Blog Archives

My Little Friend

 

An important part of connecting with the outdoors is to learn of an area’s flora and fauna. It is critical that you know your surroundings thus have a better appreciation of the ecosystem. This summer I was fortunate enough to spend a lot of time in the Kawartha Lakes region of Ontario. I was also fortunate enough to have many great sightings of stunning vistas but also intriguing wildlife such as the Painted Turtle shown below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I came across this female Painted turtle as I was out for a walk but almost passed by it because I did not recognize the shell to be that of a turlte but rather a blackish rock. But my senses kicked in and I knew for certain it was something other than a rock. To my fascination I discovered that this female was laying eggs. I was able to take some quick shots with my macro lens then I continued so not to disturb it further. Do you have any great stories about turtle spottings?

This Is My Ontario

Ontario lakes are renowned for their diversity and beauty at any time, but the summer season provides a lush backdrop of stunning vistas that can be found all over cottage country. Whether you are out for an inspiring day paddle, or a rigorous challenge, these lakes provide some of the best experiences anywhere. After all the province’s name comes from the Huron word Ontarí:io which means “great lake” because Ontario contains about 250,000 freshwater lakes. These are some panoramic shots of lakes I was at this summer.

In the Wild

Summer adventures have come to a close and those weekends of great outdoors adventures will soon be transforming into other fall-orientated adventures. Nevertheless the fall is a time to look back on good times of the past summer. This summer I spent a lot of time in the great outdoors of Ontario. These are some photos of a canoe trek I took in the Kawartha Region.

 

 

 

 

These remind me of good times and I hope you too can appreciate the beauty of the outdoors and ones ability to be in peace with nature. Ontario- yours to discover!

Dolomedes on the Dock

Nature is always bountiful and in my attempts to photograph nature I run out of time. How can an entire fragile yet massive ecosystem be documented. Well, this post is about one of my many sightings. This species is the Dark Fishing Spider (Dolomedes tenebrosus) and is found in eastern North America.

Nine types of Dolomedes exist in North America and close to a 100 found elsewhere in the world. They are usually found near water and are avid swimmers in the sense that they run across water. When a ripple is detected they run  to subdue their prey (usually aquatic insects and occasionally small fish) with venom. Although this venom is harmless to humans these spiders still have the effect of intimidating and usually have a bad reputation. Have you ever encountered a Dolomedes?

Beautiful Beetle

Now that summer is here my true love of nature can be unleashed as it is easier to enjoy the outdoors and explore the wilderness that surrounds me. At my cottage I came across a very interesting beetle that I had never seen before; the Spotted June Bug.

The sunset on my lake at around 6:00 PM.

Adult beetles are approximately 2.5 cm long and they feed on foliage along the forest floor of mixed forests throughout eastern North America.

I came across the beetle on one of my nature walks and I was amazed at the color of the beetle because, as an insect enthusiast, I could not identify it as a type of beetle familiar to Ontario. As I later learned they have only been spotted in southern Ontario on a few occasions. This makes them somewhat rare in Canada but fortunately I had the chance to see one.

Life as a Sawyer

Again, on one of my photographic adventures through the wilderness surrounding my cottage in Northern Ontario I came across a spectacular insect. The white-spotted sawyer (Monochamus scutellatus) is an important wood-boring insect in North America.

Habitat

These photos portray an adult male

As it is still June many Sawyers have and will be laying eggs. In the northern part of its range, the white-spotted sawyer requires almost 2 years to complete its life cycle. So the eggs, then larvae will not emerge as the above adult for another two years, which in terms of insect lifespan is quite long. Have you ever seen this insect or have you ever been confused if it was an Asian Long-Horned beetle? I would be glad to hear your input.

Admiral of the Sky

This past weekend I had the opportunity to travel up to my cottage for an extended weekend and I was really able to slow down and enjoy my surroundings. As I commonly do, I walk around or paddle around the lake in search of a new discovery. I though I would share one of my greatest discoveries of this past weekend: the White Admiral butterfly

This is a picture of a bay on my lake that I paddle along.

The White Admiral is a species of the North American brush-footed butterflies.  Ranging from almost coast to coast this butterfly can be found on forest edges and along watercourses.

Notice the band of white on their wings, which is where the name originates.

Have you seen this butterfly before? Let me here your stories or just tell me what you think!

The Pine Tree

In Canada, the Maple tree and the Pine tree are two of the most dominant and iconic trees. The White Pine (Pinus strobus) is a large pine tree that is native to Eastern North America.

The White Pines are credited as being North America’s tallest tree and there have been reports of trees reaching over 70m.

Pine cones are long and slender and contain seeds that provide animals with food and serve as the trees way to reproduce.

The Eastern White Pine is the provincial tree of Ontario and the state tree of Michigan and Maine.

Spring Growth

Recently i was outside the city and in the countryside and was astonished at all the wonderful new year growth that was beginning to show itself. I was most interested in the various ferns that were beginning to grow and i thought i would share a few photos of what i saw.

This is a photo i took of a young set of fiddle heads coming up out of the ground. The Ostrich fern is a crown-forming, colony-forming fern, occurring in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere.

This Cinnamon Fern is native to the Americas and Eastern Asia and grows in moist woodlands.

I believe this is a Marsh Fern but i may be wrong. It prefers to grow in marshy situations in full sun.