Things I saw when I moved at a slower pace...

I missed the bus a few times today, so I ended up walking to and from school today.  I had not done that in a while, and I missed the things I can come across with when I am moving at a slower pace.

Found these small egg shells on the trail.  The parent bird probably took them away from the nest.  I wonder what kind of bird laid these eggs.

Bottle gentian (Gentiana andrewsii)
Near Trent and on the edge of the Otonabee River, I came across a nice patch of Bottle gentians (Gentiana andrewsii) - Family Gentianaceae.  It was my first time seeing these flowers, so I was quite excited.  I hanged around a bit hoping to catch a glimpse of a bumblebee opening the corolla tube and pollinating the flowers (because they are the only insect strong enough to do so).  Unfortunately, the bumble bees were more interested in visiting the (relatively) effortless asters.

Flowers occur in clusters at the terminal end and in the axils of the leaves.

While watching the gentians, I saw this bee fly visiting the aster flowers.

Bee fly (Bombyliid sp.)
It does not appear to be the Greater Bee Fly (Bombylius major) that I had seen before because it lacks the dark-edged wing pattern.

Bee fly (Bombyliid sp.)
It is also smaller than B. major with a body length of about 10 mm.  Without properly using this excellent on-line guide to the Bee Flies (Diptera: Bombyliidae) of Ontario and just looking through the photo gallery, this looks like a B. comanche.  I need to sit down and try to key it out based on the 21 photos I had taken (whenever I have the time).

Found an abandoned nest on the ground on my way home.  As you can see, the bird used quite a lot of plastic and human garbage to construct its nest.  Waterproof, I suppose.

Defending my thesis next Thursday.  Wish me luck.

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