We are headed to San Diego for the Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association Conference. We drove through the Salt River Canyon at sunset on the way to Globe, AZ.
We had a clear morning, not a cloud in sight, for the second day of the 48th Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Balloons launched in a mass ascension, but there was no wind to speak of, so the balloons hung over the balloon field for a couple of hours.
This pink flamingo boat is what I believe to be the first special shape boat to be on the Rio Grande during the balloon fiesta. Kayakers, canoeists, and paddle boarders paddled, floated and shoved their way through the shallows of the Rio Grande as they watched the balloons.
My neighbor texted me that there were buzzards (Turkey Vultures) in the dead cottonwood a couple of properties south of us. There were still four hanging out in the tree sunning themselves and watching the balloons when I got there. Three flew off soon after I arrived, while the one remaining buzzard shook the dust out of its feathers and settled in to watch what was going on below.
We had thunderstorms coming in from all directions this afternoon. The thunderstorm that built up over the Sandias was the most dramatic. While out on a walk before the storms, I encountered a little bit of wildlife.
This video of the Great Purple Hairstreak Butterfly shows how it moves the flanges on the ends of its wings while it feeds. I assume it’s to fool predators into going after the flanges on its wings, giving it a chance to escape.
Thunderstorm activity to the north.
If you haven’t brushed up on your geography lately, a watershed is an area where runoff collects into streams that drain into a river basin or particular body of water. In this example of an urban watershed, it occurs in a corner of the parking structure under the stairs. The urine runoff from the walls, and dark corner, collect into streams that drain into a big barf basin that is replenished by people who drink too much alcohol, or people having withdrawals, or people walking by who puke from the rancid smell of the urine streams. I’ve read that urban watersheds such as this have become much more common in urban landscapes across the country.