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.

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!