Oh gosh, you guys, today was so great. It was a beeeeautiful day out! There were isolated storms around, but we never got hit. I am in such a good mood.
Photo 1: This is basically going to be my whole summer. This type of landscape isn’t for everyone, but I freaking love it (yes, that is snow on the tiny mountain in the background).
Photo 2: Phlox sp. (hopefully I can determine the species later), an early-blooming cushion plant.
Photo 3: Flowering barrel cactus, Pediocactus simpsonii. They were tiny and all over!
Photo 4: BEES! We caught bees! I was honestly a little shocked! These lovely ladies are Eucera, quite possibly E. fulvitarsis. We caught a couple males as well! I don’t have photos of the others, but we also caught two species of Andrena, an Anthophora male, and a Bombus huntii queen (we let her go). We got buzzed by two other Bombus queens, but they never came close enough to get an ID. I cannot even describe how much I’ve missed being around bees. Seriously grinning like crazy.
Photo 5: This is the North Platte River. It is HUGE and so so high (this is Wyoming, people, we don’t really have water here). We saw a bald eagle flying over right about here, as well as some ducks and another type of water bird (birds are noooot one of my strong points, sorry guys).
Photo 6: We found a nest tucked away behind/underneath some sagebrush! No idea what kind, though…
Photos 7 and 8: HOLY CRAP YOU GUYS, LOOK AT IT. LOOK HOW ADORABLE IT IS. Also, Zach, these are totally for you. I also know very little about herps, but there are like 30 total in Wyoming, and apparently only one species of horned lizard, the greater short-horned lizard, Phrynosoma hernandesi. Little guy was so angry, he was puffing out his sides to try to scare us with his little spikes. He was much happier when we put him back on the ground. And so tiny. And so so so cute. The bees and this gorgeous baby were definitely the highlights of the day.
This summer cannot come soon enough.