20170626-27 Crab Spider, Skipper, Bumblebees, Hummingbird Clearwing Moth, Beaked Hazelnut, Yellow Toadflax, Long Hoverfly, American Goldfinch, Viper’s Bugloss

We had a couple of breaks in the continual rain so we got out to see what we could see…

Bumblebee foraging for nectar on Ox Eye Daisy …


A crab spider (?) lying in wait on the top of a Cow Parsley blossom:


A Sweat Bee, I think, on an Ox Eye Daisy:


An unknown spider (Xysticus??) looks to be manhandling a carcass of a Goldenrod Crab Spider from its Ox Eye Daisy.

A critter in the last of the Canada Anemones …

One of the many Ontario Skippers (European?) on vetch …

First sighting of Linaria vulgaris (common toadflax,  yellow toadflax, or butter-and-eggs) this year:

This looks like a Long Hoverfly

Wild plum with Plum Pocket

Remember those beautiful little flowers in April, about the same time as Red Maple?    Yes!   Corylus cornuta that will be ready to harvest in a month.


A pair of American Goldfinches.   Dancing?  Maybe!

“American Goldfinches breed later than most North American birds. They wait to nest until June or July when milkweed, thistle, and other plants have produced their fibrous seeds, which goldfinches incorporate into their nests and also feed their young.”

Watch me dive!!

Uh!  Oh!  Bombus ternarius, commonly known as the orange-belted bumblebee or tricoloured bumblebee, in fatal embrace of a Goldenrod Crab Spider.

Another Bombus nectaring at a Viper’s Bugloss blossom.


Hummingbird Clearwing Moth —- First time I’ve seen one on a Viper’s  Bugloss.

Bumblebee really gets into the Blueweed.

Hummingbird Clearwing is uncoiling its proboscis in preparation for nectaring …

Whenever we get a bit of sunshine the pollinators get busy doing their thing.  The very small insects, including hoverflies and skippers don’t seem to be deterred by rain.

Finally we must have one of Diana’s beauties, just in time for Canada Day:

See the visitor?

Speaking of visitors, have a look at these beauties.

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.