It’s been the most unusual year, much cooler and wetter than usual, with interesting flower and insect results. I’ve never seen so many yuccas blooming as I have this year, and I’ve never seen them bloom this late into May. Only a few of the blossoms have been covered with aphids and that’s really unusual too. For the last week, painted lady butterflies have been flitting around me with every step through Embudo Canyon — I’ve never seen that before either. It’s almost like a magical fairy tale version of the foothills.

Yesterday morning was still and cloudy, and this is what I saw right at the edge of the Embudo trailhead parking lot. Numerous yuccas (I know them as soapweed yuccas), apache plume (the pink stuff, really at its peak right now), spectacle pod (white flowers in the foreground), and a few buffalo gourd/coyote gourd leaves.

Yuccas and Apache Plume

Yuccas and Apache Plume