Friday, June 30, 2017

Eastern Fringed Prairie Orchid at Ojibway Park + Butler's Garter Snake and Other Stuff



Things have been busy but even still, I've attempted to go for a short hike after work at various areas of the Ojibway Complex almost daily over the last few weeks. Summer is so short that one needs to make serious efforts to get out in nature to witness it. Highlites over the last week or two include a few species FOY Hairstreaks, and some cool video footage of a Butler's Gartersnake!

My best sighting was a from a hike I took this afternoon. I found two Eastern fringed Prairie Orchids at Ojibway! I must have walked 10 km over the years to see these but finally found some habitat at Ojibway that has a few. Sadly, just like the last time, they are a little past their peak freshness but still I was pretty excited to see these. These photos were just taken with my cell phone so exposure and quality are a little lower than what might be expected with the old' DSLR.


Edwards Hairstreak and Coral Hairstreaks are pretty easily found in the Springarden area.





This Butler's Gartersnake was on a path that my mother-in-law and I were walking on near South Cameron Woodlot. It stopped just at the edge of the path and allowed me just enough time to record it with my cell phone! Check out the video below. Josh V informed me recently that the Butler's Gartersnake is not a subspecies of the Eastern Gartersnake but rather, its own distinct species. The redish brown colour along the sides is one of the fieldmarks for the Butler's. This species is at risk or even endangered in Ontario. Its range in Ontario is restricted to the Southwestern Ontario. Read more at these two links:

https://www.ontario.ca/page/butlers-gartersnake
http://www.registrelep-sararegistry.gc.ca/species/speciesDetails_e.cfm?sid=588





I had a brief look at a Baltimore Checkerspot nectaring on Purple Milkweed at Ojibway Park. This was seen in the Provincial Tallgrass Prairie Reserve. 



I think this heart-shaped leaf and vine is from Wild Yam. This is pretty easily seen at Ojibway.

I read recently that just one small section of Ojibway Park - the city owned tallgrass prairie heritage park has 540 plant species. Amazingly, about 20% of those are endangered, and I wanted to make a better effort to document those plants.  My goal is to identify 250 plants at Ojibway this summer! This is going to force me to pay more attention to things that I would have simply ignored or walked by... Such as this Spotted St John's Wort. Common, but never acknowledged until now!

Spreading Dogbane - again - the first time I've acknowledged it on this 7-year old blog. I need to pay more attention!














Good birding, lepping, mothing, herping, and botanizing!
Dwayne


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