Smoky skies

Albuquerque’s skies have been filled with smoke from the Wallow fire in the White Mountains of Arizona. Last night we looked outside and noticed an odd orange color. It was the dense smoke. The Sandia Mountains were completely obscured and the flash illuminated ash particles.

(photos taken by Melissa)

Today the skies were still hazy but nowhere near as smoky even later this evening as the smoke settled.

Melissa and I went up into the mountains to try to get away from the smoke and to scout for a birding trip I’m leading on Saturday.

(Photos by Melissa)

We found a few purplish orchids near the crest. A few butterflies were out flying despite the wind and the smoke. I got photos of two. We saw:

  • Silver-spotted Skipper
  • Mexican Cloudywing
  • duskywing sp.
  • Western Swallowtail
  • Two-tailed Swallowtail
  • Silvery Blue
  • Arctic Blue
  • Northwestern Fritillary
  • Hoary Comma

Arctic Blue as far as I can tell. The two tiny spots on the forewing in front of the single spot seems to be a key mark.

Northwestern Fritillary. I think. It looked very large and I'm only familiar with Great Spangled Fritillary from the east.

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3 Responses to Smoky skies

  1. Rebecca Gracey says:

    I think you’re right about the Arctic Blue butterfly, thanks to the good photo you got of it.

  2. Peggy says:

    That’s a beautiful Calypso orchid – what a find! It’s supposed to smell like vanilla.

  3. Matt says:

    @Rebecca: I’m glad you agree on the id. Perhaps we’ll see one tomorrow as well.

    @Peggy: Thanks for the identification! We didn’t think to smell it.

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