Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico: A Couple of Really Cool Things

Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico

When my daughter was three or so, I took her to the St. Louis Zoo for the first time. I was pretty excited about this, envisioning how enchanted she'd be by the petting zoo, the exotic animals, the intoxicating smells and sounds. But no, none of that fascinated her nearly as much as the tiny pebbles on the ground of the petting zoo, which she picked up and placed in the pockets of her green trousers.

I've had experiences like that myself, and one of them was Bandelier National Monument. There are many who wax poetic about this national treasure, and I completely support them in their rhapsodies.

But when I visited Bandelier recently, my head was turned by two things I never heard mentioned. 

Pleasing fungus beetle

Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico

It didn't matter that I never saw the actual thing. The sign was sufficient.  It is just too good to be true that there is a living creature with these three words in its name. Even when I play with only two of the three words, I experience cognitive dissonance: pleasing fungus? fungus beetle? pleasing beetle? But putting all three together is just over the top.

In the picture, it does look kind of cute. Kind of .... pleasing.

Hummingbird moths

As I walked on the path to the Pueblo ruins where the petroglyphs are, movement on the side of the path drew my eye. Looked like hummingbirds at first, but too small. There were the prettiest pink bands on their bodies. Hummingbird moths.

I took a couple of movies, but this one below from loreecew is much better:

I did get a still photo - can you see the moth?

Hummingbird moth, Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico

These hummingbird moths are the coolest things. Of course, when they're in their caterpillar stage, they freak me out completely. Too big, too green, too, too, too.

One of my friends, upon learning I was going to Bandelier, asked me to send her some photos because she really loves the place. I'm not sure I've got the photos she had in mind. 

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