Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Ticked Off- Black legged Tick and Fen Twayblade

I experienced an "unwanted lifer" back in May this year. As a nature lover - I appreciate getting lifers - the first time I see a bird, butterfly, plants and perhaps new insects. But after spending the day at Point Pelee in May, on a whim, I had checked my pants and was amazed to see an insect that I've never seen in person up until that moment. I noticed a tiny insect, then a tick, whoa.... a tick with a contrasting red/black body and black legs. I removed the tick and quickly placed it on my shoe oddly enough. I wanted a photo of it. This particular species is reputed to carry Lyme Disease. Very scary.

Recently on, just by chance they had this video by David Suzuki (The Nature of Things) where it features Ticks and how they are spreading across Canada. I think any nature enthusiast should watch this and get in the habit of doing tick checks after being out in natural areas. 

Allen Woodliffe has some great articles on his personal experience with ticks [here].

Bonus Botany :  FEN TWAYBLADE

On a lighter note, I have been wanting to canvas a few local natural areas to look for a target botany plant: Purple Twayblade Orchid. I have read that they should be blooming now, and also that there are about three good areas to find them all within a few minutes drive of west Windsor.  One natural area in Lasalle that I've never been to seemed to be a good place to look --- but I find looking for plants an almost impossible task. Tonight, I actually found six orchid plants at this one location --- but amazingly, they were not Purple Twayblades --- they seem to be Fen Twayblades (Liparis loeselii)!  I honestly did not think I would find any rare plants. Again, it just seems so daunting. Its like trying to find a penny in the sand at a large beach.

Even though I did not yet find my target botanical species, finding this today was an exciting lifer.

Fen Twayblade

I think th photographed the plant above is a Foxglove Beardtongue. It was a Reaume Street Prairie as well.

Good birding!

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