20170613 Hwy 529, Pitcher plant, Solomon’s Plume, Skipper, Cow Parsnip

Hwy 529, Pitcher plant, Solomon’s Plume, Skipper, Cow Parsnip

On the way back from a treat of Black Cherry frozen yoghurt at Moose Lake Trading post, we showed friends the location of the pitcher plants on Hwy 529, 0.6 km north of Hwy 529A, in the westside road ditch near a rock outcrop in the tamarack swamp.

The purple flowers are on stems about a foot above the pitchers at the base.

  In spite of a fierce attack of a swarm of black flies, we got out of the vehicles to see the “pitchers” …

The side-lighting reveals the downward pointing bristles which help to trap insects in the liquid at the bottom of the pitcher.

After gathering a handful of wild strawberries ripening along the roadside, we stopped to examine some of the Solomon’s Plume for Crab Spiders.  None were seen.

We did see several of these skippers nectaring on the Ox Eye daisies though.   Painted Ladies, the butterfly, were also common as were Viceroys, which are often mistaken for Monarchs.  The wind was blowing the flowers wildly, making photography difficult.

Near the Twin Rivers Bridge, at the confluence of Harris Creek and Naiscoot River, there are many Cow Parsnip plants growing along the roadside.  Although they are somewhat phototoxic they are not as deadly as their look-alike close cousin, Giant Hogweed.

A nice little explanation showing the difference is at this link.   It makes sense to avoid both plants.

Here is Cow Parsnip just before the top flower umbel unfolds.

Mary Holland has this very interesting challenge for the pattern recognition part of your vision system.

20170612 Burwash, Tree swallow, Hawk, Dragonfly, Bee-fly, Damselfly, Dragonfly, Painted Lady, Clearwing Hummingbird Moth, Pussytoes, American Redstart, Lupin, Viburnum, Painted turtle, Eastern Meadowlark, Bobolink, Savannah Sparrow, Barn Swallow, Skipper, Crab Spider

Burwash, Tree swallow, Hawk, Dragonfly, Bee-fly, Damselfly, Dragonfly, Painted Lady, Clearwing Hummingbird Moth, Pussytoes, American Redstart, Lupin, Viburnum, Painted turtle, Eastern Meadowlark, Bobolink, Savannah Sparrow, Barn Swallow, Skipper, Crab Spider

We made an afternoon trip to Burwash to see Clearwing Hummingbird Moths on the honeysuckle blossoms.  We saw a lot more than expected.

In the way into the site, a Tree Swallow welcomed us from a telephone cable…

A little further on this hawk eyed us.  I did not see it in flight or from any other angle and can’t ID it.

Dragonflies were munching on the flying insects along Neilly Lake.

This is the first Bee-fly I’ve seen since photographing one pollinating Coltsfoot blossoms on Harris Lake Road.

This might be a female Marsh Bluet

Maybe a Dot-tailed Whiteface.   I didn’t see the rest of the body.

Painted Lady on Yellow Hawkweed…

Aha!  Here it is, as predicted:

Pussytoes … showing some sort of different flower structure … worth of further research!…

Unknown bee/wasp or fly on the newly blooming Ox eye daisy …

American Redstart serenading, showing rictal bristles

Patches of multicoloured lupins are developing.

Nice shadow on the leaf of the V. trilobum

Lots of painted turtles were on the move …

A first for me!   Eastern Meadowlark singing away.  The bird kept its distance from me.  It was foraging for food, perhaps with a nest nearby?

Another birdie that I rarely see, only at Burwash ….

While the bobolink and meadowlark were singing and going after insects, this lil Savannah Sparrow stood on the fence, seemingly unimpressed by all of the activity…

  On the way out of the old prison farm this other common swallow said goodbye.  Notice the difference in undercolouring of the Tree Swallow (above)  and this Barn Swallow

This is about the size of a skipper.  Probably one of these.  EDIT:  Probably Columbine Duskywing.   It was nectaring on this roadside Birdsfoot trefoil near a rock outcrop which has a lot of blooming columbines.

It didn’t take long for this Crab Spider to find an Ox Eye Daisy to lie in ambush on.  The Daisies only opened up the previous day.

Click on the photo to see the eye structure….

While at Burwash I met a photographer who lives just north of Sudbury.  He gets great wildlife imagery at Burwash and Killarney.  He’s a very interesting man, a practitioner of some of the iceman and breathing techniques at Innerfire.

20170610 Painted and Snapping turtle, Chalk Fronted Dragonfly, Highbush cranberry, Clearwing Moth, Potentilla, Wild Iris, Wild Calla lily, Common Grackle, Wooly Aphid, Ring-billed gulls airshow

Painted and Snapping turtle, Chalk Fronted Dragonfly, Highbush cranberry, Clearwing Moth, Potentilla, Wild Iris, Wild Calla lily, Common Grackle, Wooly Aphid, Ring-billed gulls airshow

We went up to Burwash to check out the bugs and blossoms on a nice spring day.

Painted and big Snapping Turtle eying photographer from afar …

Two male Chalk Fronted Corporals were buzzing along the roadside along Neilly Road.

The signal or attractor blossoms were blooming on this Viburnum trilobum.

First sighting of the season!   Clearwing Hummingbird Moth!   I think that this is a H. thysbe instead of a H. gracilis.

The presence of the appropriate caterpillar hosts and sources of nectar at Burwash makes it a good spot to see these beauties.   We also have clearwings in Britt who usually visit the milkweeds later this month to stock up on nectar.

Potentilla (cinquefoil) is starting to bloom profusely. These might be remnants or hybrids of cultivars growing in the former community.

Iris versacolor showing the three sets of petals of the Fleur-de-lis.

Wild Calla Lily emerging from the muck of the ditch along the road to Burwash…

And along the east that road this Common Grackle found an abandoned woodpecker nest to rear its young.  It took only a minute or two between feedings of the fledglings.

After arriving home I checked out the Tag Alders where I had photographed the Harvester butterfly at 20170607.  Sure enough, here are the Woolly aphids that the larvae feed on, making the Harvester butterfly the only carnivorous butterfly species.  Sharp-eyed naturalists will see the ant which might be “farming” the aphids.

While driving across the fields of Burwash I encountered a flock of Ring-billed Gulls who put on an Airshow for us.  Their ancestors probably put on Airshows for the folks at the landfills at the prison farm half a century ago.

Head-on Pass:

Precision landing next to squadron mate.

Landing sequence ….

Flaring:

Airbraking …

Folding wings.   (Are these Navy types?)

Flyby, demonstrating wing-flapping …

Low level pass with gear up …

Mary Holland has some nice photos of maturing Tamarack cones at Naturally Curious.

20170609 Grackle, Chalk Fronted Dragonfly, Cinnamon Fern, Tamarck, Wild Calla, Common Yarrow, Pitcher Plant, Blanding’s Turtle, Tachinid fly.

Grackle, Chalk Fronted Dragonfly, Cinnamon Fern, Tamarck, Wild Calla, Common Yarrow, Pitcher Plant, Blanding’s Turtle, Tachinid fly.

Common Grackle preening …

Yellow Pond Lily with visitor …

Male Chalk Fronted Corporal

Unknown Odanate

Fern ID exercise

Hmmmm.  Nice little flower about a 2 cm in diameter, occurring in some damp roadside ditches ….

Three unknown Lepidoptera ….  If you can ID any of these unknowns please give us your thoughts by commenting.   Thanks.

EDIT:   I think that the above is not a butterfly but the Common Gray Moth aka Anavitrinella pampinaria.  (I’m still working on the two below!)

Tamarack cones are maturing …

Cinnamon fern

Calla palustris (bog arum, marsh calla, wild calla, and water-arum)

Common Yarrow are starting to blossom, providing nectar for visiting pollinators …

We went back to the site of the Pitcher Plants on Hwy 529 to find some visible “pitchers”.   All were hidden by dense tangles of grass, sedges, and various leaves.  I decided not to disturb any as they provided places for insects to drop into the “pitchers” thereby feeding the plants.   At this time of flowering they need all the nutrient they can get.

Species at Risk:  Blanding’s turtle.

Tachinid fly on first day of a blooming Ox Eye Daisy.

20170608 Crab spider, Iris, Canada Goose, Bracken fern, Solomon’s Plume, Labrador Tea, Purple Ladyslipper, Pitcher Plant

Crab spider, Iris, Canada Goose, Bracken fern, Solomon’s Plume, Labrador Tea, Purple Ladyslipper, Pitcher Plant

We went back to Woods Road to check on the Crab Spider that we had seen and photographed last week.  It was still there, on the same flower, which was starting to look a bit overmature.  Have a look at Misumena vatia in this very nice downloadable .pdf Brochure.

After stopping for a treat at Moose Lake Trading Post, we came back on Hwy 529 and saw our first wild irises of the season, Iris versacolor (blue flag, harlequin blue flag, larger blue flag, northern blue flag, and poison flag) …

This lone Canada Goose was surveying its domain…

Twisted Bracken fern fronds unfurling …

Just North of the turn-off to Bayfield Inlet the Labrador Tea is in full bloom in the Tamarack bog …

And, if you look closely you can see Pink Ladyslippers blooming …

Click on “Pink Ladyslippers”  on Walter Muma’s List of Ontario Orchids.  That list includes Hooded Ladies Tresses, a competitor for Canada’s National Flower. (Voting ends on June 30th.)

(Look in the top left third of the above to see the bunch of Ladyslippers)

Still in the bog, but next to a rock outcrop, this blooming Pitcher Plant cluster is visible from the road.  The traps are hidden in the sedges under the Tamarack twig below.   The Pitcher Plant is a good example of Convergent Evolution.

This Solomon’s Plume is showing itself in a ray of sunshine near the Naiscoot River bridge (where the title photo was taken).

 

Mark Berkery has posted some new “macro” photos at his blog.  Neat stuff!

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20170607 Choke cherry, vireo, pearl crescent, puddling swallowtails, orange hawkweed, pussytoes, tamarack, lily of the valley, sandcherry, blueberry, blue-eyed grass

Choke cherry, vireo, pearl crescent, puddling swallowtails, orange hawkweed, pussytoes, tamarack, lily of the valley, sandcherry, blueberry, blue-eyed grass

“Loveliest of trees, the cherry now,

Is hung with bloom along the bough,

…..”

When I first saw this flower I thought it was a goatsbeard.  Now, I don’t think so.  We’ll have to watch it on the Old Still Road to see its progress.

This unknown birdie on the Old Still River Road might be a red eyed vireo.  It sang then flitted.

I suspect that this sparrow is bringing a protein lunch to a nearby nest, well hidden in the low thicket.  I was lucky to get a focus on the birdie!

Pearl Crescent in a driveway on Old Still River Road …

Ah!  Thanks for the profile:

In same driveway, three Eastern Tiger Swallowtails (canadensis) are either puddling or mating.

First appearance of Orange Hawkweed.  In spite of its red/orange colour, to which bees are blind, I still see lots of pollinators coming for a visit.  Pilosella aurantiaca (fox-and-cubs, orange hawkweed, tawny hawkweed, devil’s paintbrush, grim-the-collier)

Pussytoes ( Antennaria ) are progressing.   I hope to spot “antennae” sprouting soon.

Hmmm.  I don’t have this one identified yet.  Help!!

Edit:   It looks like a Harvester.

Tamarack cones are maturing … soon to turn brown.  Some pollen pods are still visible and presumably active.

The shadow caught my eye, giving a nice 3D effect…

I am pretty well convinced that this is a sandcherry (In spite of the purple stamens).

Nice warm weather but no pollinators, yet.

Nice patch of blue-eyed grass in the ditch in front of Steve’s house:

An explanation for those Bare Trees filled with Vultures – Western Movie Style.

 

20170606 Marsh Marigold, Spring Azure, Tiger Swallowtail, Polypores, Viburnums, Rose, Starling, Goslings, Drakes, Prunus, Solomon’s Seal and others…

 

Marsh Marigold, Spring Azure, Tiger Swallowtail, Polypores, Viburnums, Rose, Starling, Goslings, Drakes, Prunus, Solomon’s Seal, Star flowers

Here is the Marsh Marigold a few weeks after it was in full yellow bloom..

There are a lot of Spring Azures flitting about these days.  They may be a bit difficult to ID properly according to the very reliable expert, Rick Cavasin.

I had a brief discussion with Damien about these polypores.  He and Vanessa were out searching for Oyster Mushrooms and had only see these.  I think that they are Polyporus squamosus   also known as Dryad’s Saddle.

These are the “wild plums” that I photographed about a month ago…

Viburnum trilobum  berries ripen the same time, late fall, as the cranberry and make a similar sauce.  Hence the common name.  Note the similarity of the flower pattern with other viburnums.

Another Viburnum, Northern Wild Raisin.   Take your pick of specie as Northern Wild Raisin is either a V. nudum, cassinoides, lentago depending on who you read.  The other Viburnum that you saw here is Hobblebush, aka V. lantanoides.  All of the viburnums have sterile attractor blossoms on the perimeter, surrounding a fertile head of flowers.

It seems that this Starling has just had a dip in Byng Inlet…

I suspect that these two pairs are baby sitting goslings from other parents.  Some are already dabb(l)ing….

Three drakes parading …

Nice bouquet of starflowers …

View from George’s Driveway out the south channel….

Canada anemone will be in full bloom when we get the next warm spell …

Solomon’s Seal near the end of Riverside on the open lot where the geophysical marker is located …

The little patch of white on front might help in identifying this dragonfly …

At first  I thought that this is Prunus pumila, but those dark purple stamens are not typical of the Great Lakes Sandcherry.   Perhaps another hybrid?

If we get some good pollination weather we’ll have a good blueberry crop this year ….

Wild Lily of the Valley …

Pin Cherry showing arrangement of blossoms…. very different than the choke and black species of cherry.

Nice wild rose in Doug and Doreen’s rockery…

Fan leaved Hawthorn in full bloom…

We found this Eastern Tiger Swallowtail in the driveway upon returning home.   TinTin was unimpressed.

 

Mary Holland has a very nice post of Fringed Polygala, aka Gaywings.   I’ve seen them blooming along Hwy 529 south 529A into Bayfield Inlet.

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