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!


20160630 Big Lake Morning, Burwash Nest Box

We got up early to check out a possible site at Big Lake to photograph the Milky Way.  Some pix from the occasion:

Arrival about Sunrise + 40 minutes, with the long lens:


A little later with the Nokton 10.5mm f/0.95 lens, which I’m going to use for some night photography.


Back to the 100-400 mm fully extended:


The Damselfly Bluets were out in great profusion …


The first Monarch Caterpillar that I’ve seen this year.


A little further down Hwy 529, Twin Rivers was calm as the morning mist evaporated:


Later in the day we went to Sudbury to get some parts for my boat and chatted with Brad, a naturalist who knows a lot about Burwash.  He suspected that the nestlings that I showed in the previous post are Peregrine Falcon chicks.  The nesting box seems awfully low to the ground for Peregrins, though:


Happy Canada Day!