Blog Archives

Summer Fun in the Sun

The Summer is here and in full presence. The heat in Southern Ontario has been quite warm and constant which leads many people seeking opportunities to escape to the cottage country. Last weekend at my cottage it was very warm too and it was a time well spent in the lake.

The Common Crayfish is native to North America and lives in fast–flowing, cool, rocky streams as well as shallow lakes, such as my own lake. I caught this little guy and pulled him ashore to take photos then released him back in the water.

Summer time in cottage country is fabulous and is a true Ontario tradition. Anyone else have any great stories about being in cottage country or camping sites?

Eyes of Fire

I often walk along the shoreline at my cottage to seek out interesting animal observations; whether it be an amphibian, a bird, or an insect. One of my recent sightings was of a Orange Bluet (damselfly).

There are over 35 kinds of Bluets in North America alone and are commonly found very close to water. To see my older post on Familiar Bluets click here. I was most amazed at the colour of these insects and I found that in one day I had come across more than 6 different colour variations of Damselflies.

American Lady

 

 

American Ladies (Vanessa virginiensis) throughout most of North America south of the Arctic Circle and can be found in sunny open areas where there abundant wildflowers.

 

These butterflies have quite brilliant orange and black wings but the ventral sides are just as stunning. Notice the touch of pink.

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!