A Rauparaha’s Copper Butterfly in New Zealand



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A Rauparaha’s Copper Butterfly in New Zealand

An image of a Rauparaha's Copper Butterfly near Muriwai, New Zealand

It was enjoyable making our way through the sand dunes at Muriwai on the North Island of New Zealand.  The observation deck looking over the Gannet colony was our destination, but delights awaited us along the way such as this pretty Rauparaha’s Copper Butterfly. Read more

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Butterflies and Moths we sighted at our retreat in Tuscany.



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Butterflies and Moths we sighted at our retreat in Tuscany

Stone cottage at Il Colombaio di Cencio, Tuscany

The morning following our arrival in Tuscany at first looked like it would be dreary and wet.  A light sprinkle of rain dampened the patio stones as we ate breakfast, but by the time we finished our fruit and cereal, warm September sunshine cast shadows of the tall trees surrounding our farmhouse, so we set off to explore the vineyard.  Butterflies and moths were everywhere in our dooryard, on the wildflowers and clinging to bushes and vines. Read more

A Hummingbird Clearwing Moth at Oxtongue Lake

A Hummingbird Clearwing Moth at Oxtongue Lake

Image of a clearwing hummingbird moth at lilac bush at oxtongue lake, in ontario.

If ever you have seen a Hummingbird Clearwing Moth, you were probably mesmerized as we were by the sheer look of its see-through wings and the way it hovers like a hummingbird.  In fact, you might have mistaken it for one of those teeny birds.  Bob and I have seen Hummingbird Clearwing Moths on a couple of occasions, once in Algonquin Park and this one above in my mom’s garden at Oxtongue Lake, Ontario. Read more

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

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



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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



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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



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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

Red Lily beetles plague my Toronto Tiger Lilies



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Red Lily beetles plague my Toronto Tiger Lilies

Red lily beetle in toronto garden 4

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. Read more