20160530 Some Trilliums, Common Whitetail (F), Duskywing Skipper, Starflower, Blue-eyed Grass, and Mudpuddling Swallowtails

We saw some interesting variety on our way back from Parry Sound May 30th.  First some Trillium grandiflorum as they gradually fade from their two-week glory.


The pink/purple colours of the fading flowers are quite variable, but very different from our other common trillium, the Trillium erectum.




Starflowers (Trientalis borealis) are starting to bloom in sun-dappled areas now…


This beauty is in a patch of violets growing in an abandoned driveway at Site 9:


This female Common Whitetail was patrolling a piece of woodland above the Shawanaga River at the Hwy 69 bridge.  As the link shows (see the wingtips?) this is a female, not an immature male.


Member of the Iris family, blue-eyed grass is starting to bloom.  Common along sides of rural roads,  Hwy 529 in this case.


Advanced a bit more …


and resplendent in full bloom:


This is the same “unidentified Butterfly/Moth” that I posted a few days ago…


I think that it is some sort of Skipper, maybe a Duskywing.  Its use of this flower’s nectar indicates a Columbine Duskywing.   No sightings have been recorded in this area for over 20 years, though.

While researching the above I came across this Ontario Butterfly Atlas — a website that I’ll spend more some time with … sometime!

We also saw this little beauty flitting along the Hwy 529 roadside:


Fritillary or Pearl Crescent??  Help!

I stopped to make a phone call at the little beach at Big (Gereaux) Lake.   The sand was covered  by a “flock” of Canadian Tiger Swallowtails, having a hard time hanging on in a brisk onshore wind.  It took me a while to see what they were doing.

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Yes, they are all taking water up through their proboscis…

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A beautiful example of their translucent wings…


Coincidentally, this  morning I got an email from Mary Holland advising of this post:


(Those emails is one of the advantages of “following” a blog!)

All the gory details:   Mud puddling.

Canadian Tiger Swallowtails do not migrate.  Instead they overwinter in their pupae stage and emerge in May to visit wild cherries and lilacs, amoungst other flowering plants.  One brood per season. Very common in this neck of the woods.