We awoke to a chilly foggy day last Friday so we got out to see the last of the mist rising off of the Still River and to see some dewy blossoms. On a sunny Saturday we went down Hwy 529 to see a variety of insects feeding at the bunches of milkweeds. Some samples:
Still River near Jane Steet:
Wrights Black Eyed Susan:
These juveniles have their flight feathers now:
Monarch caterpillar and tachinid(?) fly, one eating leaves the other getting nectar:
Great Golden Digger Wasp is a beneficial wasp, known to gardeners:
Hummingbird clearwing moth never lands to collect nectar but hovers, like a hummingbird.
Great spangled fritillary, mentioned in the butterfly section of Setting up a Wildlife Garden, a useful resource, especially for Ontarians.
It is sharing its space with an orange belted bumblebee:
Bee and hoverfly sharing:
This rattlesnake was purposely killed by an ignoramus who misinterpreted the roadside signs that say, “Brake for snakes.”
Ok, which fritillary is this one?
Grasshopper pauses before launch:
European Paper Wasp (?):
Judging by its nice new wings this might be a first local generation Monarch. I hope so as I have seen very few migrants this year.
Bombus getting nectar while the sun shines ….
Ontario has recently lost three butterflies to the influences of habitat destruction; the Karner Blue (last seen in Ontario in 1991), Frosted Elfin and the Persius Duskywing. All three of these butterflies are closely connected to lupines which are virtually non existent in Ontario now due primarily to habitat destruction. Interestingly enough a contributing factor to the habitat destruction, aside from the obvious urbanization, is man’s ability to control and arrest wildfires……an accomplishment in which we take great pride and rightfully so. Wildfires, however menacing to humans, are an essential element to the continuance of lupine ecology. Wildfires are responsible for suppressing competing growths which take over and choke the lupines out of their preferred environment. Since southern Ontario is one of Canada’s most rapidly developing areas it is probably only a matter of time before other butterflies such as the Wild Indigo Duskywing, Sleepy Duskywing, Mottled Duskywing, Scalloped Sootywing, Duke’s Skipper, Dusted Skipper and the Garita Skipper (all of which are on the endangered list) succumb to the pressure unless dramatic steps are taken.
Duskywing having lunch with milkweed bug and wasp:
and now with an ant …
Ornate checkered Beetle with a Skipper in the background:
beetle with tachinid(?) fly:
A break from all of these bugs….
Great Black Wasp in the shade …
White Admiral, head-on:
Whoever did the trimming here seems to be a lot smarter than the person who trimmed the roads in the Britt area!
A big patch of pickerel weed at Big Lake:
Another species of wild rose is blooming now, a nice way to end this lonnnng post.