20160710,11 Bees, Flies, Moths, Butterflies

Here is a collection of beasties photographed on Riverside Road, Britt on Sunday afternoon and on Monday on my way back from Parry Sound.

Clouded Sulphur Butterfly and a hoverfly …


Translucent wings …


On common vetch ..


One of the few local  “Canadian serviceberry, chuckleberry, currant-tree, Juneberry, Shadblow Serviceberry, Shadblow, Shadbush, Shadbush Serviceberry, Sugarplum, Thicket Serviceberry”  berries unaffected by some sort of blight.


This looks like one of the dauber wasps …



Hover fly:P1390485-1

Probably another hover fly …


Fritillary, perhaps Aphrodite


This Hummingbird Clearwing Moth visited for a few seconds, always hovering to take nectar …


Moving to another bloom with proboscis coiled …


Refuelling …


One of the few Monarchs I’ve seen this year, possibly laying eggs on the milkweed leaves …


Looks like an orange belted bumblebee


Another one, the only one I’ve seen on wood …


“Who knows what danger lurks …..?” under the milkweed blossoms.


I just found a Peterson “Field Guide to Moths” to ID this one  and have narrowed it down to one of the Grass Veneer Moths.  The whiter ones I posted earlier are other GVMs.


I didn’t see these Small Eastern Milkweed Bugs until much later last summer.  Apparently a lack of observation!


And, finally, for a change of pace, a Pickerel Weed just starting to bloom …


The next post will feature our visit to Manitoulin Island on July 12/13.   We’ll get a break from all of those bugs!

20160708,09 Lots of bugs, blooms, bees, scenery

Although we got out to make some pictures we haven’t been keeping up with processing them and getting them onto this blog.  So here is a big bunch taken last Friday and Saturday.

This year’s crop of Mallards are growing up quickly ….


Common chicory is also known as blue daisy, blue dandelion, blue sailors, blue weed, bunk, coffeeweed, cornflower, hendibeh, horseweed, ragged sailors, succory, wild bachelor’s buttons, and wild endive.”

Here it attracts a variety of bees and hoverflies to its nectar:

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I tried to ID this moth but couldn’t find it in my books or on the Internet.  This is usually an effective website, but not with this specimen.   Maybe it gets lost in the “selected moths of Ontario”.


This colourful Virginia Ctenuchid Moth was a lot easier to identify:

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This is the unfortunate progress of those plum blossoms I wondered about earlier this year.  Some sort of blight, methinks.


Diana’s Mallows:


Cow Parsley going to seed along the roadsides …


Meadow Fritillary, I think.  I couldn’t get a photo of the underside or dorsal view as this butterfly briefly lit on a milkweed and quickly flitted off.


Stormy weather at Big Lake …  I have been experimenting with B&W, with the help of Andrew and Ray.   Interesting exercises for the (discerning(?)) eye.


Meadowsweet is starting to bloom now.  ( I know it as wild spirea.)


This (two-spotted (?)) bumblebee worked hard harvesting nectar from a milkweed plant …

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Monarch Butterfly caterpillar on its only host,  Common Milkweed.


Hoverfly harvesting nectar on milkweed.


We had a couple days of stormy weather, providing some interesting skyscapes over our landscapes.






Big Lake, where I met Jonathan, a Ryerson photography graduate, now developing kids’ learning apps for TVO, on a motorcycle tour of Northern Ontario.   We had a good chat, while admiring these cloud formations…..


Pickerel weeds at Big Lake …


Bold sky,  looking west off of Hwy 69 at the old Dream Inn.


You’ll have a break from this blog for a few days as we’re off to Manitoulin to visit with kith and kin.   (I’ll probably take some pictures too.)



20160707 Foggy morning changes distant and close-up scenery.

We ventured forth early and used two cameras, the FZ1000 for distant wider views and the GH4 with Panasonic-Leica 100-400 mm lens for narrow views and close-ups.  This is some of what we saw:

Key River looking west from the Hwy 69 Bridge through the long lens.  The foreshortening on a cloudy day gives an interesting effect.  I will experiment further with foreshortening on cloudy days.


We did the Hwy 607 Loop, then went down Hartley Bay Road before having breakfast at the French River Inn.  Some photos have been converted to monochrome just for variety … as the colours were muted. This next bunch were made with the FZ1000.

Hwy 69 near Henvey Inlet FN Reserve:


Hwy 607A:

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Hwy 607:


Looking south at Hwy 607 bridge over Murdock River:


Abandoned farmhouse on Hartley Bay Rd:


Ham Lake from Hartley Bay Rd.:


On the way home after breakfast we visited Hwy 522, Jamot  Lumber Road, and the Ludgate Trail to the bridge.   The fog had lifted leaving lots of water droplets behind so I used the very long lens on the GH4 camera.

At the Hwy 522 pond between the Park and Pakesley crossing we saw these two unidentified insects …

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The upper one might be a hover fly and the bottom one could be one of the hangingflies.

Some of the thistles were starting to bloom…


Nice drops …


Along Jamot Lumber Road, some Heal-all caught some water droplets:


… as did this Daisy Fleabane:


Even though it hadn’t rained, the few hours of morning fog helped with the moisture demand for all of the vegetation…


Thistles  blooming at the first Bailey Bridge.


New Tamarack cones are forming at the quarry…


Water drops on Fireweed …


A good crop of Elderberries this year …


Some leaves, like this Poplar, are more hydrophobic than others …


A beautiful wet fern on the Ludgate Trail…


I am looking forward to learning more about picture-making on cloudy days.  You might be interested in viewing some of the above images “up close and personal”, by clicking on them.

Soon we’ll be seeing some Dogbane Beetles emerging & mating.

Lots happening out there.


20160706 Riverside Drive, Britt, ON.

We went for a hour’s drive along Riverside Drive this afternoon to see what we could see.  Actually we spent 70 minutes, which included a few conversations along the way.  Here are some samples of what we saw:

Along the Riverside, above Mr Lachance’s Mill, there are several colonies of Staghorn Sumac.  A good place to look at both the male plants and the female plants.


From this very useful website:


“The pale yellowish-green flowering clusters of the male plants can reach about 30 cm long. They are much bigger, by half again, than the greener and more compact clusters of flowers of the female plants. Flowering starts in May and continues into June, and the fruits are ripe from July onwards. The flowers are highly attractive to a diverse array of insects that serve as pollinators. Many kinds of bees, wasps, flies and beetles can be found visiting the flowers. Staghorn sumac is a valued source of nectar for honey production. It is interesting that the flowers of the male plant provide both pollen and nectar to pollinators mostly in the morning, and the female flowers provide just nectar in the afternoon. Thus, the pollen is removed from the flowers of male plants in the morning, but after they stop secreting nectar, the insects switch their attention, and transfer pollen, to flowers of female plants when they secrete their nectar in the afternoon.”

Here is a female flower on the other side of the road:


Further information about the Staghorn Sumac, special to this part of the world is here.

A little nearby is a patch of wild rose, some in bloom, some with well developed rose hips …  (Many many years ago I made homemade wine from rose hips … a healthy source of Vitamin C.  In those days I was a fan of Linus Pauling and made sure that we got ample doses of Vitamin C during the winter!)


This much maligned plant is starting to bloom now.   Goldenrod pollen is NOT a cause of hayfever, ragweed’s pollen is.


A little further west we saw this fellow singing in the drowned tag alders along the shoreline.


It moved down into the Joe Pye weed, to keep an eye on the photographer sticking a lens out of a vehicle window.


Then a little bit closer, alternating its gaze from eye to eye …

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After the above Yellow Warbler flew off, this Eastern Phoebe appeared and show us its rictal hairs … similar to that of the American Redstart that I photographed a month or so ago:


A little further on we stopped in front of Chuck and Shirleys to photograph this not unpleasant, Broadleaved Dock.


This Clouded Sulphur was hidden in the weeds …


Several European Skippers were  skipping.


Bumblebees were collecting nectar and pollen …


At the end of Riverside these bindweeds are still blooming …


And this waspy fellow was visiting the “Milkweed Patch”.  Lots of bees and other small insects.  Alas, no Monarchs.


Pretty flower near the Marina…


Prunus Serotina enlarging before ripening …


A few raspberries are still available for the taking …


Potentilla with visitor …


Two hazelnuts in their husks are maturing from those blossoms we saw in March /April.


Hollyhocks, reminding me of some that were planted on an Okanagan orchard almost 100 years ago.


Quite a rich environment, yielding lots to see/photograph in an hour!

I am having trouble with the technicalities of this post and an unable to provide links.   So you might want to google some of the terms above.

20160704-5 Trip to Parry Sound, Francis Pegahmagabow

Here are some pix taken on trip to Parry Sound on American Independence Day …

Tall Meadow Rue, one of the many thalictrums in Ontario.


Pickerel Weed in the little stream flowing into Big Lake…


Nice lighting on the White Water Lilies on the pond near Big Lake …

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Having a rest for a bit  …


Unknown cultivar in a very nice patch on the Shebeshekong end of Woods Road.  It was in the company of day lilies and a patch of …


… Black Eyed Susans, the first seen this year:


Here is that spectacular lily at Lane Family Pharmacy Parry Sound again, 3 days later than the earlier photo …


Northern Bush Honeysuckle is blooming now.


As is the Winterberry  aka Black Alder Winterberry, Brook Alder, Canada holly, Coralberry, Deciduous Holly, Deciduous Winterberry, False alder, Fever bush, Inkberry, Michigan Holly, Possumhaw, Swamp Holly, Virginian Winterberry, or Winterberry Holly.


Blueberries are ripening …

P1370746-1 This is a well-restored wetland after a CPR derailment of tank cars of ethylene about 12 years ago at the Shebeshekong crossing.


Who is Francis Pegahmagabow?

Hopefully this recently unveiled statue will inform residents and visitors of the famed WWI sniper.  In his later political life Pegahmagabow  became well known to the Department of Indian Affairs as he was reluctant to become subservient to the will of the local Indian Agent, John Daly.

The Wikipedia entry  has this background on the statue:

“A life-sized bronze statue of Pegahmagabow was erected in his honour on National Aboriginal Day, June 21, 2016, in Parry Sound, near Georgian Bay. The figure has an eagle on one arm, a Ross rifle slung from its shoulder, and a caribou at its feet, representing the Caribou Clan that Pegahmagabow belonged to. The Eagle was his spirit animal. The artist Tyler Fauvelle spent eight months sculpting the statue, which spent a further year in casting. Fauvelle chose to erect it in Parry Sound rather than Wasauksing to reach a larger public and educate them on the contributions of First Nations people to Canada.”


This photo was taken from the parking lot near the walking trail at the Charles W. Stockey Centre for the Performing Arts.



20160703 Kestrel and other local roadside sights

This Kestrel  quickly left its distant perch after I stopped the car on Hwy 529, near Big Lake:


Here is a new, introduced pest, the Harmonia axyridis , [not to be confused with our native “Ladybug”].  The above article gives a very good summary of the introduction of this beetle into North American agriculture but neglects to say that the cause of the demise of the native ladybugs was due to huge applications of organophosphate and organochloride pesticides (eg parathion and DDT) in post WWII North America.  Now pesticides  for the control of these Asian beetles is on the market.

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Some of the blueberries, especially the parched ones are starting to ripen.  We hope that the recent rainfall will keep them  going until the next rainfall.  We need another month of beneficent weather for a good crop.


Bluet Damselflies are still abundant.


And the watershields are blooming in different spots.  (influenced by water temperature and light?)


This year I’ll try to follow these to eventual seed production:

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A fence post scene that I often photograph in the winter:

P1780527-1-2I thought that I’d document this work by the roadside “weed” mower in case I get into a discussion with the “officials” supervising his work.


[It might be easier to “relocate” some more plow markers to this corner … only to guide the snowplow of course!]

Those milkweeds are usually a good spot to see Monarchs and Clearwings.  Not so this year.  No Monarchs butterflies, one Monarch Caterpillar.  Lots of Clearwings for two days.  Now lots of bees and Asian beetles (confused with ladybugs).

20160701 Canada Day trip to Parry Sound & Return

We made a quick tip to PS to get meds and stopped a few times on the way back … in very variable weather.

First a beautiful lily starting to bloom at Lane Family Pharmacy in Parry Sound …


And then some newly irrigated flora along Skerryvore Road …

Pixie cups …  with an indication of how it spreads:


One of the Wood ferns:


Water droplets on Butter and Eggs.


A break in the storm clouds on Hwy 529…


Skerryvore Community Road pond …


Twin Rivers from bridge…


No Canada Day Fireworks as I wasn’t quite up to par to make it.  Next year!