American toad (Bufo americanus)
Barry found this handsome toad appearing to kiss the rock.
29 May 2015
Green Frog at our backyard pond
Volunteer Kate Davis noticed this Green Frog checking the sign next to the pond in our Backyard Garden where it makes its home. It seems an odd message, but on a hot day dogs can wreak havoc in this small pond trying to get a drink or cool off. We put up wire fencing to protect the area and a sign asking people to keep their dogs away (we provide drinking water for dogs on the front patio). Then, a volunteer found a little girl climbing on the waterfall while her mother placidly watched; thus, the additional warning to keep people out of the pond. Not only are the rocks slippery, but wasps have nested in the cracks between them. This is a WILDLIFE garden, after all. Let's all respect the creatures that live here.
Northern flicker, male
Barry took this lovely photo of a handsome northern flicker. This large woodpecker sounds similar to a pileated woodpecker. It has the unusual habit for a woodpecker, of feeding on the ground, often hunting ants.
Hover fly (Parhelophilus)
Similar to the other Syrhpid that Barry photographed. Some of the really interesting looking hover flies appear about this time of year, including some amazing wasp mimics.
One thing follows the other.... Barry caught a pair of swallows mating, and later a pair checking out, or more likely, laying claim to one of the nest boxes.
Spring azure butterfly (Celastrina ladon)
Spring azures are common across our region. They show flashes of blue when flying, but when they land they can almost vanish as their wing colour blends into the rocks and soil. Barry was quick enough to catch an azure with open wings, displaying the pretty blue.
Hover fly (Helophilus)
This looks like a Helophilus sp. of hover fly (Syrphidae), but I have since learned that it is not always easy to tell some of the look alike syrphids apart. Barry found and photographed this spring beauty!
crabapple blossoms (Malus)
The rosy pink malus blossoms are eye-catching but oh, so ephemeral. We wait so long for them to appear and then they appear as if by magic overnight, only to fall not long after. Blink and you miss them.
Great crested flycatcher
This large and vocal flycatcher has nested at the FWG for some years, though not every year, using one of the nest boxes we have installed near the pond.
25 May 2015
Lots blooming this week in the woods
Thanks, in part, to donations from Lis Allison last year, the woods are bursting with colourful spring wildflowers. Here, Clintonia or Blue-bead Lily can be seen next to wild columbines, sedges, Whorled Asters and a carpet of Jewelweed.
25 May 2015
Potential nurse log
One of the few trunks from the felled ash trees left in the woods. Most had to be removed for safety. We're hoping this one becomes a "nurse log" - nurturing all sorts of new growth as it slowly decays.
25 May 2015
Despite the devastation caused by felling ash trees last spring, most wildflowers have recovered and are spreading nicely. Compare this patch of Mayapple with the tiny bud in the first photo in this month's blog.