In the month of July, if you drive up into the Jemez Mountains of northern New Mexico, you can take a short hike, through stands of ponderosa pines and open meadows, to the top of Cerro Grande. As you approach the summit, you will come into a small group of tall, purple flowers. Your attention likely will be focused on the grandiose views over the Valle Grande and the vast caldera that encompasses the bulk of the Jemez. So, it will be easy to miss the fact, that covering the flowers near the summit, for a short period of time each year, will be a multitude of beautiful beetles. I had never seen them before, nor have I seen them since, anywhere else. I don’t suppose they are as rare is that makes them sound, but I was entirely taken by surprise by their intense color. It is a small beetle with a seemingly metallic coating of green, purple, and gold, with a glittery sheen that easily catches and reflects the sun. A unique find for me, at least, and an appearance that matches the beauty of any butterfly or bird I have ever seen.
Blister Beetle; Jemez Mountains, New Mexico
NatureWildlifeInsectsBeetlesBlister BeetleJemez MountainsNew Mexico