In the Midst of Monarch Butterflies at Sierra Chincua Sanctuary in Mexico

In the Midst of Monarch Butterflies at Sierra Chincua Sanctuary in Mexico

Monarch butterflies on a fir bough at Sierra Chincua Butterfly Sanctuary near Angangueo, Mexico

There are eight butterfly colonies that exist in protected areas of Mexico, five of which are located in the state of Michoacan, but only two of these are open to the public.  We wanted to check out both for the different experiences that they provide.  On Day 4 of our trip, we retraced the route towards Angangueo and then branched off towards the Sierra Chincua Butterfly Reserve.  Although smaller in scope, with fewer butterflies overall, we were actually able to get closer to those resting in the trees. Read more

Among the Winged Magic at El Rosario Monarch Butterfly Reserve in Mexico

Among the Winged Magic at El Rosario Monarch Butterfly Reserve in Mexico

Monarch butterflies on the ground at El Rosario Biosphere Reserve, in Mexico

For a number of years now, Bob and I have intended to go to the Sierra Madre Mountains in Mexico to witness the spectacle of the Monarch Butterflies that winter there.  We realized our dream in January 2015 when we flew into Mexico City, and two days later found ourselves at El Rosario Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary in the State of Michoacán.  The sight literally brought me to tears. Read more

Great Black Digger Wasp At McKenzie Marsh In Aurora

Great Black Digger Wasp At McKenzie Marsh In Aurora

great black digger wasp - atkinson park wetland, aurora - pic 1

When Bob and I set off to explore the Atkinson Park Wetlands found at St. John’s Sideroad and Yonge Street in Aurora, Ontario, we expected to find ducks and herons, frogs and toads, but had not anticipated or planned on focusing on a number of interesting insects.  As I studied the frogs in the pond, Bob was absorbed in observing a curious black bug that turned out to be a Great Black Digger Wasp (Sphex pensylvanicus). Read more

A Northern Pearly-Eye Butterfly In Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario

A Northern Pearly-Eye Butterfly In Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario

northern pearly-eye butterfly - algonquin park - 2014 pic 5

This past summer, Bob and I undertook to hike the Mizzy Lake Trail in Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario.  For a summer’s day, the temperature was not all that hot, but we were blessed with wonderful sunshine and a gentle breeze to cool us over the course of the 7 hours that it took to complete our hike.  Along about mid-morning, amidst the flickering shadows cast by millions of green leaves, a Northern Pearly-Eye Butterfly (Lethe anthedon) settled its dainty body on some foliage at the edge of the thick forest. Read more

A Lance-tipped Darner Dragonfly Along Algonquin Park’s Mizzy Lake Trail



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A Lance-tipped Darner Dragonfly Along Algonquin Park’s Mizzy Lake Trail

lance-tipped darner dragonfly along mizzy lake trail - algonquin park - ontario pic 4

When hiking the Mizzy Lake Trail in Algonquin Provincial Park, we took a lunch break near the top of the loop a short distance beyond Wolf Howl Pond.  Two small ponds made an inviting place to have our picnic lunch, and there was so much activity around the water that we were fully entertained while we ate.  One Lance-tipped Darner Dragonfly (Aeshna constricta) repeatedly landed on a submerged log directly in front of our picnic spot. Read more

An Atlantis Fritillary Butterfly along the Mizzy Lake Trail



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An Atlantis Fritillary Butterfly along the Mizzy Lake Trail

Atlantis Fritillary butterfly - mizzy lake trail - algonquin park - ontario

The location of our picnic spot along the Mizzy Lake Trail in Algonquin Park, happened to be very ideal next to a pond where we were rewarded with the pleasure of observing this Atlantis Fritillary Butterfly (Speyeria atlantis). Read more

A Viceroy butterfly At Tommy Thompson Park

A Viceroy butterfly At Tommy Thompson Park

viceroy butterfly at tommy thompson park - toronto - ontario 2

Over the previous few weeks, Bob and I have made countless trips to Tommy Thompson Park, in Toronto, Ontario, in search of Monarch Butterflies, caterpillars and their elusive cocoons.  On one visit, another Monarch Butterfly landed on a bush right in front of me, or so I thought until I got a closer look at its wings.  The brightly-coloured orange butterfly turned out to be a Viceroy butterfly (Limenitus archippus). Read more

A Flutter of Monarch Butterflies At Toronto Shoreline

A Flutter of Monarch Butterflies At Toronto Shoreline

monarch butterflies - tree 3 - at colonel sam smith park - etobicoke - ontario 19

Last fall, Bob and I ended up spending most of the day at Colonel Samuel Smith Park at the edge of Lake Ontario in Toronto.  Our mission to locate a flutter of Monarch Butterflies started early in the morning, but it was not until late in the afternoon that we finally knew success.  There was no mistaking the chosen tree for its branches hung with hundreds and hundreds of these beautiful butterflies, come together to rest for the night. Read more

A Hornets nest in Milliken Park in Toronto

A Hornets nest in Milliken Park in Toronto

hornets nest in tree in milliken park - toronto - ontario 6

Last week, Bob and I walked over to Milliken Park to check up on the Trumpeter Swan Cygnets and search for Monarch Butterflies.  As we busied ourselves photographing a beautiful Monarch specimen on a milkweed flower, we became distracted by numerous Cedar Waxwings perching in the top of a dead tree.  We were happy to see that a number of those birds were still at the park.  When I glanced into the crown of a nearby maple tree, I was dumbfounded as to what I was seeing.  It looked like a huge turban made out of cloth, but then I recognized it as a hornet”s nest.  It was huge! Read more

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