The balloonists were splashing and dashing in the Rio Grande before sunrise this morning, and continued until well after sunrise. There were soft breezes moving the balloons very slowly near the water. I doubled the speed of the video to make it easier to watch. The last 10 seconds of the video was recorded yesterday. It shows how the balloons move different directions at slightly different altitudes. They call the wind directions changing every 100 feet or so “The Box” and the box makes if very easy to navigate balloons in this part of the Rio Grande Valley.
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.
I went for a walk in the bosque at sunset, and caught the pink on the Sandias — there was not a cloud in the sky. I headed north after sunset and ran into two coyotes on the trail. They perked up when they saw me, then high-tailed it in the opposite direction. Then I saw Virginia perched on a branch. It was nice to see Virginia, I hadn’t seen her in months.