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.


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

    • You’re welcome Krys! Things are changing quickly out there these days. Hard to keep up with it all!

      • Tom, you are doing an amazing job “keeping up with it”. Thank you!!!

  1. Tom, M A G I C I A L >> Mother Nature is splendid !!! We are truly blessed !!! Thank you very much !!!

  2. The Skipper is in fact a Duskywing. The fact that it is perched on a Columbine doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a Columbine Duskywing ( the caterpillar of which does feed on the Columbine plant ). That said, it does look like a Columbine Duskywing, but these butterflies can be difficult to tell apart.

    Further down, the orange and black butterfly is a Crescent, probably a Northern Crescent, though again, the Crescent species can be difficult to tell apart in a photo like this.

  3. Thanks a lot Rick! I am gradually learning to id at least some of these beautiful creatures. I hope that you’ll follow the blog next spring/summer when I’ll again need all the help that I can get. I am trying to track down your website, so far to no avail. I am not getting useful returns by searching “butterflyguides”. Can you help? Many thanks.

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