Running Free in the San Luis Valley

Horse, San Luis Valley
Horse, San Luis Valley

I was up in southern Colorado a month or so ago and encountered a bunch of horses. They looked wild but I don’t think they were because this one, in particular, really wanted to be my friend. Nonetheless, they were running free in a wide expanse of open range and, come to think of it, so was I.

Pleasing Fungus Beetle

Polka-Dotted Blue Beetle
Pleasing Fungus Beetle

I was quite pleased (so to speak) when I found out what this critter is called. It’s a pleasing fungus beetle, specifically Gibbifer californicus, from the (who knew?) pleasing fungus beetle family. It landed on a fellow hiker last weekend and stayed with her for quite a while.

Mr & Mrs Northern Shoveler

posted in: Critters, Mother Nature, New Mexico, Photos | 0
Mr & Mrs Northern Shovelers
Northern Shoveler Pair

I’m not particularly knowledgeable about birds in general, and even less so about ducks. Until this winter, I could identify only mallards and wood ducks, and I originally thought this was a mallard pair. (I don’t actually see that well either, which may be part of the problem.) Eventually I realized no, these are quite different from mallards and not only that, they behave quite differently. Looking at my photos up close, I realized they have really unusual bills, kinda like — well, shovels. They use them like shovels too.