17 July 2021
Near Wallenstein, ON
There was a time not so many years ago when Bricker School Line, a rural road, was home to several pairs of Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis), but a couple of years ago a farmer upgraded his fences, removing the bluebird houses in the process, and even though they were eventually replaced the bluebirds have not been seen since.
Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus) is quite common though.
Miriam and I have remarked several times that despite suitable habitat we had never seen an Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna) in that vicinity. You will understand our delight, therefore, when we spotted this individual far down a fence line.
It was beyond what one might reasonably conclude was within camera range, so Miriam obtained exceptionally clear shots it seems to me under less than ideal conditions.
18 July 2021
Our home, Waterloo, ON
The St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum) is doing exceptionally well this year.
A little detective work by Miriam revealed the den from which the baby rabbits emerged, concealed in a dense patch of Periwinkle (Genus Vinca).
I hope they are doing well in their quest for independence.
West Perth Wetland, Mitchell, ON
We were on the way to Bayfield, on the shore of Lake Huron, for our first visit to Erin and her family since the start of COVID, and stopped off at the West Perth Wetland for a very brief visit.
Wood Ducks (Aix sponsa) have evidently had a good year and these young males are acquiring their finery (mother is off to the right).
Japanese Beetle (Popillia japonica) is a very attractive insect, but a serious pest to a wide range of trees and shrubs.
The adult form is capable of skeletonizing foliage and subterranean larvae feed on the roots of grasses.
20 July 2021
Our backyard, Waterloo, ON
From time to time we have seen a Raccoon (Procyon lotor) in our backyard, but never a family of three which is what greeted us when we glanced out the family room window.
One has to give them credit for being fully compliant with COVID regulations. They were all masked and maintained adequate social distance most of the time.
It is an attractive animal, but it can inflict serious damage in a garden, and has mastered the art of opening even the most secure garbage can.
20 July 2021
Laurel Creek Conservation Area, Waterloo, ON
It was mid afternoon on a beautiful day, sunny, with the temperature in the mid-twenties, and a stroll at Laurel Creek seemed just what Mother Nature ordered.
A couple of Eastern Kingbirds were busily engaged catching insects, and this one appears to have captured something quite formidable - exactly what, however, I am not sure.
Common Self-heal (Prunella vulgaris) is a very attractive plant, believed by some taxonomists to be both native and introduced.
Various medicinal properties are ascribed to this plant; based on what I have been able to discover, however, few of the claims have been scientifically proven.
Evidently Sweat Bees (Halictidae) find the flowers attractive.
It appears that Northern Leopard Frog (Lithobates pipiens) has had a very successful breeding season, and little froglets were constantly erupting from beneath our feet.
The Seven-spot Lady Beetle (Coccinella septempunctata) was introduced into North America from Europe, and has become the most widespread species in Ontario.
It is generally welcomed by gardeners and horticulturalists due to its preference for feeding on aphids.
Twelve-spotted Skimmer (Libellula pulchella) is a large, striking dragonfly that, pleasingly, alights quite frequently.
Wild Indigo Duskywing (Erynnis baptisiae) is one of the Hesperiidae that can be difficult to identify, and the period of abundance is a helpful clue.
As has been mentioned in other posts, Bluets (Coenagrionidae) can be extremely difficult to identify as to species, so I felt a special sense of satisfaction in correctly identifying the following individual as a Tule Bluet (Enallagma carunculatum).
Red Milkweed Beetle (Tetraopes tetrophthalmus) on the other hand is unlikely to be confused with anything else.
Autumn Meadowhawk (Sympetrum vicinum) is our latest flying dragonfly and may be seen in October; sometimes even in November.
I know that Richard Pegler is quite taken with Calico Pennant (Celithemis elisa) so he will doubtless enjoy the following image.
Common Red Soldier Beetles (Rhagonycha fulva) exhibit a preference for Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus carota) where they seem to spend most of their time in homage to Aphrodite as they engage in an endless round of sex!
It was quite a meadowhawk day; here is our third species, Cherry-faced Meadowhawk (Sympetrum internum) female.
Bees are not always easy to identify, but it is fun to take a picture and then embark on the research needed to clinch the ID, in the process learning a little about the lifestyle of the species.
This is a Ligated Furrow Bee (Halictus ligatus).
Groundselbush Beetle Trirhabda baxharidis) is an attractive species, a type of leaf beetle, but other than that I have been unable to uncover further information.