Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hummingbird & Luna Moths,Great Blue Herons, Female Redstart, and Other Flora and fauna of The Vermilon River. A Post to SWF.

 Most of the photos were taken on the west side of the River. The day was overcast, but the sun came though occasionally. In the scenic photos you can see how heavy the leaf canopy is now, making it harder for camera settings and focusing. A great deal of the post is devoted to butterflies and quite rare moths.  The insects are all out in full force now as the forest floor, and the flowering trees are in bloom, while some such as the choke cherry or pin cherry will produce berries shortly. I saw my first bear sign on this hike also.
 CLICK ON THE PHOTOS TO ENLARGE, AND WATCH THE SLIDE SHOW. I'll use captions as the post is long as usual.
Chestnut-sided Warbler.

 This series of close ups clearly shows how ornate his plumage is.

 I was really lucky to spot this female American Redstart as they're so small and flighty.
Male Redstart

 This is my first Great Blue Heron sighting of the year. In the second photo you can see his trailing plumes.
Great Blue Heron.

Great Blue.

In Flight Mallards.

Female Red-winged Blackbird.

Female Red-winged Blackbird.

 I hardly ever include photos taken at my feeders. But this series of Goldfinches was taken there.
Female Goldfinch.

Male Goldfinch

Female Purple Finch.

 This Robin was having difficulty balancing in a cedar tree in a high wind on the River bank.
 This Raven followed me for a while and then settled to observe..

 The next series shows the hummingbird, or Clearwing Moth. They're about the size of  the top of your thumb. It's very easy to mistake them for hummingbirds, however, as they hover, and have a  long feeding tube to suck the nectar from the flower. They're peculiar to North America, although Europe apparently has a variation, which is an example of convergent evolution . They tend to swarm and are quite a sight. Google Wiki and you'll get more facts.
Close up of the Clear Winged Moth.

 This is one of the largest moths, the Luna Moth. They're about 4-5cm in length. They live about 7 days, producing one generation of offspring this far north. Further south it's more. The first photo is of the bottom of the moth, while the second two are of the top. I think this is a male. Again Google Wikipedia for more information

Top Side.

Close Up Top Side showing feather like antennae .

Canadian Tiger Swallowtail

Juvenal's Dusky Wing.

Mourning Cloak.

Long Dash Skipper?

Long Dash Skipper?


 This is a summer azure. I did not enlarge him to give you some idea of the size of some of these Butterflies. Also I make no attempt to identify the Dragonflies. The butterflies and moths are bad enough to deal with.
American Lady

Northern Crescent.

Black & White Dragonfly.


Brown Dragonfly.



Devil's Paintbrush.


 These are wild Forget-Me-Nots growing on the bank of the River. They're about the size of your small finger nail.
Skipper On Wild Strawberries.

Star Flowers.

The first of the aquatics, a yellow lily. A Post to SWF  , Camera Critters and Scenic Sunday. Just a note to Texwisgirl if she drops by: I'm trying  to feed the butterflies as you do. I cut up some orange, lemon and lime, and put it in in hanging dish yesterday. Nothing so far but its been cold and windy. Any more tips for me.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Many Faces of the Vermilon River. A Post to MWT and WBW.

The River is the centre of the natural system. It feeds the flora, fauna and thus creates the circle of life. So in the circle, it is the basic force, but equally so it wears many faces. In the first scenes it appears bucolic and benigh.

But it rages in its flood season, freezes in the widest areas in the winter and never really warms up, despite the summer warming temperatures. It is, in that sense, a typical northern river
The rapids now only hint at their power as the water level is low. I try to stay as close to the River and its wetlands as I can because that's where the wildlife is.
Close up of the white water.

The Cedar Waxwings are back and moving close to the water because that's where the berries will ripen first.
They're not only handsome but playful as well.
Close Up

Rear view.

All of the warblers are not here yet, as I have not seen the Oven Birds. I'm also hoping for some new sightings. The Magnolia Warblers shown in an  earlier post were new to me this year. The first series shown are Chestnut-sided Warblers.
Chestnut-sided Warbler.

Chestnut-sided Warbler.

These shots feature Yellow Warblers. They've just arrived
Yellow Warbler.

I still haven't seen any female Redstarts.
Male Redstart.

Yellow-rumped Warbler.

These are more shots of the Swainson's Thrush.
Rear View Swainson's Thrush.

Swainson's Thrush.

Alder or Least Flycatcher.

Red-winged Blackbird- Male.

Red-winged male showing his full epalettes.
This series show the female Red-winged Blackbird.

Black-capped Chickadee

Common Grackle.

Tree Swallow.

Male Goldfinch

I think that we see mostly photos of Hummingbirds that are taken at feeders. This has warped our perspective, as they're wild and feed in the forest also. Equally so we're not used to seeing them perching in trees.
This a Ruby-throated male. They tend to look somewhat different in this pose.

A post to MWT and WBW. Click on either.
Adult Osprey


Canada Goose with Goslings.

This is a Crab Apple tree that is growing in the forest. Someone probably threw it away and it has managed to root, and thrive.
Choke Cherry Blooms.

Wild Violet.

Wild Lilly of The Valley.

This is a mountain Ash tree It will also produce edible berries.
Pin Cherries.

Blue Berry Flowers.

Wild Strawberries.

Mourning Cloak

American Lady.

Unknown Skipper.

Red Squirrel

Another Shot of the Red Fox Without her Kits this time.

Snapping Turtle.