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 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

Monarch Butterfly Chrysalis At Tommy Thompson Park

Monarch Butterfly Chrysalis At Tommy Thompson Park

monarch butterfly chrysalis at tommy thompson park - ontario 7

This past summer, Bob and I made for Tommy Thompson Park once again.  We were certain, given the large number of Monarch Butterfly larvae that we had seen before, that we would be able to find a chrysalis on one of the many Milkweed plants.  Our memory served us well as to the locations of a good share of the well-advanced larvae, but it took us two days to actually locate a Monarch’s chrysalis amid the fields of stately Milkweed plants.  Our persistence had paid off! 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

Tomato Hornworm Moths At Grand Canyon National Park

Tomato Hornworm Moths At Grand Canyon National Park

Tomato Hornworm Moth in flight to Moonflower - Grand Canyon National Park - Arizona

After a full day of activity at Grand Canyon National Park, Bob and I were returning late to our room at Maswik Lodge when a flicker of movement drew my eye towards the stunning night-blooming Moonflowers.  We were not the only ones attracted by the glowing white flowers.  Numerous Tomato Hornworm Moths (Manduca quinquemaculata), also known as Five-spotted Hawkmoths,  were circling for a landing. Read more

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