Monarch Butterfly Larvae at Tommy Thompson Park

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Photo Of A Monarch Butterfly Caterpillar On A Milkweed Pod

This past Saturday, Bob and I celebrated our wedding anniversary.  To mark the occasion, amongst other things, we went for a nice outing to Tommy Thompson Park in Toronto.  It was there that we finally succeeded in locating some of this year’s crop of Monarch Butterfly larvae…ten in fact.  We were ecstatic. Continue reading “Monarch Butterfly Larvae at Tommy Thompson Park” »

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Moose Cow And Calf In An Algonquin Park Swamp

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A Moose Cow And Her Calf Graze In Algonquin Park

About a month ago, Bob and I were visiting my parents at Oxtongue Lake near Algonquin Provincial Park.  It was a bit early in the summer, but time to take a drive into the park to check on the progress of the wild blueberry crop.  At one of the beaver ponds along Highway 60 where moose are known to frequent, we spotted this big cow Moose and a young calf. Continue reading “Moose Cow And Calf In An Algonquin Park Swamp” »

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Monarch Butterflies Mating At Lower Reesor Pond In Toronto

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A Photo Of Two Monarch Butterflies Mating On A Tree

What a sad summer it is here in Ontario because Monarch Butterflies (Danaus plexippus) are conspicuous by their absence.  Bob and I have been monitoring sightings posted by nature lovers on Facebook, and websites such as The Insects and Arachnids of Ontario, The Weather Network, and Butterflies and Moths of North America.  We are not the only people discouraged by the poor showing of these beautiful insects this year. Continue reading “Monarch Butterflies Mating At Lower Reesor Pond In Toronto” »

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Sunchokes Growing Wild At Lower Reesor Pond In Toronto

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A Photo Of The Sunchokes Growing At Lower Reesor Pond

How beautiful is a sprawling drift of Jerusalem Artichokes (Helianthus tuberosus) fading into the distance!  That is just what we found when Bob and I visited Lower Reesor Pond in northeast Toronto recently.  This native species of sunflower goes by many different names including Sunchokes, Sunroot or Earth Apple. Continue reading “Sunchokes Growing Wild At Lower Reesor Pond In Toronto” »

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Cedar Waxwings Capture Insects At Milliken Park

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A Cedar Waxwing Sits In A Tree At Milliken Park

Bob and I take regular walks to our local park because we find that the variety of habitats found there encourages an assortment of birds and animals at any given time of the year.  Based on a tip from my sister, we recently hit the pavement in hopes of seeing some Cedar Waxwings (Bombycilla cedrorum), and we were stunned by the numbers around the south pond. Continue reading “Cedar Waxwings Capture Insects At Milliken Park” »

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Red Lily Beetles Plague My Toronto Tiger Lilies

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A Red Lily Beetle Prepares To Eat One of My Plants!

For the past several years, starting each spring and into the summer months,  I have been pestered by Red Lily Beetles (Lilioceris lilii) on my Tiger Lilies .  It is actually the beetles’ shiny, hard forewings that are red.  These pretty little beetles stand out quite well on green plants, but they are a trick to catch and squash.  I declare that I think they see me coming because, often, as I move in on their position, they drop to the earth below and essentially disappear in the shadows.  It doesn’t help that, this year, I spread red cedar chips in all my gardens, so imagine trying to find a red bug on that red surface. Continue reading “Red Lily Beetles Plague My Toronto Tiger Lilies” »

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Gray Treefrogs At Lower Reesor Pond In Toronto

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A Gray Treefrog Holds On To A Plant Stem At Reesor Pond

After a recent stretch of very rainy weather, Bob and I were desperate to get out in the field, and nothing pleases us more than to explore a new trail or go birdwatching in a habitat never before visited by ourselves.  Such was the case when we targeted a wetland in north Toronto…Lower Reesor Pond.  Our outing, as usual, was prolonged but immensely rewarding.  Amongst other birds and animals seen that day were several Eastern Gray Treefrogs (Hyla versicolor). Continue reading “Gray Treefrogs At Lower Reesor Pond In Toronto” »

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Black Bear Mom And Cubs Eat Blueberries In Algonquin Park

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Black Bear Mom And Cubs Eat Blueberries

This past weekend, Bob and I once again found ourselves in Algonquin Provincial Park here in central Ontario.  We had various objectives during our two-day visit to the area, and one of them was to pick wild blueberries.  Having heard that the crop was more plentiful than usual, we were eager to put ourselves to the task of harvesting a few.  It was quite a surprise to find that an American Black Bear (Ursus americanus) and two cubs were sharing the blueberry patch with us. Continue reading “Black Bear Mom And Cubs Eat Blueberries In Algonquin Park” »

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Nashville Warbler Visits Our Toronto Backyard

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A Nashville Warbler Sits On Our Toronto Water Fountain

Of the various Warblers frequenting our backyard this past spring, it was the Pine Warblers and a pair of Nashville Warblers (Oreothlypis ruficapilla) that made the longest stays.  We experienced long periods without rain this spring so the water fountain on our property was a real attraction for a lot of migrating birds. Continue reading “Nashville Warbler Visits Our Toronto Backyard” »

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Coneflowers Growing At Reesor Pond In Toronto

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Coneflowers Growing At Reesor Pond

Bob and I paid a visit recently to the Reesor Wetlands in north Toronto and had purposely allotted a large chunk of time in order that we might pay some well deserved attention to that special habitat.  Through reports provided by other visitors, we learned that some less common wildflowers and plants have gained foothold in the area surrounding the pond, and sure enough, we uncovered several groupings of Grey-headed Coneflowers (Ratibida pinnata). Continue reading “Coneflowers Growing At Reesor Pond In Toronto” »

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Palm Warbler At Ashbridge’s Bay Park In Toronto

palm warbler in tree - ashbridges bay park - toronto

A Palm Warbler Sits In A Tree In Toronto

What a delightful day we had birdwatching at Ashbridge’s Bay Park in Toronto, a park we had never visited before.  One Sunday this past spring, Bob and I ventured there because it seemed to offer some of the best prospects for seeing migrating birds.  Although more expert eyes probably picked out umpteen species, we managed to sight over a dozen ourselves including this little gem, a Palm Warbler (Setophaga palmarum).  In breeding plumage, its dull red cap is diagnostic. Continue reading “Palm Warbler At Ashbridge’s Bay Park In Toronto” »

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Trumpeter Swan Cygnets Growing Up At Milliken Park

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Two Trumpeter Swan Cygnets On The Pond At Milliken Park

It has been two weeks since Bob and I first spotted the two Trumpeter Swan cygnets at Milliken Pond, and they seem to be thriving.  We dropped by the park a day ago to check on their well-being and were thrilled to see them paddling along with nary a care in the world. Continue reading “Trumpeter Swan Cygnets Growing Up At Milliken Park” »

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