25 May 2015
Red Admiral caterpillars
The many Red Admiral butterflies we've been seeing this month have been busy reproducing. Carefully examining nettles in the Old Woodlot revealed these two tiny caterpillars.
18 May 2015
Emily Pollington - conservation superstar
The OFNC sponsored Emily (third from left) to attend last year's Youth Summit and she turned into an enthusiastic and active conservationist. On Victoria Day, she and some friends dug up the horrid dog-strangling vine (very tough work) and seeded this large area with Common Milkweed seeds. Fingers crossed that they will grow in time for the arrival of Monarchs later in June.
Green frog (Rana clamitans)
Several of these big frogs in the Backyard Garden pond.
Eastern comma butterfly (Polygonia comma)
Several of us walked around the garden today and saw this eastern comma, a mourning cloak, one clouded sulphur, many cabbage whites, two red admirals and 7 or 8 spring azures.
Wood poppy ( Stylophorum diphyllum)
An Ontario native species found only in a few location in extreme southern Ontario, and considered endangered in the wild. This one in the old woods and the ones in the Backyard Garden were planted and did not naturally appear. They have done well and they spread, so it is unfortunate that they don't spread and thrive equally well in the wild.
15 May 2015
Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)
Watch out for Stinging Nettle at the FWG this year, especially in the Old Woods. It's growing abundantly and just in time for the arrival of Red Admirals, which lay eggs on this species. Sandy watched a couple of Red Admirals in our plant nursery on Friday morning, and later found this egg on a large Stinging Nettle plant. We'll be looking for caterpillars in a week and, hopefully, lots more adult Red Admirals in late June!
15 MAY 2015
Gray Treefrog (Hyla versicolor)
On Friday morning, Malcolm noticed this tiny (2 cm long) treefrog sitting on a tree branch next to our plant nursery. We hear these frogs calling loudly all over the garden, but seldom get to see them as they are small and can change colour to blend in with their surroundings.
Hawthorn flowers (Crataegus sp.)
So many trees in bloom at the garden, including the lovely hawthorns. Insects such as bees and flies are drawn to all the flowering trees, making them good places to observe and photograph these little creatures.
The crabapples and all the other flowering fruit trees are in full blossom now and it is a sight to see. Later on, in autumn through winter, the fruit of many of these trees will feed hungry birds and squirrels.
The old woods are carpeted with these beautiful deep blue violets, a garden escape, not native, but certainly lovely. However, they do take over as anyone who has them in their garden can attest.