First signs of spring

First vultures returned from Mexico and down state, last week. First cattle egret over the weekend. Trees are leafing out, buds starting to blossom on the crabapple in the front yard.

Always important to life in our meadow, saw the first gopher snake, yesterday. Shiny from just shedding his skin. 3-4 feet long.

The photo isn’t the greatest – a single frame yanked from a not-too-great spur of the moment piece of video with my pocket camera. But, nice to see everyone is waking up from winter.

Cholla – just beginning to blossom

Click pic to enlarge

The first two blossoms on one of my favorite chollas out in the back meadow by the bosque.

After a long dry winter and a matching spring – courtesy of La Niña – our high desert flowers have been sparse and late. This cholla is several feet high and often has nests from a few pairs of prairie birds; so, I tend to leave it undisturbed except when I can’t resist capturing a few snaps of its brilliant flowers.

You can see another dozen or so buds in the same frame – ready to explode in the coming week.

Local Pic of the Day

On one of our morning walks, I had to snap a photo of this yucca in full bloom.

These critters only blossom every 2 to 5 years. Most of those here on Lot 4 are red yuccas, white blossoms tinged with red edges. This critter has a uniform creamy color.

Delightful sign of the transition from spring to summer in New Mexico.