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.




20170616 Dogwood, chestnut sided warbler, highbush cranberry, Canada anemone, blight, wild rose, painted lady, wood satyr, crab spider, salsify.

Dogwood, chestnut sided warbler, highbush cranberry, Canada anemone, blight, wild rose, painted lady, wood satyr, crab spider, salsify.

Some scenes along the Old Still River Road and Hwy 529 ..

The dogwoods are in full bloom now …

This Chestnut Sided Warbler views the photographer from its “hide”.

A nice display of the V. trilobum …

Canada anemone is in full bloom now …

Many of the Choke Cherries seem to be affected by a blight of some sort this year …

Up close:

This wild plum has a similar affliction …

All of the local serviceberries have some sort of disease also.  I have yet to see any serviceberry mature to edible fruit over the last 20 years in this area.   Too bad, as serviceberry (aka Saskatoon berry) pie is delicious. 

The Prickly Wild Roses are in mid-bloom now …

This Crab Spider seems to be transitioning to the yellow format (in anticipation for lying in wait on a Goldenrod?)

Little Wood Satyr, resting on a leaf under a grass arch …

Tragopogon dubius (yellow salsify, western salsify, western goat’s-beard, wild oysterplant, yellow goat’s beard, goat’s beard, goatsbeard, common salsify, salsify) in a delicate light:

Painted lady nectaring on a V. trilobum…

Native bee collecting pollen and nectar on the flowerhead of a Common Yarrow….

Beetle on Ox Eye Daisy.   I don’t know what it is doing there.

These two (Coppers??) were hidden in the wind-moving grass.  A pair of antennae at either end.

A wind gust later … Aha!   That’s how they do it!


And interesting reference for up-to-date environmental news:


More stuff:  http://blog.feedspot.com/nature_blogs/

It is probably healthier to go outside for a walk or drive than to look at all of this computer stuff!!!



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 ….


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.