Winsor Creek hike

On 8/11/20 hiked Winsor Creek, Santa Fe National Forest, New Mexico, to ridge overlooking stream valley. Basically my idea of a perfect trip- the valley a paradise with a huge number of insects, snakes, and plants.
In the valley, found many flowers, wasps, butterflies (Speyeria, Polygonia, Cupido, Lycaena, Echo Azure, Mylitta Crescent, yellows, and more unknown), flies, a Gnophaela moth, two Shamrock Orbweavers, and more. One particular patch of the insect-attracting Cutleaf Coneflowers was very fruitful; swarming with butterflies, and I narrowly missed catching a Wandering Garter Snake.
The first of the Shamrock Orbweavers was orange. Very happy to find it.
Turned off from the stream and began to gain elevation. En route, found many more plants, a trashline orbweaver (first I’ve seen in NM), Laphria, and grasshoppers. Passed through a recently burned area.
Rested on top and took in the view. Found a beautiful giant lady beetle (Anatis).
Headed back down. More plants. Back in the streambed, found a Wandering Garter that was swimming in the stream. Took lots of photos. Released it and it went into the creek, swam downstream, and then crawled out on the bank.
Proceeded on and found several White-lined Sphinx moths, then a big fat Wandering Garter Snake; a bulge in its stomach- must have recently eaten. Going off the trail, closer to the stream, found another Shamrock Orbweaver- this one yellow- in thick brush. They have small webs for such a large spider.
Saw two grouse that quickly flew away.
Going on, discovered a Wandering Garter Snake in the process of eating some kind of rodent, still protruding from the snake’s mouth. Fascinating.
More plants (and fungi) continually, along with two more Wandering Garters that escaped before I could get a picture- making for a surprisingly good total of six in all.
Saw a family of Dusky Grouse. Nearly six o’clock by now.
A successful trip, though I didn’t find the elusive Smooth Greensnake I was looking for- rare in Sangre de Cristos.
Started hiking around noon, which seems to be the golden hour for butterflies. Upon getting back down to the stream at 3:30-4 PM, there were none. Snakes were active in August’s warm weather as long as I was out there, though I found the most between perhaps 4 and 5.

Posted by ectothermist ectothermist, September 04, 2020 19:43

Observations

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Alfalfa (Medicago sativa)

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August 11, 2020 12:15 PM MDT

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Margined White (Pieris marginalis)

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August 11, 2020 12:18 PM MDT

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Pinewoods Geranium (Geranium caespitosum)

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August 11, 2020 12:19 PM MDT

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August 11, 2020 12:19 PM MDT

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Red Clover (Trifolium pratense)

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August 11, 2020 12:22 PM MDT

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Fireweed (Chamaenerion angustifolium)

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August 11, 2020 12:23 PM MDT

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Western Tailed-Blue (Cupido amyntula)

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August 11, 2020 12:23 PM MDT

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Fleabanes and Horseweeds (Genus Erigeron)

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August 11, 2020 12:26 PM MDT

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Aphrodite Fritillary (Speyeria aphrodite)

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August 11, 2020 12:29 PM MDT

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Green Comma (Polygonia faunus)

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August 11, 2020 12:30 PM MDT

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Aphrodite Fritillary (Speyeria aphrodite)

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August 11, 2020 12:35 PM MDT

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Hedgehog Fly (Adejeania vexatrix)

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August 11, 2020 12:38 PM MDT

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Hoary Comma (Polygonia gracilis)

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August 11, 2020 12:44 PM MDT

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Fleabanes and Horseweeds (Genus Erigeron)

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August 11, 2020 12:46 PM MDT

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Red Clover (Trifolium pratense)

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August 11, 2020 12:45 PM MDT

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Mylitta Crescent (Phyciodes mylitta)

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August 11, 2020 12:49 PM MDT

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Western Tailed-Blue (Cupido amyntula)

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August 11, 2020 12:51 PM MDT

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Northwestern Fritillary (Speyeria hesperis)

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August 11, 2020 12:55 PM MDT

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Green Comma (Polygonia faunus)

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August 11, 2020 12:57 PM MDT

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Ferns (Class Polypodiopsida)

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August 11, 2020 01:00 PM MDT

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Columbian Monkshood (Aconitum columbianum)

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August 11, 2020 01:02 PM MDT

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Flowering Plants (Subphylum Angiospermae)

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August 11, 2020 01:05 PM MDT
Plants

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Plants (Kingdom Plantae)

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August 11, 2020 01:06 PM MDT

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Green Comma (Polygonia faunus)

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August 11, 2020 01:08 PM MDT

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Hedgehog Fly (Adejeania vexatrix)

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August 11, 2020 01:09 PM MDT

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Hedgehog Fly (Adejeania vexatrix)

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August 11, 2020 01:09 PM MDT

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European Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)

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August 11, 2020 01:10 PM MDT

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Police Car Moth (Gnophaela vermiculata)

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August 11, 2020 01:11 PM MDT

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Columbian Monkshood (Aconitum columbianum)

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August 11, 2020 01:10 PM MDT

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Echo Azure (Celastrina echo)

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August 11, 2020 01:12 PM MDT

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August 11, 2020 01:13 PM MDT

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Bristle Flies (Family Tachinidae)

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August 11, 2020 01:15 PM MDT

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Bristle Flies (Family Tachinidae)

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August 11, 2020 01:15 PM MDT

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Shamrock Orbweaver (Araneus trifolium)

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August 11, 2020 01:18 PM MDT
Plants

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Plants (Kingdom Plantae)

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August 11, 2020 01:35 PM MDT

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Flowering Plants (Subphylum Angiospermae)

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August 11, 2020 01:36 PM MDT

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Conical Trashline Orbweaver (Cyclosa conica)

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August 11, 2020 01:40 PM MDT
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Plants (Kingdom Plantae)

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August 11, 2020 01:43 PM MDT

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Flowering Plants (Subphylum Angiospermae)

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August 11, 2020 01:48 PM MDT

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Fireweed (Chamaenerion angustifolium)

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August 11, 2020 01:50 PM MDT

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August 11, 2020 01:53 PM MDT

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Bee-mimic Robber Flies (Genus Laphria)

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August 11, 2020 01:55 PM MDT

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Spruces (Genus Picea)

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August 11, 2020 02:00 PM MDT

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Pine Family (Family Pinaceae)

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August 11, 2020 02:02 PM MDT

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Barberries (Genus Berberis)

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August 11, 2020 02:08 PM MDT

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August 11, 2020 02:09 PM MDT

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August 11, 2020 02:11 PM MDT

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Leconte's Giant Lady Beetle (Anatis lecontei)

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August 11, 2020 02:38 PM MDT

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Pine Family (Family Pinaceae)

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August 11, 2020 03:01 PM MDT

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Pines (Genus Pinus)

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August 11, 2020 03:09 PM MDT

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Junipers (Genus Juniperus)

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August 11, 2020 03:15 PM MDT

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August 11, 2020 03:26 PM MDT
Plants

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Plants (Kingdom Plantae)

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August 11, 2020 03:28 PM MDT
Plants

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Plants (Kingdom Plantae)

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August 11, 2020 03:37 PM MDT

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Ferns (Class Polypodiopsida)

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August 11, 2020 03:46 PM MDT

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Giant Lousewort (Pedicularis procera)

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August 11, 2020 03:47 PM MDT

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Western Solomon's Plume (Maianthemum racemosum ssp. amplexicaule)

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August 11, 2020 03:51 PM MDT

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Sunflowers, Daisies, Asters, and Allies (Family Asteraceae)

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August 11, 2020 03:52 PM MDT

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Wandering Garter Snake (Thamnophis elegans ssp. vagrans)

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August 11, 2020 04:01 PM MDT

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White-lined Sphinx (Hyles lineata)

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August 11, 2020 04:17 PM MDT

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Wandering Garter Snake (Thamnophis elegans ssp. vagrans)

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August 11, 2020 04:21 PM MDT

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August 11, 2020 04:24 PM MDT

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Shamrock Orbweaver (Araneus trifolium)

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August 11, 2020 04:29 PM MDT

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Wandering Garter Snake (Thamnophis elegans ssp. vagrans)

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August 11, 2020 04:47 PM MDT

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Rodents (Order Rodentia)

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August 11, 2020 04:47 PM MDT

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Corn Lily (Veratrum californicum)

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August 11, 2020 04:48 PM MDT

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Shelf Fungi (Order Polyporales)

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August 11, 2020 04:52 PM MDT

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Dusky Grouse (Dendragapus obscurus)

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August 11, 2020 05:50 PM MDT

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