20170713 Hwy 522 Highbush Cranberry, Tachinid fly, European Skipper, Red Admiral, Northern Spring Azure, Bristly Sarsaparilla, Tansy, Chicory

Above photo:  Sweat Lodge frame at Portage Lake


We stopped in at Portage Lake to see the wigwam and sweat lodge frames left from the Summer rituals celebrated at Solstice.

We also went for a short trip to see the sights along Hwy 522:

It looks like a good crop of Highbush Cranberries this year.


This looks like a Tachinid Fly which is visiting the last of the Common Yarrow for nectar…

Unknown beetle(?) up close and personal with what’s left of a Common Vetch flower.

Looks lie a European Skipper nectaring on a Common Vetch.

Tamarack cones are slowly changing colour from purple to brown …

Evening Primrose, Oenothera, are starting to bloom in earnest now …  we’ll be keeping an eye out for its pollinators since …”the bees which visit Oenothera are generally vespertine temporal specialists: bees that forage in the evening.”

And the  Great Mulleins are starting to bloom also, especially when close to a south facing rock, like this one:


Another of the many Red Admirals that we’ve seen this year, leading us to wonder if this year’s migration resembles the huge migration of 2012.


A newly seen tan, fuzzy, bee fly …. but which one???

A Northern Spring Azure  (there is some debate about this genus, Celastrina, in Ontario)

A nice simple Inuksuk:

Pale Corydalis still blooming!

Bladder Campion is starting to release  its seeds…

Bristly Sarsaparilla are starting to form their characteristic dark blue fruit..

Bombus is finishing the nectar in the florets of the Ox Eye Daisy.

Moss spore capsules are releasing spores…

Three different fern species in these two photos? …

Tansy is starting to bloom along the roadsides …  this one with a visitor…


So is Chicory ( aka blue daisy, blue dandelion, blue sailors, blue weed, bunk, coffeeweed, cornflower, hendibeh, horseweed, ragged sailors, succory, wild bachelor’s buttons, and wild endive.)…. related to these yummy edibles: endive, radicchio, radichetta, Belgian endive, French endive, red endive, sugarloaf, and witloof (or witlof).


Have you noticed the new Gallery up there in the Title Block?

Try clicking on Selected Winter Photographs (in a menu under Gallery) to see a start to a new project.  Or you can just click here.




20170712 Rose, Coreopsis, White Water Lily, Heal All, Milkweed beetles, Monarch Caterpillars, Grass Pink, Elderberry, Softrush

Photo above:  Oft-photographed Big (Gereaux) Lake

The Highway 529 roadside showed some new sights….

This wild rose is in full bloom…

See the spider web attached to this Coreopsis …

Fragrant White Lily on metallic waterscape …

Heal-all in full bloom in lawns and roadsides …

A Red Milkweed Beetle is exploring the edge of this milkweed leaf….

Two more unidentified beetles on the popular Common Milkweed plant:

Two Monarch Butterfly caterpillars share a leaf with a visiting  spider …

Lunchtime in the milkweed patch….

A nice Dianthus ameria {or Grass Pink) along the roadside …

The (black-fruited) Common Elderberry is in bloom now.  Read Andy Fyon’s information about Red Elderberry (which is poisonous) and this Common Elderberry (which produces good berries for jams and jellies).  The Red Elderberry bloomed about a month ago.

This might be a young Differential grasshopper.

The grasses, sedges and rushes are blooming and “fruiting” now.  Here is a Softrush in full bloom:

And here is a  yet-to-be-identified plant, which we’ll keep an eye on:

Summer is upon us, at last.


20170709 Water Lilies, Day Lilies, Swamp Candle, Frosted Whiteface, Water Shield, American Crow

Above Photo:  Threatening weather over a barn on Hartley Bay Road.

After Sunday brunch with two fellow teletubbies and Ann, Bob and Grace at the French River Inn we went for a little excursion along Hwy 407 to the Murdock River.   First, the pond between 407A and the Murdock:

Little drop “bouncing” up after a raindrop hit the pond.

Little drop is barely visible in this one…

Always, always some critters in for a visit …


Aha!  The exception to prove the rule …  (or?)

Swamp Candles are starting to bloom, from the bottom up, like most racemes.  It is worth while to click on the photo to see the interesting structure/colour of each floret:

It took me a while to realize that Birdsfoot Trefoil will also grow with very wet feet.

A Frosted Whiteface is munching on some food while resting on a lily pad…

and while resting on a stick.  I could see its mouth parts working as it masticated:

A very nice pair of Day Lilies each with 6 anthers below a long stigma…

This diagram illustrates the structure.

On the way home we detoured to the pond on Hwy 522 and were fortunate to see:

Water shield in its very short and fascinating bloom period….

“Brasenia exhibits wind pollination. The flowers have a two-day blooming period. On the first day, the functionally female, or pistillate flower, extends above the surface of the water and exposes the receptive stigmas. The flower then recedes below the water surface and on the following day emerges as a functionally male, or staminate flower. It is elevated higher than on the previous day and the anther-bearing filaments are extended beyond the female carpels. The anthers dehisce, releasing the pollen, and the flower is then withdrawn below the water where the fruit develops.”

The next time you are in Hangzhou, try some Water Shield Soup.

Click to enlarge the image to see the delicate blossoms:

And, finally, we saw this American Crow along the Old Still River Road:

Mary Holland has some nice photography accompanying a good story about Loon chicks.


20170708 Hwy 529: Field Bindweed, Blue Bluet,Staghorn Sumac, American Redstart, Bush Honeysuckle, Ironwood


Above photo:  Tamarack swamp along Hwy 529

We took Hwy 529 to Moose Lake Trading Post for some Wild Cherry Frozen Yoghurt and stopped along the way to make a few pictures.

Field Bindweed, of the Morning Glory family is starting to bloom along the sides of the roads…

Tamarack cones are maturing and exuding sap.  I wonder if that is normal?

Some critter(s) have been harvesting these blueberries.   And Pink Edged Sulphurs have been laying eggs on the leaves of these Vaccinium.

Maybe a Boreal Blue Bluet.  Maybe not?

Coreopsis are maturing …

Some Yellow Goatbeards are still blooming, while others are finished with seeding.

Tall Meadow Rue against dappled water…

More dappled water….

Click on this grass panicle to see that it supports a  very fine web of spider filaments.


One of these days I find one of these out in the open with no wind.  I think that the breeze pushed this one away a few mm, affecting the focus.  Click on it to see the quality at mid bloom with the quality at the very top.

Female plants of Rhus typhina in flower complete with visitor which is nice to examine in close-up…

I was photographing this ripening Beaked Hazelnut ….

… when all of a sudden this birdie flew into view and then took off with my first shutter click.  I calculated that the encounter (find bird in viewfinder: 1 second +; Autofocus:  .3 second, release shutter: .3 second) took a total of <2 seconds to this  point.  within the next second the bird had braced for take-off, launched and disappeared.  I know that because I was shooting in (Medium) Burst mode.   This birdie doesn’t hang around singing like its spouse does!

Very interesting fruits of Ostrya virginiana   or Ironwood, which is rarely seen around here, as we are right on its northern limit.

Bush Honeysuckles are starting to bloom.   What is that spider doing there?

These Cinquefoils are starting to end their blooming period…

20170703 Medevac using the Ornge AW139 … Version 2.0

This is a repeat  of the earlier post which used Keywords.  In this one I changed the Filenames of the images to “the original filename + Ornge ______”where the descriptors  loaded, lifting, turning, climbing and enroute were added to the appropriate image.





We’ll see how this works in comparison with the previous post.

20170703 Medevac using the Ornge AW139

This is an opportunity to try to tag individual photos in a post instead of using several tags for one post.  We want to see if the Keywords that I applied in Lightroom will carry over into WordPress.

I happened to be near the Britt Lion’s Club Night Helicopter Landing Pad when a patient had to be airlifted to hospital in Parry Sound.  Here are some photos which tell of the Ornge AgustaWestland AW 139   loaded, lifting, turning, climbing and enroute.





Each of the above photos has been Keyworded with “Ornge _______”, where the blank is loaded, lifting, turning, climbing, enroute for the appropriate image.

Will it work to improve SEO?   I guess we’ll try it to see.  In the meantime it is reassuring to know that the patient is undergoing some tests 5 days later.

It might take several hours? days? weeks? for those keywords to percolate through the Google, Bing and Yahoo search engines.   Search “brtthome” to see what you get using Google, Bing and Yahoo.   Amazing stuff!

Almost scary, eh?





20170708 Hwy 529: White Throated Sparrow, Pink Edged Sulphur, Joe Pye Weed, Merlin

Above photo:  Looking west over Big (Gereaux) Lake


While driving south on Hwy 529 we stopped to watch this distant birdie diving from a great height (20 m) to the ground, then back up to a perch.  What is a bird with a bill like that doing hunting insects?

I had never seen a White Throated Swallow do that before.  It might have lost its nest and was foraging for insect protein in preparation for a new batch.


A Pink Edged Sulphur nectaring on an Ox Eye Daisy.  If you go to Rick Cavasin’s link you’ll see a PES on a blueberry leaf.  It may be laying eggs there as PES larvae (caterpillars) eat blueberry leaves  .


Joe Pye Weed about to start blooming … as it prepares to trade its nectar for pollinating services of many critters, including bees, hummingbirds and butterflies.

Each day a more and more Fragrant White Water Lilies emerge at the pond across the road from Big Lake….

Difficult light to photograph this Merlin looking for supper.

I wonder if this posture has any significance?

Maybe it is just looking for a place to drop in for supper.






20170704 Blooms and beasts along Highway 529

Photo:  Ancient Tamaracks standing guard along Hwy 529

We made another trip down Hwy 529 to check on any changes since our outing with Ray Thoms the previous day.

The Coreopsis were still in full bloom

The light was a bit easier the second time around to see and photograph this flooded beaver dam…

This Crab Spider was on the same Viper’s Bugloss plant…

The Timothy seed panicles were in full bloom:

A  Monarch “on edge”.

This looks like a Northern Broken Dash

Up close and personal …

A little further away from this Yellow Goat’s Beard

The Pitcher Plants are still in “flower”.


This very small (0.5 cm) flower was poking up in the roadside grass.  Lots of visitors on it.  Nectar??

This wild pea was in the same area.  It has been damaged but its tenant doesn’t seem to mind…

The Yellow Hawkweed is starting to finish its blooming period.   This example is still fresh…


Fruiting body of the uncommon  (in Northern Ontario) Hop Hornbeam or Ironwood


Dragonfly riding a  blade of windblown grass.

Cinnamon fern …

Nice Pond Lily …


European skipper…

We are having another sunshiny summer day so it’s off to another adventure.

In the meantime enjoy Randy Holland’s outstanding photo of Lightning over Hillman Marsh – Jul7 7 /17

It is good to see him active again!

20170703 Part 3 of 3: Nature photography near Britt, Ontario

Photo:  Looking upstream from the patch of milkweeds at the bridge over the Naiscoot River on Hwy 529.

On July 3 I enjoyed a few hours with Sudbury Photographer and Author Ray Thoms checking out butterflies on Riverside Drive and, after lunch at St Amants, along Hwy 529.  We both made lots of pictures so I’ve decided to post three parts,  each with about 16 photos.  This is …

Part 3  Along Highway 529 to the bridge at Twin Rivers (Confluence of Naiscoot and Harris)

I was surprised to see this Dragonfly perched on a milkweed leaf.  As good a place as any, I suppose, to capture lunch …

With an Ox Eye Daisy in the background…

Another ground crab spider was seen here (in addition to the one in the patch at “Reno’s  Corner” in Part 1.)

The spider was moving very slowly.  A minute and a half elapsed between the first and last of this triplet of photos:


Is it protecting a cocoon?  Is it preparing to lay eggs.  Only a naturalist knows.  Not me.  I will have to do some research.

I think that this is one of the Crescents Nectaring on Spreading  Dogbane …


One of the Meadow Rues that has a purple blossom alongside the pond at Big Lake.

Nice reflection of a Fragrant White Water Lily in the pond across from Big Lake.

Our native   Heracleum maximum, cow parsnip  (also known as Indian celery, Indian rhubarb or pushki)  , source of nectar for many  pollinators, showing maturing seeds:

A long-legged spider in the milkweeds.  I wonder why it is there.

Rorschach Test:


A photojournal of an adventurous green leaf weevil….



and DOWN:


The elegant pearl crescent:


The above is Part 3 of 3.

Since these posts are shown in in reverse chronological order …

If you are using the generic “Brtthome’s Blog” website:

  • You can  scroll down to see Parts 1 and 2 and earlier posts.
  • Or you can go to any recent post by selecting it from “Recent Posts” in the right hand margin.

If you are on this particular post:  “20170703 Part 3 of 3: Nature Photography near Britt, Ontario”

  • You can select Part 1 or Part 2 from the “Related” section below.
  • Or you can click on the “previous”  arrow at the bottom of this blog.
  • Or you can select whatever you wish from “Recent Posts” in the right hand margin.

(It’s almost as much fun learning WordPress as learning how to show newly seen works of nature.)

20170703 Part 2 of 3: Nature photography near Britt, Ontario

Photo:  Looking upstream from the patch of milkweeds at the bridge over the Naiscoot River on Hwy 529.

On July 3 I enjoyed a few hours with Sudbury Photographer and Author Ray Thoms checking out butterflies on Riverside Drive and, after lunch at St Amants, along Hwy 529.  We both made lots of pictures so I’ve decided to post three parts,  each with about 16 photos.  This is …

Part 2  Along Riverside Rd and Hwy 529

Another male Monarch nectaring at the milkweed patch at “Reno’s Corner” on Riverside Road.

Great Spangled Frittilaries were also stopping by…

Possible a Crossline Skipper.   I am now resolved to spend more time with these difficult-to-identify butterflies — to try to get images of them in a variety of positions.

From Andy’s Northern Ontario WildflowersWinterberry Holly; deciduous, erect, holly shrub; are male and female shrubs; also known as Winterberry, Fever Bush,  Striped Alder, White Alder, Coralberry, Michigan Holly, False Alder, Inkberry, Black Alder Winterberry, Deciduous Winterberry, Virginian Winterberry, Brook Alder, Deciduous Holly, Possumhaw, Swamp Holly.

Starting to bloom now, First of July.


Yes!  “…. try to get images of them in a variety of positions”!


That black line aft of the eyes in deceiving.  The pale coloured legs confirm this as a Hummingbird Clear Moth  aka  Hymaris thysbe

After lunch, Ray and I went down “The Old 69 Highway from Pointe au Baril to Britt” — the current Hwy 529.

Early showing of the delightful harebells that grace our rocky outcrops…

European Skipper which is very abundant near old hayfields (because of the presence of Timothy.)

Early showing of Coreopsis at the junction of Hwy 529 and Hwy 645.

Flooded beaver dam on the east side of Hwy 529.

First time seen:  A white crab spider perched in a Viper’s Bugloss…

All four of these insects appear to be the same species.   I think that they are hoverflies.  But what kind??

They were very common nectaring on native  Cow Parsnip.



This shows the latex of the Common Milkweed.  The latex contains bitter poisonous chemicals (glycosides) that make  Monarchs unpleasant food (since they metamorphose from caterpillars that eat Milkweed leaves).   This process leads to the mimicry of the Viceroy butterfly.   Although I am not an experienced forager, I have tried pickled milkweed pods — which had an interesting texture.


Part 3 of 3 will continue along Hwy 529.