Porcupine Promenade

We got out late last night for a walk under the stars after putting up our third sack of green chiles, making power bars, and doing various other chores that took up all of our daylight hours. A few hundred feet before the bridge that we use to cross the clearwater ditch, I saw what looked like a weed moving ahead of us. I shined my flashlight on it, and, as I suspected, it was Porky, a very large porcupine, waddling along on its way to cross the bridge ahead of us. I pulled out my phone to see if I could get a video, but by the time I got the phone convinced to take a video in the dark, Porky had crossed the bridged and headed down into the cottonwoods between the clearwater ditch and the irrigation ditch. I managed to get a short, 15 second video of Porky waddling into the undergrowth by a large cottonwood.  I assembled and arranged a short piece of music for Porky’s promenade.

The photos below are an assortment of critters and fall colors.

Green Red Car

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I have a “green” red sports car that really rocks. On the first full tank of gas, of mostly in-town driving, my MX-5 averaged 37.7 miles per gallon over 304.5 miles. I think that is a very respectable average MPG , but I thought I would get some reactions from a few of our local critters. Silver was unimpressed and couldn’t be bothered from his nap to say one way or the other what he thought about it. Surprisingly, however, the jumping spiders got very excited about it, as did a beetle.

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Mouse over the critters to see what they had to say.

Many Sides of a Buckeye Butterfly

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I was out digging up elm trees, pruning roses, and fixing one of the drip systems in the wee hours of the morning. While walking between my different tasks, I noticed a few Buckeye Butterflies feeding on the little morning glories growing in the mulch. I grabbed my camera, and followed one around as it flew from one morning glory to another.

It didn’t open its wings other than to fly or do quick flutters to catch its balance against a sudden breeze. I had to catch it in flight or while it was catching it’s balance to get photos of it with its wings open, so there is movement in some of the shots.

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Wildflowers @ 11,000 Feet

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With it 100º F (37.8º C) at our house, we hopped in the Mazda Miata MX-5, put the top down and headed for the hills — well Sandia Crest at 11,000 feet (3352.8 meters) above sea level. The drive to the top was a blast as the MX-5 hugged the corners well above the posted speed limit. We could see the clouds swirling above us, and hear the birds singing with the top down, as rounded one hairpin turn after another on our way to the top. Once at the top of the Crest, the temperature was 55º F (12.8º C) with drizzling rain and cold wind. Quite a contrast from the sunny, hot valley below. We walked around on the mountain top and noticed there were lots of wild flowers blooming.

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