A Question Mark Butterfly at Rouge National Park



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A Question Mark Butterfly at Rouge National Park

Question mark butterfly along the Cedar Trail at Rouge National Park, Toronto, Ontario

Bob and I had not entertained our youngest son and his wife for quite some time, so in early August, we got together to catch up on all the news.  Not being ones to sit around and visit ad infinitum, after passing a couple of hours on our backyard deck, I suggested a bit of a walk to work up an appetite for dinner.  Cedar Trail at Rouge National Urban Park is close by, and we promised that we would not stand around for hours photographing birds, but the chance sighting of a Question Mark Butterfly did hold us up for several minutes with no complaints from our company. Read more

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Shamrock Orbweaver Spider at Col. Samuel Smith Park

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Shamrock Orbweaver Spider at Col. Samuel Smith Park

Shamrock orbweaver spider at Colonel Samuel Smith Park in Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada

Late last summer, based on reports of a Yellow-crowned Night Heron being seen at Colonel Samuel Smith Park in Etobicoke, Bob and I finally found the time to take a spin down to that waterfront park to see if we would be lucky enough to find it.  Amongst other things, I found this gorgeous Shamrock Orbweaver Spider. Read more

Striped Hairstreak Butterfly in Huntsville, Ontario



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Striped Hairstreak Butterfly in Huntsville, Ontario

Striped Hairstreak Butterfly on a plant leaf near Huntsville, Ontario, Canada.

Bob and I made a stay in Huntsville, Ontario, at the end of July, and having driven for 3 hours to get to our accommodation, as if we needed an excuse, we headed off almost immediately to stretch our legs, another deception as we are always on the lookout for whatever wildlife might cross our paths and hardly ever leave our cameras behind.  Once again, it was Bob’s keen eye that noticed the fluttering of a Striped Hairstreak Butterfly on a plant and had him exclaiming, “there’s a new butterfly!”.  Read more

An Atlantis Fritillary Butterfly in Algonquin Park



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An Atlantis Fritillary Butterfly in Algonquin Park

Atlantis fritillary butterfly on the ground at Mew Lake, in Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada

This past summer found Bob and me in Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario in search of Black Bears.  The blueberry patch at the old airstrip near Mew Lake Campground was a magnet for two families of Black Bears a year ago, so we were hoping that some of them might have returned in search of this year’s crop.  Instead, the only visitors to the blueberry patch were countless Atlantis Fritillary Butterflies. Read more

A Modest Sphinx Moth Caterpillar at Oxtongue Lake



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A Modest Sphinx Moth Caterpillar at Oxtongue Lake

Modest Sphinx Moth Caterpillar on the ground at Oxtongue Lake, Ontario, Canada

How would you like to come face to face with this fierce-looking caterpillar if you were about knee high to a grasshopper?  It was about 4 inches long (10 cm), around 1/2 inch in diameter (1 cm), and surprisingly quick at navigating through the tangle of grass.  This is the larva of a Modest Sphinx Moth (Pachysphinx modesta) that we saw in the community of Oxtongue Lake, Ontario, near the end of August. Read more

A Black Swallowtail Butterfly in Toronto



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A Black Swallowtail Butterfly in Toronto

A Black Swallowtail Butterfly sitting on a coneflower in Toronto, Ontario

I relocated some Coneflowers in my Toronto garden last fall, and was blessed with the gift of a few more from a friend, and the plants seem to be flourishing in their new location.  Bob and I have monitored them closely since they are said to attract butterflies, and late one afternoon, we spotted this beauty, a Black Swallowtail Butterfly tasting the nectar from one particularly tall specimen. Read more

A Hickory Hairstreak Butterfly at Tommy Thompson Park in Toronto



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A Hickory Hairstreak Butterfly at Tommy Thompson Park in Toronto

hickory hairstreak butterfly on milkweed flower, tommy thompson park, toronto

On a particularly hot July day, Bob and I decided to seek cooler temperatures along the lakefront here in Toronto, so we loaded our bikes and made for Tommy Thompson Park.  There, along the bicycle trail, Bob spotted this dainty Hickory Hairstreak Butterfly (Satyrium caryaevorum).  It was a Lifer for us. Read more

An Eastern Comma Butterfly at Tommy Thompson Park



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An Eastern Comma Butterfly at Tommy Thompson Park

eastern comma butterfly, tommy thompson park, toronto 6

An Eastern Comma Butterfly (Polygonia comma) was the icing on the cake for Bob’s and my bicycle tour around Tommy Thompson Park in Toronto, Ontario one Sunday.  Eager to check out the construction of new cells along the eastern perimeter of the Leslie Street Spit, we had embarked on a day-long circuitous route around the man-made peninsula in the hopes of seeing some shorebirds in the dwindling amount of water in the huge holes. Read more

Visiting Cerro Pelon Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary on Horseback



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Visiting Cerro Pelon Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary on Horseback

Bob horseback riding to the Cerro Pelon Butterfly Sanctuary, near Macheros, Mexico

Even before we left Canada for Mexico, Bob and I had planned to visit all three of the monarch butterfly sanctuaries that are near Zitacuaro.  Pablo, the host at our hotel, Hotel Rancho San Cayetano, was very pleased that we included Cerro Pelon Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary in our plans.  Of the three that we would visit, Cerro Pelon is the least known and hence less visited, two pluses in our book, but perhaps it is for good reason.  To reach the roosting location of the butterflies, riding on horseback is almost a necessity.  It made for quite the adventure. Read more

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