Our horned toads—the Desert Short-Horned Lizard—give live birth. Or rather, they incubate shell-less eggs in their bodies, and give birth to a litter of six to thirty-one (thirty-one!) infants still in their amnions, little marbles that break open into horned toads ready to run.
On Sandia Crest I came upon what must have been a recent birth, a fat adult with a salmon-colored chin and a handful of babies the size of bumblebees.
We bushwhacked up a box canyon full of oak brush and wild roses; I bled furiously. Strong smell of skunk or weasel. A swallowtail butterfly in erratic flight, bright yellow among the worn boulders.
Caught the first horned toad of the year: a fat one, with salmon belly and yellow side-fringe. About the size and heft of an Oreo cookie.