sotol</strong>
<em>Dasylirion wheeleri</em> / Lily Family
Las Cruces, NM
Oct. 4, 2008

I stood next to this Sotol (pron. "so tall" and it is So Tall!) to give some prospective to its height. I'm holding a dead flower stalk. The flowers blo...

Sotol Dasylirion wheeleri / Lily Family Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 I stood next to this Sotol (pron. "so tall" and it is So Tall!) to give some prospective to its height. I'm holding a dead flower stalk. The flowers blo...

Sotol Dasylirion wheeleri / Lily Family Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 I stood next to this Sotol (pron. "so tall" and it is So Tall!) to give some prospective to its height. I'm holding a dead flower stalk. The flowers bloom in the spring. The leaves have sharp, serrated hooks on the edges that could do some serious damage to bare skin. I never did wear shorts while hiking out there! Photo by Sara W. 1547
103 Sotol leaves have sharp, curved hooks on the edges. No wonder cowboys wear leather chaps!

Sotol leaves have sharp, curved hooks on the edges. No wonder cowboys wear leather chaps!

Sotol leaves have sharp, curved hooks on the edges. No wonder cowboys wear leather chaps! 1544
104 <strong>Wright's Thimblehead</strong>
<em>Hymenothrix wrightii</em>
Las Cruces, NM (Aguirre Springs)
Oct. 4, 2008

There were a couple of patches of this plant near the Aguirre Springs campground. This plant was photographed next to the gate and t...

Wright's Thimblehead Hymenothrix wrightii Las Cruces, NM (Aguirre Springs) Oct. 4, 2008 There were a couple of patches of this plant near the Aguirre Springs campground. This plant was photographed next to the gate and t...

Wright's Thimblehead Hymenothrix wrightii Las Cruces, NM (Aguirre Springs) Oct. 4, 2008 There were a couple of patches of this plant near the Aguirre Springs campground. This plant was photographed next to the gate and the cattle guard. I had a hard time identifying this plant, I scratched through names in my journal two times before I finally found out what it really was! It can be very hard to identify flowers by just looking at photographs. I finally found it on this very helpful website by the botanists at Western New Mexico University: Southern New Mexico Wildflowers


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1955
105 <strong>Wright's Thimblehead</strong> - plant
<em>Hymenothrix wrightii</em>
Las Cruces, NM (Aguirre Springs)
Oct. 4, 2008

It helps to have a photo of an entire plant sometimes. This was a case where I needed both a close-up of the flowers and the...

Wright's Thimblehead - plant Hymenothrix wrightii Las Cruces, NM (Aguirre Springs) Oct. 4, 2008 It helps to have a photo of an entire plant sometimes. This was a case where I needed both a close-up of the flowers and the...

Wright's Thimblehead - plant Hymenothrix wrightii Las Cruces, NM (Aguirre Springs) Oct. 4, 2008 It helps to have a photo of an entire plant sometimes. This was a case where I needed both a close-up of the flowers and the plant to make a positive identification. 1273
106 <strong>Red-whisker Clammyweed</strong>
<em>Polansia dodecandra</em>
Las Cruces, NM
Oct. 4, 2008

Not only do I have a patient husband, I also have a patient cousin! Sam was so nice to stop whenever I saw a new flower  as we were driving to Aguirr...

Red-whisker Clammyweed Polansia dodecandra Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 Not only do I have a patient husband, I also have a patient cousin! Sam was so nice to stop whenever I saw a new flower as we were driving to Aguirr...

Red-whisker Clammyweed Polansia dodecandra Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 Not only do I have a patient husband, I also have a patient cousin! Sam was so nice to stop whenever I saw a new flower as we were driving to Aguirre Springs on the east side of the Organ Mountains. Clammyweed gets its name from the sticky, tiny hairs found on the stems and leaves.


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1950
107 <strong>Desert Prickly Poppy </strong>
<em>Argemone squarrosa</em>
Las Cruces, NM
Oct. 4, 2008

This species of Prickly Poppy has bluish-green leaves. It was a fairly common roadside plant.

Desert Prickly Poppy Argemone squarrosa Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 This species of Prickly Poppy has bluish-green leaves. It was a fairly common roadside plant.

Desert Prickly Poppy Argemone squarrosa Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 This species of Prickly Poppy has bluish-green leaves. It was a fairly common roadside plant.


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2114
108 <strong>Coyote Melon</strong>
<em>Cucurbita palmata</em>
Las Cruces, NM
Oct. 4, 2008

The fruits of this wild gourd are not edible, but the seeds were once eaten by southwestern Native Americans. Coyotes too, eat the seeds; we saw many piles of co...

Coyote Melon Cucurbita palmata Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 The fruits of this wild gourd are not edible, but the seeds were once eaten by southwestern Native Americans. Coyotes too, eat the seeds; we saw many piles of co...

Coyote Melon Cucurbita palmata Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 The fruits of this wild gourd are not edible, but the seeds were once eaten by southwestern Native Americans. Coyotes too, eat the seeds; we saw many piles of coyote scat along the Pine Tree Trail at Aguirre Springs that were full of the flat, brown seeds. The plant has very large, pointed leaves and is commonly seen growing along roadsides and on fences. 1526
109 See, it really can rain in the desert! Kenny and I wanted to escape from the confines of the hotel before the storms hit, so we drove east to the western side of the Organ Mountains. Before we could get to the Baylor Pass trailhead, the rain caught up ...

See, it really can rain in the desert! Kenny and I wanted to escape from the confines of the hotel before the storms hit, so we drove east to the western side of the Organ Mountains. Before we could get to the Baylor Pass trailhead, the rain caught up ...

See, it really can rain in the desert! Kenny and I wanted to escape from the confines of the hotel before the storms hit, so we drove east to the western side of the Organ Mountains. Before we could get to the Baylor Pass trailhead, the rain caught up with us! We parked and waited out the storm. You can see storms coming for miles in the flat western lands. These beneficial rains will bring more wildflowers! 1278
110 This was the fabulous view I enjoyed after the storm! The wide, open landscapes provided some wonderful photographic oportunities! This was one of my favorite photos from the trip. :)

This was the fabulous view I enjoyed after the storm! The wide, open landscapes provided some wonderful photographic oportunities! This was one of my favorite photos from the trip. :)

This was the fabulous view I enjoyed after the storm! The wide, open landscapes provided some wonderful photographic oportunities! This was one of my favorite photos from the trip. :) 1324
111 <strong>White-lined Sphinx Moth Caterpillar</strong>
<em>Hyles lineata</em>
Las Cruces, NM (Organ Mtns.)
Oct. 5, 2008

I found this pretty caterpillar munching on a Scarlet Spiderling plant after the rain shower that stranded us in our car.  The m...

White-lined Sphinx Moth Caterpillar Hyles lineata Las Cruces, NM (Organ Mtns.) Oct. 5, 2008 I found this pretty caterpillar munching on a Scarlet Spiderling plant after the rain shower that stranded us in our car. The m...

White-lined Sphinx Moth Caterpillar Hyles lineata Las Cruces, NM (Organ Mtns.) Oct. 5, 2008 I found this pretty caterpillar munching on a Scarlet Spiderling plant after the rain shower that stranded us in our car. The moth and butterfly populations were quite healthy due to the profusion of fresh, green plants that grew after the summer rains. Note the raindrops and the pointed brown tail on the caterpillar. 4258
112 <strong>Stingleaf</strong>
<em>Cevallia sinuata</em>
Las Cruces, NM 
Oct. 5, 2008

I found this plant near the Baylor Pass trailhead after the rain storm. Had the sun been out longer, more of the flowers would have been in bloom.  Stingleaf lives ...

Stingleaf Cevallia sinuata Las Cruces, NM Oct. 5, 2008 I found this plant near the Baylor Pass trailhead after the rain storm. Had the sun been out longer, more of the flowers would have been in bloom. Stingleaf lives ...

Stingleaf Cevallia sinuata Las Cruces, NM Oct. 5, 2008 I found this plant near the Baylor Pass trailhead after the rain storm. Had the sun been out longer, more of the flowers would have been in bloom. Stingleaf lives up to its name, like many desert plants, it is well-armed and can protect itself from browsers! I'm glad I didn't touch it. After my unpleasant run-in with Stinging Nettle several years ago, I've learned to respect strange-looking plants that I am not familiar with!


clr: 5-y
1984
113 <strong>Alligator Juniper</strong>
<em>Juniperus deppeana</em>
Las Cruces, NM
Oct. 6, 2008

We came back to the The Pine Tree trail two days later with Shelley, my cousin's 14 year-old daughter, to hike the entire 4.2-mile loop. The trail has some...

Alligator Juniper Juniperus deppeana Las Cruces, NM Oct. 6, 2008 We came back to the The Pine Tree trail two days later with Shelley, my cousin's 14 year-old daughter, to hike the entire 4.2-mile loop. The trail has some...

Alligator Juniper Juniperus deppeana Las Cruces, NM Oct. 6, 2008 We came back to the The Pine Tree trail two days later with Shelley, my cousin's 14 year-old daughter, to hike the entire 4.2-mile loop. The trail has some huge, very old Alligator juniper trees. Shelly and I stood by this tree to give some perspective to its huge size. The trees get their "reptilian" name due to their scaly bark. Photo by Ken Light 1397
114 The Chihuahuan desert didn't have as many cactus as I had expected. But, I noticed this cactus growing along the Pine Tree Trail. It had been sheltered by the rocks and a small tree as it grew. Cacti bloom in the spring, so we didn't see any cactus flo...

The Chihuahuan desert didn't have as many cactus as I had expected. But, I noticed this cactus growing along the Pine Tree Trail. It had been sheltered by the rocks and a small tree as it grew. Cacti bloom in the spring, so we didn't see any cactus flo...

The Chihuahuan desert didn't have as many cactus as I had expected. But, I noticed this cactus growing along the Pine Tree Trail. It had been sheltered by the rocks and a small tree as it grew. Cacti bloom in the spring, so we didn't see any cactus flowers. Note the fern leaves in the lower half of the photo; cactus and ferns --- that is a combination that you don't expect to see together! 1235
115 This was the halfway point (2.1 miles with an 1100' elevation gain) on the Pine Tree trail. The  ever-present Rabbit Ears are visible in the distance.

This was the halfway point (2.1 miles with an 1100' elevation gain) on the Pine Tree trail. The ever-present Rabbit Ears are visible in the distance.

This was the halfway point (2.1 miles with an 1100' elevation gain) on the Pine Tree trail. The ever-present Rabbit Ears are visible in the distance. 1236
116 We were stunned to see the vandalism that a couple of morons had done to this beautiful Alligator Juniper Tree just the day before we hiked on the Pine Tree trail! This thoughtless, or incredibly dumb, couple chopped the bark from the tree's trunk and ...

We were stunned to see the vandalism that a couple of morons had done to this beautiful Alligator Juniper Tree just the day before we hiked on the Pine Tree trail! This thoughtless, or incredibly dumb, couple chopped the bark from the tree's trunk and ...

We were stunned to see the vandalism that a couple of morons had done to this beautiful Alligator Juniper Tree just the day before we hiked on the Pine Tree trail! This thoughtless, or incredibly dumb, couple chopped the bark from the tree's trunk and then carved their names in the wood. They would have received a good chewing out by me if I had seen them doing it! 1225
117 Sugarloaf is another landmark in the Organ Mountains. It can't be seen as easily as the Rabbit Ears because it is often hidden behind rocky hills. It is another outcropping of smooth granite.

Sugarloaf is another landmark in the Organ Mountains. It can't be seen as easily as the Rabbit Ears because it is often hidden behind rocky hills. It is another outcropping of smooth granite.

Sugarloaf is another landmark in the Organ Mountains. It can't be seen as easily as the Rabbit Ears because it is often hidden behind rocky hills. It is another outcropping of smooth granite. 1281
118 <strong>Arizona Scorpionweed</strong>
<em>Phacelia arizonica</em> / Borage (Forget-Me-Not) Family
Las Cruces, NM
Oct. 6, 2008

I spotted this wildflower toward the end of our hike along the Pine Tree trail. It grew in a wooded area that was a bit ...

Arizona Scorpionweed Phacelia arizonica / Borage (Forget-Me-Not) Family Las Cruces, NM Oct. 6, 2008 I spotted this wildflower toward the end of our hike along the Pine Tree trail. It grew in a wooded area that was a bit ...

Arizona Scorpionweed Phacelia arizonica / Borage (Forget-Me-Not) Family Las Cruces, NM Oct. 6, 2008 I spotted this wildflower toward the end of our hike along the Pine Tree trail. It grew in a wooded area that was a bit more damp than the surrounding areas.


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1670
119 A Fern and lichen along the Pine Tree Trail

A Fern and lichen along the Pine Tree Trail

A Fern and lichen along the Pine Tree Trail 1273
120 <strong>Wright's Goldenrod</strong> 
<em>Solidago wrightii</em>
Las Cruces, NM
Oct. 6, 2008

Goldenrods are very difficult to identify, so I hope I'm correct in this one! I found these plants growing along the Pine Tree trail at about 6000' in ele...

Wright's Goldenrod Solidago wrightii Las Cruces, NM Oct. 6, 2008 Goldenrods are very difficult to identify, so I hope I'm correct in this one! I found these plants growing along the Pine Tree trail at about 6000' in ele...

Wright's Goldenrod Solidago wrightii Las Cruces, NM Oct. 6, 2008 Goldenrods are very difficult to identify, so I hope I'm correct in this one! I found these plants growing along the Pine Tree trail at about 6000' in elevation.


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1839
121 <strong>False Boneset</strong>
<em>Brickellia eupatorioides</em> / Aster Family
Las Cruces, NM
Oct. 4, 2008

I found this plant growing along the Pine Tree Trail on the east side of the Organ Mtns.

False Boneset Brickellia eupatorioides / Aster Family Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 I found this plant growing along the Pine Tree Trail on the east side of the Organ Mtns.

False Boneset Brickellia eupatorioides / Aster Family Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 I found this plant growing along the Pine Tree Trail on the east side of the Organ Mtns.


clr: 1-w
1990
122 <strong>New Mexico Alumroot</strong>
<em>Heuchera novomexicana</em>
Las Cruces, NM
Oct. 6, 2008

I was really surprised to find this Alumroot blooming in the desert in October! It was growing among the rocks in a north-facing protected spot high o...

New Mexico Alumroot Heuchera novomexicana Las Cruces, NM Oct. 6, 2008 I was really surprised to find this Alumroot blooming in the desert in October! It was growing among the rocks in a north-facing protected spot high o...

New Mexico Alumroot Heuchera novomexicana Las Cruces, NM Oct. 6, 2008 I was really surprised to find this Alumroot blooming in the desert in October! It was growing among the rocks in a north-facing protected spot high on the Pine Tree trail.


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1873
123 <strong>Slimleaf Limabean</strong>
<em>Phaseolus angustissimus</em> / Pea Family
Las Cruces, NM (Aguirre Springs)
Oct. 6, 2008

We saw lots of these plants growing along the Pine Tree trail.

Slimleaf Limabean Phaseolus angustissimus / Pea Family Las Cruces, NM (Aguirre Springs) Oct. 6, 2008 We saw lots of these plants growing along the Pine Tree trail.

Slimleaf Limabean Phaseolus angustissimus / Pea Family Las Cruces, NM (Aguirre Springs) Oct. 6, 2008 We saw lots of these plants growing along the Pine Tree trail.


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1889
124 <strong>Caltrop seed; Goathead; Puncture Vine</strong>
<em>Tribulus terrestris</em>
Las Cruces, NM
Oct. 4, 2008

This plant has pretty yellow flowers that turn into those nasty, sharp-spiked seeds. Goathead is an enemy of western residents. Fortun...

Caltrop seed; Goathead; Puncture Vine Tribulus terrestris Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 This plant has pretty yellow flowers that turn into those nasty, sharp-spiked seeds. Goathead is an enemy of western residents. Fortun...

Caltrop seed; Goathead; Puncture Vine Tribulus terrestris Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 This plant has pretty yellow flowers that turn into those nasty, sharp-spiked seeds. Goathead is an enemy of western residents. Fortunately, I didn't step on any of these!


clr: 5-y
2392
125 <strong>Caltrop seed; Goathead; Puncture Vine</strong>
<em>Tribulus terrestris</em>
Las Cruces, NM
Oct. 4, 2008

I always try to find a hotel that is located near undeveloped property, those kinds of lots usually have wildflowers (or often, weeds)...

Caltrop seed; Goathead; Puncture Vine Tribulus terrestris Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 I always try to find a hotel that is located near undeveloped property, those kinds of lots usually have wildflowers (or often, weeds)...

Caltrop seed; Goathead; Puncture Vine Tribulus terrestris Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 I always try to find a hotel that is located near undeveloped property, those kinds of lots usually have wildflowers (or often, weeds)! I checked Google Maps when I started looking for a hotel in Las Cruces. The one we stayed in was fairly new and had vacant lots nearby and a wash (dry creekbed) behind it. I found several wildflowers there! This was one I had to beware of though, it has earned each of its common names. The plants grow prostrate on the ground and the bigger ones cover large areas. I learned to keep an eye out for these wicked spiked seeds! I'd hate to step on one of those barefooted! 1496
126 <strong>Desert Willow</strong>
<em>Chilopsis linearis*</em>
Las Cruces, NM
Oct. 4, 2008

Our hotel used many native, and in this case non-native, desert plants for <em>xeriscaping</em> (dry climate landscaping). This Desert Willow was planted near...

Desert Willow Chilopsis linearis* Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 Our hotel used many native, and in this case non-native, desert plants for xeriscaping (dry climate landscaping). This Desert Willow was planted near...

Desert Willow Chilopsis linearis* Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 Our hotel used many native, and in this case non-native, desert plants for xeriscaping (dry climate landscaping). This Desert Willow was planted near one of the parking lots. Native plants do not require much water to survive.


clr: 3-p
1870
127 <strong>Trailing Windmills</strong>
<em>Allionia incarnata</em> / Four O'Clock Family
Las Cruces, NM
Oct. 4, 2008

I found this plant blooming in the wash (dry drainage ditch) behind our hotel. It is a very common plant in the Chihuahuan Desert.

Trailing Windmills Allionia incarnata / Four O'Clock Family Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 I found this plant blooming in the wash (dry drainage ditch) behind our hotel. It is a very common plant in the Chihuahuan Desert.

Trailing Windmills Allionia incarnata / Four O'Clock Family Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 I found this plant blooming in the wash (dry drainage ditch) behind our hotel. It is a very common plant in the Chihuahuan Desert.


clr: 3-p
1760
128 <strong>Globe Mallow</strong><em>Sphaeralcia angustifolia</em>Las Cruces, NMOct. 4, 2008

Globe MallowSphaeralcia angustifoliaLas Cruces, NMOct. 4, 2008

Globe MallowSphaeralcia angustifoliaLas Cruces, NMOct. 4, 2008


clr: 4-o
1905
129 <strong>New Mexico Croton</strong> - male
<em>Croton dioicus</em>
Las Cruces, NM
Oct. 5, 2008

This plant is <em>dioecious</em>, the flowers are either all male (as they are in this case) or they are all female. I found both flowers blooming in th...

New Mexico Croton - male Croton dioicus Las Cruces, NM Oct. 5, 2008 This plant is dioecious, the flowers are either all male (as they are in this case) or they are all female. I found both flowers blooming in th...

New Mexico Croton - male Croton dioicus Las Cruces, NM Oct. 5, 2008 This plant is dioecious, the flowers are either all male (as they are in this case) or they are all female. I found both flowers blooming in the vacant lot on my foray near the hotel.


clr: 6-g
2132
130 <strong>Twinleaf Senna</strong>
<em>Senna bauhinioides</em> / Pea Family
Las Cruces, NM
Oct. 4, 2008

This was another wildflower that I found growing behind the hotel. One of the workers told me there are 3 Roadrunners, and a family of quail that...

Twinleaf Senna Senna bauhinioides / Pea Family Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 This was another wildflower that I found growing behind the hotel. One of the workers told me there are 3 Roadrunners, and a family of quail that...

Twinleaf Senna Senna bauhinioides / Pea Family Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 This was another wildflower that I found growing behind the hotel. One of the workers told me there are 3 Roadrunners, and a family of quail that live back there too.


clr: 5-y
1841
131 <strong>Blue Dalea </strong>
<em>Dalea bicolor bicolor</em> / Pea Family
Las Cruces, NM
Oct. 5, 2008

There was a large earthen dam near our hotel in Las Cruces. I went exploring on the other side of the dam and found this and a couple of other wi...

Blue Dalea Dalea bicolor bicolor / Pea Family Las Cruces, NM Oct. 5, 2008 There was a large earthen dam near our hotel in Las Cruces. I went exploring on the other side of the dam and found this and a couple of other wi...

Blue Dalea Dalea bicolor bicolor / Pea Family Las Cruces, NM Oct. 5, 2008 There was a large earthen dam near our hotel in Las Cruces. I went exploring on the other side of the dam and found this and a couple of other wildflowers. I had to head back shortly afterwards, stormcouds were moving in.


clr: 8-v
1985
132 <strong>Feather Dalea</strong>
<em>Dalea formosa</em> / Pea Family
Las Cruces, NM
Oct. 4, 2008

This was a lovely native shrub that had been planted in many areas around the hotel. I liked the pretty pink, white and yellow flowers.

Feather Dalea Dalea formosa / Pea Family Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 This was a lovely native shrub that had been planted in many areas around the hotel. I liked the pretty pink, white and yellow flowers.

Feather Dalea Dalea formosa / Pea Family Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 This was a lovely native shrub that had been planted in many areas around the hotel. I liked the pretty pink, white and yellow flowers.


clr: 3-p
1998
133 <strong>Crowded Rayweed</strong>
<em>Parthenium confertum</em>
Las Cruces, NM / Aster Family
Oct. 7, 2008

These are weird flowers, the disk flowers (ones in the center) are very tightly packed. The 5 ray flowers look like little mouse ears! In th...

Crowded Rayweed Parthenium confertum Las Cruces, NM / Aster Family Oct. 7, 2008 These are weird flowers, the disk flowers (ones in the center) are very tightly packed. The 5 ray flowers look like little mouse ears! In th...

Crowded Rayweed Parthenium confertum Las Cruces, NM / Aster Family Oct. 7, 2008 These are weird flowers, the disk flowers (ones in the center) are very tightly packed. The 5 ray flowers look like little mouse ears! In the east, we have a similar, related flower called Wild Quinine.


clr: 1-w
1877
134 <strong>Wright's Dalea</strong>
<em>Dalea wrightii</em> / Pea Family
Las Cruces, NM
Oct. 5, 2008

I found this plant after the storm passed. Kenny was "resting his eyes" in the car (a.k.a. taking a nap!), so I took advantage of the time and wander...

Wright's Dalea Dalea wrightii / Pea Family Las Cruces, NM Oct. 5, 2008 I found this plant after the storm passed. Kenny was "resting his eyes" in the car (a.k.a. taking a nap!), so I took advantage of the time and wander...

Wright's Dalea Dalea wrightii / Pea Family Las Cruces, NM Oct. 5, 2008 I found this plant after the storm passed. Kenny was "resting his eyes" in the car (a.k.a. taking a nap!), so I took advantage of the time and wandered around looking for whatever the desert had to offer! This was a small plant, I nearly overlooked it.


clr: 5-y
1988
135 <strong>Dagger Bindweed</strong>
<em>Convolvulus equitans</em> / Morning Glory Family
Las Cruces, NM
Oct. 7, 2008

These flowers were beginning to close by the time I found them. I was surprised to see how many different kinds of morning glories I...

Dagger Bindweed Convolvulus equitans / Morning Glory Family Las Cruces, NM Oct. 7, 2008 These flowers were beginning to close by the time I found them. I was surprised to see how many different kinds of morning glories I...

Dagger Bindweed Convolvulus equitans / Morning Glory Family Las Cruces, NM Oct. 7, 2008 These flowers were beginning to close by the time I found them. I was surprised to see how many different kinds of morning glories I saw in bloom as we hiked the trails at Dripping Springs Natural Area.


clr: 3-p
1783
136 <strong>Many Flowered Blazingstar; Adonis Blazingstar; Desert Stickleaf</strong>
<em>Mentzelia multiflora</em> / Stickleaf Family
Las Cruces, NM
Oct. 6, 2008

I tried 3 days to catch this flower in bloom. It seems to have a very short blooming tim...

Many Flowered Blazingstar; Adonis Blazingstar; Desert Stickleaf Mentzelia multiflora / Stickleaf Family Las Cruces, NM Oct. 6, 2008 I tried 3 days to catch this flower in bloom. It seems to have a very short blooming tim...

Many Flowered Blazingstar; Adonis Blazingstar; Desert Stickleaf Mentzelia multiflora / Stickleaf Family Las Cruces, NM Oct. 6, 2008 I tried 3 days to catch this flower in bloom. It seems to have a very short blooming time. I finally got it around 5 PM.


clr: 5-y
1820
137 <strong>Devil's Claw; Unicorn Plant</strong>
<em>Proboscidea louisianica</em>
Las Cruces, NM
Oct. 5, 2008

This plant was not in bloom, but it had its interesting seed pods. Later, when the pods are ripe, they will split open so they can get caugh...

Devil's Claw; Unicorn Plant Proboscidea louisianica Las Cruces, NM Oct. 5, 2008 This plant was not in bloom, but it had its interesting seed pods. Later, when the pods are ripe, they will split open so they can get caugh...

Devil's Claw; Unicorn Plant Proboscidea louisianica Las Cruces, NM Oct. 5, 2008 This plant was not in bloom, but it had its interesting seed pods. Later, when the pods are ripe, they will split open so they can get caught on animals' legs. I hope to one day see the plant in bloom. 1778
138 This is a view of the west side of the Organ Mountains. We drove on Baylor Canyon Road to get to Dripping Springs Natural Area.

This is a view of the west side of the Organ Mountains. We drove on Baylor Canyon Road to get to Dripping Springs Natural Area.

This is a view of the west side of the Organ Mountains. We drove on Baylor Canyon Road to get to Dripping Springs Natural Area. 1143
139 We had to stop and see this windmill as we drove to Dripping Springs. The wind's energy is used to pump ground water which is stored in these huge truck tires. There are lots of free-range cattle in the area that drink the water, along with deer and ot...

We had to stop and see this windmill as we drove to Dripping Springs. The wind's energy is used to pump ground water which is stored in these huge truck tires. There are lots of free-range cattle in the area that drink the water, along with deer and ot...

We had to stop and see this windmill as we drove to Dripping Springs. The wind's energy is used to pump ground water which is stored in these huge truck tires. There are lots of free-range cattle in the area that drink the water, along with deer and other wild animals. 1073
140 On our last day in Las Cruces we visited Dripping Springs Natural Area. It is a park on the west side of the Organ Mountains. It took quite a while to get to this point, we kept getting distracted by beautiful views, a windmill, wildflowers, and 2 tara...

On our last day in Las Cruces we visited Dripping Springs Natural Area. It is a park on the west side of the Organ Mountains. It took quite a while to get to this point, we kept getting distracted by beautiful views, a windmill, wildflowers, and 2 tara...

On our last day in Las Cruces we visited Dripping Springs Natural Area. It is a park on the west side of the Organ Mountains. It took quite a while to get to this point, we kept getting distracted by beautiful views, a windmill, wildflowers, and 2 tarantulas! map... 1175
141 These Fire Danger signs are common sights in the western states. It was nice to see this one in the green, low zone. :)

These Fire Danger signs are common sights in the western states. It was nice to see this one in the green, low zone. :)

These Fire Danger signs are common sights in the western states. It was nice to see this one in the green, low zone. :) 1120
142 <strong>Spreading Four O'clock</strong>
<em>Mirabilis oxybaphoides</em> / Four O'clock Family
Las Cruces, NM (Dripping Springs NA)

There are several different species of Four O'clocks in southern New Mexico. This one grew low to the ground, much l...

Spreading Four O'clock Mirabilis oxybaphoides / Four O'clock Family Las Cruces, NM (Dripping Springs NA) There are several different species of Four O'clocks in southern New Mexico. This one grew low to the ground, much l...

Spreading Four O'clock Mirabilis oxybaphoides / Four O'clock Family Las Cruces, NM (Dripping Springs NA) There are several different species of Four O'clocks in southern New Mexico. This one grew low to the ground, much like a vine. It had heart-shaped leaves.


clr: 3-p
1613
143 Dripping Springs was a resort in the late 1800's, a slightly cooler area than the lower-lying Las Cruces and El Paso. Later it was used as a tuberculosis sanitorium until the mid-1900's. These livery ruins and a few other buildings are all that are lef...

Dripping Springs was a resort in the late 1800's, a slightly cooler area than the lower-lying Las Cruces and El Paso. Later it was used as a tuberculosis sanitorium until the mid-1900's. These livery ruins and a few other buildings are all that are lef...

Dripping Springs was a resort in the late 1800's, a slightly cooler area than the lower-lying Las Cruces and El Paso. Later it was used as a tuberculosis sanitorium until the mid-1900's. These livery ruins and a few other buildings are all that are left to show that this was once a thriving area. The name Dripping Springs comes from a spring that drips over the rocks on the side of the mountain. There wasn't much water the day we were there. 1044
144 <strong>Common Sunflower</strong>
<em>Helianthus annuus</em>
Las Cruces, NM
Oct. 7, 2008

This plant is quite common in the west. I saw it along highways and trailsides, in the desert and high in the mountains. I walked through grass and plants up...

Common Sunflower Helianthus annuus Las Cruces, NM Oct. 7, 2008 This plant is quite common in the west. I saw it along highways and trailsides, in the desert and high in the mountains. I walked through grass and plants up...

Common Sunflower Helianthus annuus Las Cruces, NM Oct. 7, 2008 This plant is quite common in the west. I saw it along highways and trailsides, in the desert and high in the mountains. I walked through grass and plants up to my thighs along the Dripping Springs trail in the Organ Mtns. to get this photo. Seed-eating birds love these flowers in the fall!


clr: 5-y
1721
145 We had noticed these Bluewinged Grasshoppers flying along the trail as we hiked at Dripping Springs. It was the most "grasshoppery" place I have ever seen! We watched this one fly and watched where it landed so we could catch it. Shelly caught it and K...

We had noticed these Bluewinged Grasshoppers flying along the trail as we hiked at Dripping Springs. It was the most "grasshoppery" place I have ever seen! We watched this one fly and watched where it landed so we could catch it. Shelly caught it and K...

We had noticed these Bluewinged Grasshoppers flying along the trail as we hiked at Dripping Springs. It was the most "grasshoppery" place I have ever seen! We watched this one fly and watched where it landed so we could catch it. Shelly caught it and Kenny held it so I could photograph it. Wow, what a striking wing pattern it had! 1234
146 The Bluewinged Grasshopper was not happy about being caught and having the indignity of having its wings spread! It let Kenny know its displeasure too! Note the drops of "tobacco juice", the defensive liquid, that it spit on his fingers!

The Bluewinged Grasshopper was not happy about being caught and having the indignity of having its wings spread! It let Kenny know its displeasure too! Note the drops of "tobacco juice", the defensive liquid, that it spit on his fingers!

The Bluewinged Grasshopper was not happy about being caught and having the indignity of having its wings spread! It let Kenny know its displeasure too! Note the drops of "tobacco juice", the defensive liquid, that it spit on his fingers! 1126
147 Many of the rocks in the Organ Mountains were covered with colorful lichens. They were often growing on the northern side of the rocks where they receive a little less sun and retain a little more moisture. These organisms are <u>not</u> plants, they a...

Many of the rocks in the Organ Mountains were covered with colorful lichens. They were often growing on the northern side of the rocks where they receive a little less sun and retain a little more moisture. These organisms are not plants, they a...

Many of the rocks in the Organ Mountains were covered with colorful lichens. They were often growing on the northern side of the rocks where they receive a little less sun and retain a little more moisture. These organisms are not plants, they are a symbiotic combination of fungi and algae (the fungi give the organism its shape and store water, the algal cells photosynthesize and produce food for the organism. Lichens produce mild acids that help break down rock and eventually make new soil. 1028
148 <strong>Eastern Collared Lizard</strong>
<em>Crotaphytus collaris collaris</em>
Las Cruces, NM
Oct. 7, 2008

During one of the rare times that I was in the lead on our hike at Dripping Springs, I noticed this beautiful lizard on the trail. I had m...

Eastern Collared Lizard Crotaphytus collaris collaris Las Cruces, NM Oct. 7, 2008 During one of the rare times that I was in the lead on our hike at Dripping Springs, I noticed this beautiful lizard on the trail. I had m...

Eastern Collared Lizard Crotaphytus collaris collaris Las Cruces, NM Oct. 7, 2008 During one of the rare times that I was in the lead on our hike at Dripping Springs, I noticed this beautiful lizard on the trail. I had my macro lens on my camera, not the best choice of lenses for this situation. However, I was afraid if I had to take time to change it the lizard might run off. So, I took a photo and then moved a little closer. Amazingly, this guy allowed me to get within a couple of feet, so I was able to get some really good shots before he ran off to a hole under a rock. 1086
149 This view of the Eastern Collared Lizard shows the vivid details of his scales, claws and even his fringed "eyelashes". It was such a thrill to get to see this fabulous animal!

This view of the Eastern Collared Lizard shows the vivid details of his scales, claws and even his fringed "eyelashes". It was such a thrill to get to see this fabulous animal!

This view of the Eastern Collared Lizard shows the vivid details of his scales, claws and even his fringed "eyelashes". It was such a thrill to get to see this fabulous animal! 1024
150 <strong>Ornate Tree Lizard</strong>
<em>Urosaurus ornatus</em>
Las Cruces, NM
Oct. 4, 2008

Wow, talk about great camouflage! This little lizard blended in perfectly on the rocks of the Organ Mountains. We saw another one on a tree limb and it was...

Ornate Tree Lizard Urosaurus ornatus Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 Wow, talk about great camouflage! This little lizard blended in perfectly on the rocks of the Organ Mountains. We saw another one on a tree limb and it was...

Ornate Tree Lizard Urosaurus ornatus Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 Wow, talk about great camouflage! This little lizard blended in perfectly on the rocks of the Organ Mountains. We saw another one on a tree limb and it was very hard to see. 1273
151 <strong>Mariola</strong>
<em>Parthenium incanum</em>
Las Cruces, NM
Oct. 7, 2008

This is closely related to the Crowded Rayweed. Like many other desert plants, it has silvery-gray leaves adapted to  harsh light and heat conditions.

Mariola Parthenium incanum Las Cruces, NM Oct. 7, 2008 This is closely related to the Crowded Rayweed. Like many other desert plants, it has silvery-gray leaves adapted to harsh light and heat conditions.

Mariola Parthenium incanum Las Cruces, NM Oct. 7, 2008 This is closely related to the Crowded Rayweed. Like many other desert plants, it has silvery-gray leaves adapted to harsh light and heat conditions.


clr: 1-w
1685
152 <strong>Crestrib Morning Glory</strong>
<em>Ipomoea costellata</em>
Las Cruces, NM
Oct. 7, 2008

This was one of 4 different kinds of Morning Glories that I saw at Dripping Springs Natural Area. This one had much smaller flowers than the Dagger Bi...

Crestrib Morning Glory Ipomoea costellata Las Cruces, NM Oct. 7, 2008 This was one of 4 different kinds of Morning Glories that I saw at Dripping Springs Natural Area. This one had much smaller flowers than the Dagger Bi...

Crestrib Morning Glory Ipomoea costellata Las Cruces, NM Oct. 7, 2008 This was one of 4 different kinds of Morning Glories that I saw at Dripping Springs Natural Area. This one had much smaller flowers than the Dagger Bindweed.


clr: 3-p
1695
153 <strong>Scarlet Morning Glory; Scarlet Creeper</strong>
<em>Ipomoea coccinea</em>
Las Cruces, NM
Oct. 7, 2008

I liked seeing these bright red Morning Glories blooming with the blue variety,it made a striking combination.

Scarlet Morning Glory; Scarlet Creeper Ipomoea coccinea Las Cruces, NM Oct. 7, 2008 I liked seeing these bright red Morning Glories blooming with the blue variety,it made a striking combination.

Scarlet Morning Glory; Scarlet Creeper Ipomoea coccinea Las Cruces, NM Oct. 7, 2008 I liked seeing these bright red Morning Glories blooming with the blue variety,it made a striking combination.


clr: 2-r
1865
154 <strong>Heart-leafed Morning Glory</strong>
<em>Ipomoea cardiophylla</em>
Las Cruces, NM
Oct. 7, 2008

The species name <em>cardiophylla</em> means "heart-leafed". These flowers looked pretty along with the small red-flowered morning glories.

Heart-leafed Morning Glory Ipomoea cardiophylla Las Cruces, NM Oct. 7, 2008 The species name cardiophylla means "heart-leafed". These flowers looked pretty along with the small red-flowered morning glories.

Heart-leafed Morning Glory Ipomoea cardiophylla Las Cruces, NM Oct. 7, 2008 The species name cardiophylla means "heart-leafed". These flowers looked pretty along with the small red-flowered morning glories.


clr: 7-b
1819
155 <strong>Mountain Mahogany seeds</strong>

I was fascinated by the interesting shapes of the seeds of this shrub. The coils and the small hairs help the seeds
spread away from the plant.

Mountain Mahogany seeds I was fascinated by the interesting shapes of the seeds of this shrub. The coils and the small hairs help the seeds spread away from the plant.

Mountain Mahogany seeds I was fascinated by the interesting shapes of the seeds of this shrub. The coils and the small hairs help the seeds spread away from the plant. 1281
156 <strong>Mule Deer bucks</strong>
<em>Odocoileus hemionus</em>
Las Cruces, NM
Oct. 7, 2008

I had walked up the hill behind the livery ruins at Dripping Springs. As I was getting ready to change lenses on my camera I heard the sound of something la...

Mule Deer bucks Odocoileus hemionus Las Cruces, NM Oct. 7, 2008 I had walked up the hill behind the livery ruins at Dripping Springs. As I was getting ready to change lenses on my camera I heard the sound of something la...

Mule Deer bucks Odocoileus hemionus Las Cruces, NM Oct. 7, 2008 I had walked up the hill behind the livery ruins at Dripping Springs. As I was getting ready to change lenses on my camera I heard the sound of something large walking nearby. I tried not to panic because there are bears and mountain lions in that area. Whew, what a relief it was to see three handsome mule deer bucks (only 2 are visible in this photo). They walked up the ridge nearby and stopped to take a look at me before disappearing into the canyon. What a lucky encounter that was! :) 1785
157 <strong>Orange Stringbean</strong>
<em>Macroptilium gibbosifolium</em>
Las Cruces, NM (Dripping Springs)
Oct. 7, 2008

I spotted this flower growing along the trail up to Dripping Springs. I was surprised to see the long stem that the flower was a...

Orange Stringbean Macroptilium gibbosifolium Las Cruces, NM (Dripping Springs) Oct. 7, 2008 I spotted this flower growing along the trail up to Dripping Springs. I was surprised to see the long stem that the flower was a...

Orange Stringbean Macroptilium gibbosifolium Las Cruces, NM (Dripping Springs) Oct. 7, 2008 I spotted this flower growing along the trail up to Dripping Springs. I was surprised to see the long stem that the flower was attached to. Our last hike of the trip turned out to be great for wildflowers!


clr: 4-o
1721
158 <strong>Painted Leaf</strong>
<em>Euphorbia cyathophora</em> / Spurge Family
Las Cruces, NM (Dripping Springs)
Oct. 7, 2008

These plants were growing near the springs; they are related to the Christmas Poinsettia.

Painted Leaf Euphorbia cyathophora / Spurge Family Las Cruces, NM (Dripping Springs) Oct. 7, 2008 These plants were growing near the springs; they are related to the Christmas Poinsettia.

Painted Leaf Euphorbia cyathophora / Spurge Family Las Cruces, NM (Dripping Springs) Oct. 7, 2008 These plants were growing near the springs; they are related to the Christmas Poinsettia.


clr: 6-g
1753
159 I don't know if this bug is eating the <strong>Prickly Pear fruit</strong>, but it would make a good snack for a hungry insect. We found one that had fallen to the ground and broke it open. I had always wondered what the fruit tastes like and I finally...

I don't know if this bug is eating the Prickly Pear fruit, but it would make a good snack for a hungry insect. We found one that had fallen to the ground and broke it open. I had always wondered what the fruit tastes like and I finally...

I don't know if this bug is eating the Prickly Pear fruit, but it would make a good snack for a hungry insect. We found one that had fallen to the ground and broke it open. I had always wondered what the fruit tastes like and I finally got to find out. I had to be very careful to hold it where there were no glochids, the tiny brown prickles. I scraped the dark pink pulp out with my teeth. Unfortunately, it was chock-full of seeds, so I didn't get to eat much of it. I guess I helped spread some more cactus when I spit the seeds out on the ground! The Native Americans once ate these fruits and they are still eaten by many animals. 1169
160 <strong>Creeping Spiderling</strong>
<em>Boerhaavia spicata</em> / Four O'clock Family
Las Cruces, NM 
Oct. 4, 2008

I found this plant growing in the wash behind the hotel. It has very tiny flowers.

Creeping Spiderling Boerhaavia spicata / Four O'clock Family Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 I found this plant growing in the wash behind the hotel. It has very tiny flowers.

Creeping Spiderling Boerhaavia spicata / Four O'clock Family Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 I found this plant growing in the wash behind the hotel. It has very tiny flowers.


clr: 8-v
1633
161 <strong>Linear-leaf or Narrowleaf Four O'Clock</strong>
<em>Mirabilis linearis</em>
Las Cruces, NM (Dripping Springs)
Oct. 7, 2008

These Four O'Clocks had stalks with little bright pink flowers. They were common along the trails at Dripping Springs.

Linear-leaf or Narrowleaf Four O'Clock Mirabilis linearis Las Cruces, NM (Dripping Springs) Oct. 7, 2008 These Four O'Clocks had stalks with little bright pink flowers. They were common along the trails at Dripping Springs.

Linear-leaf or Narrowleaf Four O'Clock Mirabilis linearis Las Cruces, NM (Dripping Springs) Oct. 7, 2008 These Four O'Clocks had stalks with little bright pink flowers. They were common along the trails at Dripping Springs.


clr: 3-p
1707
162 <strong>Western Spiderwort </strong>
<em>Tradescantia occidentalis</em>
Las Cruces, NM (Pine Tree trail)
Oct. 4, 2008

Western Spiderwort Tradescantia occidentalis Las Cruces, NM (Pine Tree trail) Oct. 4, 2008

Western Spiderwort Tradescantia occidentalis Las Cruces, NM (Pine Tree trail) Oct. 4, 2008


clr: 8-v
1808
163 <strong>Wooten's Spurge </strong>
<em>Euphorbia bifurcata</em> / Spurge Family
Las Cruces, NM (Aguirre Springs)
Oct. 6, 2008

This was one of three different kinds of Euphorbias that I saw while hiking in the Organ Mountains. This plant liked livi...

Wooten's Spurge Euphorbia bifurcata / Spurge Family Las Cruces, NM (Aguirre Springs) Oct. 6, 2008 This was one of three different kinds of Euphorbias that I saw while hiking in the Organ Mountains. This plant liked livi...

Wooten's Spurge Euphorbia bifurcata / Spurge Family Las Cruces, NM (Aguirre Springs) Oct. 6, 2008 This was one of three different kinds of Euphorbias that I saw while hiking in the Organ Mountains. This plant liked living in the more moist conditions in shade near the creek.


clr: 6-g
1760
164 <strong>Starwort</strong>
<em>Stellaria longipes</em> / Pink Family
Las Cruces, NM (Aguirre Springs)
Oct. 6, 2008

This is a woodland version of Chickweed. It grew on the heavily shaded, north side of the Pine Tree Trail. (That's why I had to use ...

Starwort Stellaria longipes / Pink Family Las Cruces, NM (Aguirre Springs) Oct. 6, 2008 This is a woodland version of Chickweed. It grew on the heavily shaded, north side of the Pine Tree Trail. (That's why I had to use ...

Starwort Stellaria longipes / Pink Family Las Cruces, NM (Aguirre Springs) Oct. 6, 2008 This is a woodland version of Chickweed. It grew on the heavily shaded, north side of the Pine Tree Trail. (That's why I had to use my flash to get this photo!)


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165 <strong>Desert Tarantula</strong>
<em>Aphonopelma chalcodes</em>
Las Cruces, NM (Organ Mountains)
Oct. 7, 2008

Our last day in New Mexico was quite exciting! As we were hiking along a trail at Dripping Springs, something caught my eye moving in t...

Desert Tarantula Aphonopelma chalcodes Las Cruces, NM (Organ Mountains) Oct. 7, 2008 Our last day in New Mexico was quite exciting! As we were hiking along a trail at Dripping Springs, something caught my eye moving in t...

Desert Tarantula Aphonopelma chalcodes Las Cruces, NM (Organ Mountains) Oct. 7, 2008 Our last day in New Mexico was quite exciting! As we were hiking along a trail at Dripping Springs, something caught my eye moving in the grass, it was this huge tarantula! We gently coaxed it onto the trail so I could get a photo. More than likely, this is a large male who was out searching for a female. We saw four tarantulas that day, this was the largest at nearly the size of my hand. Many people are freaked out about such large spiders (and in some cases, even small spiders!), but they are fascinating to observe at a comfortable distance. Despite their size, tarantulas are not dangerous, their venomous bite is comparable to a wasp or bee sting. These 2 links give interesting information about Tarantulas: tarantula information and more tarantula info 1465
166 The Tarantula gave Kenny quite a bit of excitement when it ran up the outside of his pants! He had put his foot in front of it to slow it down so I could get a photo and the spider just kept going! :-0

The Tarantula gave Kenny quite a bit of excitement when it ran up the outside of his pants! He had put his foot in front of it to slow it down so I could get a photo and the spider just kept going! :-0

The Tarantula gave Kenny quite a bit of excitement when it ran up the outside of his pants! He had put his foot in front of it to slow it down so I could get a photo and the spider just kept going! :-0 2617
167 <strong>Rose's Tickclover</strong>
<em>Desmodium rosei</em> / Pea Family
Las Cruces, NM (Organ Mountains)
Oct. 4, 2008

This plant grew very thickly in the fields at the base of the Organ Mountains. I seemed to be a "magnet" for sticky seeds, afte...

Rose's Tickclover Desmodium rosei / Pea Family Las Cruces, NM (Organ Mountains) Oct. 4, 2008 This plant grew very thickly in the fields at the base of the Organ Mountains. I seemed to be a "magnet" for sticky seeds, afte...

Rose's Tickclover Desmodium rosei / Pea Family Las Cruces, NM (Organ Mountains) Oct. 4, 2008 This plant grew very thickly in the fields at the base of the Organ Mountains. I seemed to be a "magnet" for sticky seeds, after each hike I had to pull many seeds off my pants and bootlaces. The coverings of the seeds have tiny Velcro-like hooks that stick to fabric or animals' fur.


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168 One evening while I was checking wildflower lists on the internet downstairs, this fat toad hopped through the open door into the hotel lobby! The desk clerk told me there has even been a Roadrunner that has paid them a quick visit!

One evening while I was checking wildflower lists on the internet downstairs, this fat toad hopped through the open door into the hotel lobby! The desk clerk told me there has even been a Roadrunner that has paid them a quick visit!

One evening while I was checking wildflower lists on the internet downstairs, this fat toad hopped through the open door into the hotel lobby! The desk clerk told me there has even been a Roadrunner that has paid them a quick visit! 1080
169 <strong>Red-spotted Toad </strong>
<em>Bufo punctatus</em>
Las Cruces, NM (Organ Mountains)
Oct. 4, 2008

This little guy did not cooperate very well, he did not stay still long enough for me to get a good picture. It always seems strange to see a...

Red-spotted Toad Bufo punctatus Las Cruces, NM (Organ Mountains) Oct. 4, 2008 This little guy did not cooperate very well, he did not stay still long enough for me to get a good picture. It always seems strange to see a...

Red-spotted Toad Bufo punctatus Las Cruces, NM (Organ Mountains) Oct. 4, 2008 This little guy did not cooperate very well, he did not stay still long enough for me to get a good picture. It always seems strange to see amphibians in the desert! There was a stream nearby where the toads could lay their eggs. 1372
170 <strong>Tumbleweed; Russian Thistle flowers</strong>
<em>Salsola tragus*</em>
Las Cruces, NM
Oct. 4, 2008

This is a close-up of the male flowers of the Tumbleweed. This non-native plant has become a pest in many parts of the western US. The dried...

Tumbleweed; Russian Thistle flowers Salsola tragus* Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 This is a close-up of the male flowers of the Tumbleweed. This non-native plant has become a pest in many parts of the western US. The dried...

Tumbleweed; Russian Thistle flowers Salsola tragus* Las Cruces, NM Oct. 4, 2008 This is a close-up of the male flowers of the Tumbleweed. This non-native plant has become a pest in many parts of the western US. The dried plants break off and blow in the wind, spreading their gazillion seeds as they tumble across the desert. Tumbleweeds can grow quite large and cause problems when they pile up along fence rows or near culverts. A few years ago, a woman was trapped in her house when hundreds of tumbleweeds piled up against her doors!


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171 <strong>Wirelettuce; Desert Straw</strong>
<em>Stephanomeria pauciflora</em>
Las Cruces, NM (Dripping Springs NA)
Oct. 7, 2008

This is a common western wildflower, I have seen it in during our trips to Colorado and Utah.

Wirelettuce; Desert Straw Stephanomeria pauciflora Las Cruces, NM (Dripping Springs NA) Oct. 7, 2008 This is a common western wildflower, I have seen it in during our trips to Colorado and Utah.

Wirelettuce; Desert Straw Stephanomeria pauciflora Las Cruces, NM (Dripping Springs NA) Oct. 7, 2008 This is a common western wildflower, I have seen it in during our trips to Colorado and Utah.


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172 <strong>Broad-tailed hummingbird</strong> - female
<em>Selasphorus platycercus</em>
Las Cruces, NM
Oct. 7, 2008

These little beauties were feeding at the nectar feeders at the Dripping Springs Natural Area visitor center. Hummingbirds are quite f...

Broad-tailed hummingbird - female Selasphorus platycercus Las Cruces, NM Oct. 7, 2008 These little beauties were feeding at the nectar feeders at the Dripping Springs Natural Area visitor center. Hummingbirds are quite f...

Broad-tailed hummingbird - female Selasphorus platycercus Las Cruces, NM Oct. 7, 2008 These little beauties were feeding at the nectar feeders at the Dripping Springs Natural Area visitor center. Hummingbirds are quite feisty for their small size, it seems they spend more time and energy chasing other hummers away than they do eating! I used my 300mm telephoto lens and the camera's flash to get this photo. 1189
173 I liked the curls I saw on the edges of the Yucca leaves. The Native Americans found many uses for these fibers. Sometimes yucca is called "Needle and Thread" because the sharp tip at the end can be broken off, pulled down to include the fiber and used...

I liked the curls I saw on the edges of the Yucca leaves. The Native Americans found many uses for these fibers. Sometimes yucca is called "Needle and Thread" because the sharp tip at the end can be broken off, pulled down to include the fiber and used...

I liked the curls I saw on the edges of the Yucca leaves. The Native Americans found many uses for these fibers. Sometimes yucca is called "Needle and Thread" because the sharp tip at the end can be broken off, pulled down to include the fiber and used for sewing. 1196
174 <strong>Western Diamondback Rattlesnake</strong>
<em>Crotalus atrox</em>
Las Cruces, NM 
Oct. 7, 2008

Our last day of the trip turned out to be the most exciting of the entire week with the sighting of the tarantulas, hummingbirds, the Collared L...

Western Diamondback Rattlesnake Crotalus atrox Las Cruces, NM Oct. 7, 2008 Our last day of the trip turned out to be the most exciting of the entire week with the sighting of the tarantulas, hummingbirds, the Collared L...

Western Diamondback Rattlesnake Crotalus atrox Las Cruces, NM Oct. 7, 2008 Our last day of the trip turned out to be the most exciting of the entire week with the sighting of the tarantulas, hummingbirds, the Collared Lizard and then, last but not least, this guy! Earlier in the week we had lamented that we had not seen a rattlesnake or any other snakes (except a little dead one smashed on the road) during our trip. We wanted to see a rattlesnake, but on our terms, in a safe situation. On the last day of our trip as we were driving down the graveled part of Baylor Canyon Road, after our hike at Dripping Springs, I yelled, "Snake!" Kenny skidded to a stop right over the snake and I hoped we hadn't hit it. We piled out of the car and saw a highly agitated Western Diamondback Rattlesnake coiled in a strike position in the middle of the road. I was glad I had my 300mm telephoto lens attached to my camera so I could get my pictures at a safe distance! It was amazing to hear the snake rattle as it intently watched us. Although these snakes can grow up to 7 feet in length, this one was about 3 feet long. If it had been much bigger we would have not skidded over it, we would have hit it. Many people have an intense hatred for snakes, especially venomous ones like this, but these animals have an important place in their habitat and should be allowed to live undisturbed. Rattlesnakes help keep the rodent population under control. map... 7278
175 <strong>Wild Four O'clock; Colorado Four O'clock</strong>
<em>Mirabilis multiflora</em>
Las Cruces, NM
Oct. 3, 2008

This flower was growing in my cousin's yard, so I didn't have to work very hard to get this photo! :) As their common name indicat...

Wild Four O'clock; Colorado Four O'clock Mirabilis multiflora Las Cruces, NM Oct. 3, 2008 This flower was growing in my cousin's yard, so I didn't have to work very hard to get this photo! :) As their common name indicat...

Wild Four O'clock; Colorado Four O'clock Mirabilis multiflora Las Cruces, NM Oct. 3, 2008 This flower was growing in my cousin's yard, so I didn't have to work very hard to get this photo! :) As their common name indicates, many of these flowers bloom late in the afternoon.


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176 I sure got a surprise when I looked down into an Agave plant while hiking at Dripping Springs, each stiff, spiky leaf had one of these bugs on it! They must have a very strong mouthpart to be able to pierce the tough outer layer of the leaves.

I sure got a surprise when I looked down into an Agave plant while hiking at Dripping Springs, each stiff, spiky leaf had one of these bugs on it! They must have a very strong mouthpart to be able to pierce the tough outer layer of the leaves.

I sure got a surprise when I looked down into an Agave plant while hiking at Dripping Springs, each stiff, spiky leaf had one of these bugs on it! They must have a very strong mouthpart to be able to pierce the tough outer layer of the leaves. 1164
177 These bugs were on nearly every leaf of this Agave plant!

These bugs were on nearly every leaf of this Agave plant!

These bugs were on nearly every leaf of this Agave plant! 1250
178 <strong>Coulter's Wrinklefruit</strong>
<em>Tetraclea coulteri</em> / Verbena Family
October 3, 2008
Las Cruces, NM

This flower had me stumped! I looked in all my books and on university wildflower websites to no avail. I found it growing in an e...

Coulter's Wrinklefruit Tetraclea coulteri / Verbena Family October 3, 2008 Las Cruces, NM This flower had me stumped! I looked in all my books and on university wildflower websites to no avail. I found it growing in an e...

Coulter's Wrinklefruit Tetraclea coulteri / Verbena Family October 3, 2008 Las Cruces, NM This flower had me stumped! I looked in all my books and on university wildflower websites to no avail. I found it growing in an empty lot near the hotel in Las Cruces. Thanks to Dick Larson, who came across this photo and emailed me to tell me what it is!


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179 As we were driving back to the El Paso airport on the interstate from Las Cruces, Kenny rolled down the windows to get some fresh air. We sure got a surprise when we got a whiff of the "aroma" of thousands of dairy cows near Anthony, TX! We passed seve...

As we were driving back to the El Paso airport on the interstate from Las Cruces, Kenny rolled down the windows to get some fresh air. We sure got a surprise when we got a whiff of the "aroma" of thousands of dairy cows near Anthony, TX! We passed seve...

As we were driving back to the El Paso airport on the interstate from Las Cruces, Kenny rolled down the windows to get some fresh air. We sure got a surprise when we got a whiff of the "aroma" of thousands of dairy cows near Anthony, TX! We passed several of these feed lots as we drove south. 1501

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