• Bandelier Sunset

    Bandelier

    National Monument New Mexico

September

insect on rabbitbrush

The golden bloom of rabbitbrush adds color to the landscape in September.

photo by sally king

THE NORM
Early in September afternoon thunderstorms may still occur regularly. Later in September cloudy skies give way to clear blue skies accented by puffy white clouds. Daytime temperatures continue to be warm or even hot. Nighttime temperatures show a marked decline. Summer birds start heading south for the winter, others arrive from summer locations to the north. Labor Day weekend is the official end to the summer season. Evening programs and Nightwalks are offered each week during the summer season. By month's end Virginia Creeper turns red and heralds the start of fall color. Visitation remains high, especially on weekends.
 
American Pika

American Pika remain active during the winter, moving through tunnels under the snow.  They collect greens in late summer, early fall and store them in piles called haystacks.

photo by sally king

SEPTEMBER 2010
Our recently rehabilitated visitor center is the talk of the town, getting rave reviews for the new film and museum exhibits. All trails are open. Weather has been warm but a strong cold front promises much cooler temperatures by mid-month. Tarantulas have been spotted starting their search for mates. American Pika in the high elevations are collecting bountiful amounts of greens to see them through the winter. There are also numerous bull elks bugling in the high country. Visitation has slowed after the Labor Day weekend but will increase by the end of the month with fall color and Balloon Fiesta early next month.
 
monarch butterfly
Monarch butterflies have been seen passing through on their migration south.  You think it's been a long tiring summer?  Think of these little butterflies long journey.
photo by sally king
 
face first tarantula 3
In autumn adult male tarantulas must go in search of receptive female tarantulas with which to mate.  The journey can be long and it is during this time of the year that visitors are most likely to encounter male tarantulas on their long walk.
photo by sally king

Did You Know?