Time has been flying by here in Carlsbad. Lately our time has been spent revisiting sites to collect species that have ripening seed, or revisiting collections to collect more of what we’ve already collected. We’ve been able to send some of our collections to the Bend Seed Extractory to be cleaned, and it’s so satisfying to consolidate the seed we’ve collected for a species and see it all together in a bag. We’ve made 18 collections so far and the season is still picking up with the monsoon rains bringing everything to life.
Our crew has definitely run into a couple of roadblocks (literally and figuratively) in the last month. We have followed our map and GPS to roads that lead to nowhere and roads that have fence right through the middle. A couple of our sites have been lunch for the cows – we still haven’t decoded which plants they seem to like best. Some points have also been inaccessible as the road that leads to them gets eaten by oil pipeline construction. It can be discouraging sometimes, but then we find sites that have 7 different species we can collect and we forget about the lost ones.
No matter what we do each day, we always see beautiful plants and new places. Southeast New Mexico has surprised me with it’s beauty and life. I can’t decide whether I’m seeing more interesting, colorful insects than I have before or if I’m just noticing them now. Either way, I have been amazed and entranced by countless bugs and butterflies and moths and caterpillars these past few months. So here’s to 2 months left in Carlsbad! May it be filled with more flowers and more bugs than ever before.