Thursday, June 22, 2017

A Monarch sighting, my first this spring!


Seeing a Monarch butterfly this mornings was a car-stopping event!  I try to follow and get a picture of every orange butterfly I see. Earlier this week I spent about half an hour one day  trying to locate an orange butterfly I had spied along the roadside. I finally tracked it and took its picture and was disappointed that it was a Viceroy Butterfly, and not a Monarch as I had hoped.
                                                      It turned out to be a Viceroy. 


 Chasing a butterfly with a car has its difficulties, so today when I spied this orange butterfly  this morning I pulled over , keeping my eye on the location of where the butterfly was.  I got out of my car. Then as stealthily as possible I edged closer and closer on foot, taking pictures of it feeding on a clover in various stages of my approach.  Thankfully I had my 300 mm lens on my camera.... and this time I was able to get a good identifying picture!  
Yes, it was a handsome Monarch! and it was staying in one spot  feeding on the clover there as I approached it! 


In summers past I have found Monarch butterfly caterpillars and brought them home and observed their metamorphosis and then released the emerging adult butterflies. It was a wonderful amazing experience!!! I could not find any Monarch caterpillars last summer.  There are two milkweed patches that I haunt every summer. Hopefully this year will be a good year for caterpillars.  So far there have been quite a few Monarch sightings in the province  recently and predictions are that it will be a good summer for this butterfly species.
We have been trying to grow our own milkweed patch and this year we have seven plants growing, However none of our milkweed plants have ever flowered ( blossomed).  Hopefully some spring/ summer  soon they will. I don't think they will flower this year as their growth  is not comparable to the beginning of blossoms  seen in my favourite patches.  Does anyone have any information  to share on when new milkweed plants would be expected to flower?

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

X isfor Xanthotype Moth for ABC Wednesday

X is for Xanthous and also for Xanthotype Moth
Xanthous is a Greek adjective used to describe a yellow colour.  I read in a couple of places that xanthous  colour was that of the yellow of an egg yolk. Seen below the yellow yoke of a freshly boiled egg  cut in half for my morning's breakfast.


Several years ago I found a pretty yellow moth in our yard. I found its id and discovered that this moth actually was known by two names.  And most important for today's post I found that it was caled a Xanthotype Moth... go figure.  I guess its yellow colour had an influence on its naming It is also known as a Geometer Moth.
I am linking today to Mrs. Nesbitts ABC Wednesday which can be found at

http://abcwednesday-mrsnesbitt.blogspot.ca/

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Muskrat

A few years ago I used to see a Muskrat often swimming in the river.  I knew the location of its home and knew where and when to watch for it.  However I hadn't seen one for years until last Saturday when I saw one swimming in a pond where I had gone to look for Snapping Turtles. I was pleased and surprised to see it swimming in the water. I didn't get too  many pictures of it as it disappeared as soon as it it became aware of me and my interest in it swimming along.  A Muskrat is a semi-aquatic

rodent, It is sometimes referred to as a rat, although it is not a member of that particular family.
Hope everyone is having a nice day.
Ann

Monday, June 19, 2017

More Turtle activity seen This Morning

This morning I left my house around 7a.m, just after my first coffee of the day.  I drove to the location where I had seen a Snapper laying eggs on Saturday but didn't see anything new there. I got out of my car and looked down onto the river shore for emerging turtles but didn't see any there either, so I drove down to check out the lagoon area and when approaching the fenced in area around the water I saw a turtle headed toward the water.  Hmmmm, was it a small sized Snapper? or a large Painted Turtle?  The picture I took revealed its identity.  The yellow lines on its neck and the reddish tint on the bottom shell told me it was a Painted Turtle!

Next I drove to my favourite pond area where I had been seeing evidence of nest digging but hadn't as of yet seen any turtles!  This morning I hit the jackpot.  There were two |Snapping Turtles on the hillside of the shoreline up from the water.  I wish I had of attempted to take a movie of their fast moving activity for as soon as they were aware of my continuing interest and presence they moved  very quickly and returned to the waters of the pond from where they had come from.
The turtle shown above has become aware of my presence and it is turned to head back down the incline and to return to the water.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Snapping Turtle Laying its Eggs

Unto all things there is a season and every year at this time I start to watch for Snapping Turtles as this is often the time when I see them laying eggs.  Yesterday was a rainy, rather miserable  sort of day and so I did not do my usual early morning rounds.  Around 1 p.m.  I decided to go out for a look. I found evidence of three Snapping Turtle nests having been dug and they had not been there the day before so I assume it was yesterday morning when the digging nests had occurred but I had missed it.  However I did chance upon one turtle laying eggs.  These turtles are very predictable as the one I saw was in exactly the same location as in previous years and it was almost the same date, giving a difference of a day or so!

It is a damp , dreary morning today also and I have not gone out... but I have a couple more locations that I am monitoring , hopefully I won't regret my staying in this morning and the possibility of more egg laying action. I shall check on my regular locations later on this afternoon.
Nature does provide such wonderful photo opportunity adventures!  Have a wonderful day everyone!
Ann


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Two Moose for Saturday Critters

On Thursday of this week we made our weekly trip through a wooded , forested section  of a  familiar highway to go grocery shopping in a nearby town. I always have my camera with me ready if by chance we see a bird of hawk worthy of photographing.  This week my husband surprised me when he said, "Did you see that moose ?" I responded," huh? " What moose? Where?" He responded, "Back there in the ditch, you can see it in the mirror"  And sure enough I could see a moose by  looking out the rear window of our truck as I struggled with my seat belt

 trying to line up a picture of the huge animal feeding in the ditch that my husband had seen as we drove past it! The animal looked huge and I waited until It had raised its head to get a better picture.
Yes, sure enough , it was a moose, thankfully we did not encounter it on the highway!.  My husband started backing up the truck so we could get a closer look, when I suddenly saw a second moose emerge from the woods directly opposite from the moose in the ditch. 


This second moose was tall, big and black. We stopped  backing up and watched.
We stayed put ,parked on the shoulder of the highway and watched and I took pictures of the two moose ,both now in the ditch.
The smaller moose did not appear to be a baby of this year due to its size and indepentdent feeding initially... Was it a yearling? and was the larger moose its mother, still being attentive to its last year baby?  Whatever the case, the larger adult did not stay with the
smaller moose for long but it walked across the highway back to where it had came from.

During all of this time there hadn't been any passing or oncoming traffic to worry about , but just as we were leaving we saw an approaching car.  We slowed as it approached and waved and made all sorts of pointing gestures to indicate a warning that something was on the road ... and somehow the approaching car perceived our warnings as it slowed down and pulled over  and stopped before passing the moose, thus averting a possible collision with a moose.  All's well that ended well and I was happy with my moose photo opportunity.
I am linking toward to viewingnaturewitheileen.blogspot.ca

Friday, June 16, 2017

White-tailed Deer in the River

I got out early this morning around 7 a.m and drove to a frequent location: to an observation deck overlooking the river,  I was hoping to see  an osprey, eagles, maybe a Kingfisher or , maybe a Snapping Turtle laying eggs as this area is a popular spot for turtles laying their eggs. 
But as soon as I stepped upon the deck I saw a White-tailed deer in the river below.  I silently prayed for the deer to stay put while I raised my camera and luckily  I was able to get one picture of it in the water before it bounded away!

After seeing me the deer walked to the shore  and leapt away into the surrounding vegetation and bushes which cover the shore there.

As soon as it touched upon the shore it leap away in leaps and bounds...
All is well, the deer now has firm footing on the shore and it disappeared into the surrounding vegetation.  I see this deer here often and perhaps I shall post of it again another day.  If you like to see four footed mammals I have pictures to share with you tomorrow of two moose that we saw yesterday.  A great day to everyone!
Safe, All is well!







Wednesday, June 14, 2017

W is for Winged Seeds and Wind for ABC wednesday

I was not surprised on Sunday morning last when I steeped outside onto my back door step overlooking our driveway.  It was covered by Winged seeds.   The moderate to gentle Wind, which was the dispersal agent had swept these dangling seeds from our very tall and large old Maple trees which overlook our driveway. this is a yearly occurrence and each year I delight in the view of many of these seeds standing tall, as if at attendance in the vent of our truck hood.  This is always a favourite photo opportunity  of mine!

Maybe because it was a Sunday morning and the seemingly alert seeds prompted the beginning words of an old hymn to run through my mind. " Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus..."
There were so many seeds that my husband attempted to tidy them up a bit and to control their  invasion's by sweeping them up into piles in our driveway.
There were really thousands of these seeds everywhere!  And still today I am very aware of their presence when ever I go out of doors and each spring we have to pull little Maple  tree shoots beginning  to grow in in our flower beds. 

Today I am linking to Mrs. Nesbitt's ABC Wednesday at

http://abcwednesday-mrsnesbitt.blogspot.ca/




Tuesday, June 13, 2017

An eagle Flying over the River

This river is the North Branch of the OROMOCTO and at this time of year, EAGLES, Osprey and Gulls hunt for Gasperau which are on their return to their spawning grounds further up the river.
I can often find an eagle or two patrolling the river, and I saw one scanning the river  in several flyovers this morning.  The heat recently has been too hot to be out a lot, and I have been down with an allergy related cold so I haven't been out and about very much lately, so all I have today are these Eagle pictures I took this morning.

Although these photos might all look alike they are actually four separate pictures.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

A Swallowtail Butterfly for Camera Critters

Each spring I eagerly await the arrival of Swallowtail butterflies.  This year they seemed to be late and it wasn't until this week, on June the 6th.  when I saw my first Swallowtail; butterfly.

 It was hovering above the road and I was able to gfet a photo.  My prized Swallowtail setting has always been when one was feeding upon our lilac blossoms.  However this year our lilac blooms are already turning brown and I have not seen a Swallowtail feeding on the beautiful lilac blossoms.
Bewlow I am including some Swallowtail pictures from my archives for you to enjoy viewing this beautiful butterfly.
I am linking today to viewingnature witheileen.blogspot.ca
I hope everyone enjoys a wonderful weekend.
Me Ann and my Camera

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

V is for Violets

I am connecting today to ABC Wednesday which is found at::http://abcwednesday-mrsnesbitt.blogspot.ca/ and my photos representing V are violets. The provincial flower of my province ofNew Brunswick is a Purple Violet.

Another beautiful little wildflower of the violet family which I find on my soggy wet side lawn each spring is the Northern White Violet.  This is a very tiny flower and I have to bend down very closely to get its blossom in full on my camera viewfinder.
We have another violet species growing on our property but it is more a domesticated perennial which grows in quantities in and around our flower beds each spring.  It is a white violet.
The three photos below are of White Violets growing in my flower bed.


A happy  Wednesday to all.
Best Wishes to all from Ann and my camera

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

A Song Sparrow and its diet

I have long loved bird watching and discovering  a bird's  id, BUT I have realized lately there has been a missing factor in my knowledge of bird id'ing...  I have learned that knowing what a bird will eat is most helpful  in identifying the bird I have found.  This morning that fact was brought to my attention once again.  While watching a Song Sparrow in some bushes I noticed something yellow hanging from its mouth and I immediately assumed it was a small yellow leaf.  Wrong!  When I got home and downloaded my pictures I discovered that the yellow leaf? had legs!! ( oops, I may be wrong here about  legs? Perhaps the two hanging leg like things may  be attenaes?)I think it was a grub of some sort. It was just last week that I discovered that a Song Sparrow's diet consists also of insects, as well as bird food seeds.

Above, see the yellow thing hanging from the side of the sparrow's beak!
 Above, you can see that the yellow thing ( grub?) has legs!!
 The dark breast spot in the picture above id's this sparrow as a Song Sparrow.
As well as the yellow grub there are other insect legs and things protruding from the bird's beak.  The sparrow did not eat these goodies immediately, so I assume that it was gathering breakfast to take home to its family.
Being a lifelong daily learner has some benefits for sure! I now have valuable information to use when id'ing a Song Sparrow.  I now know that they  will eat insects and grubs!!