Trout lily survey

Why are the anther colours different in trout lilies?  This might be a question that enters your mind every spring if you enjoy exploring forests and watching ephemeral plants flower before the canopy closes over and the presence of biting insects dissuades you from entering the forest.

For those not sure what I am talking about, here is a photo I took this morning (in McCarthy Woods) of two trout lilies (Erythronium americanum) growing side-by-side that have different anther colours (red versus yellow).



Enjoying springtime in the Arboretum - pollinators visiting squill flowers

I went to the Fletcher Wildlife Garden and the Arboretum today hoping to photograph bees visiting flowers, since I know that Siberian squill (Scilla siberica) should be flowering by now and they usually get visitation from pollinators (based on last year's observation).

At the Arboretum, there were many birds species.  Here are some of them:

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)
Male Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) keeping an eye out for his female companion.


Enjoying springtime along Rideau Canal

The weather has been so nice lately that I walked along the canal several times this past week.

Last Sunday (17th)

Canal during springtime
Many people were out in summer clothes.


Fauna/flora surveying at Gatineau Park (2016)

It is that time of the year again where I help out with the survey of spring ephemerals and emerging bees at Gatineau Park.  To read more about it, check out my previous posts from 2014 and 2015 (parts 1, 2, and 3).

It is always nice to be back out in nature (especially after a long winter), to step on foliage and into muddy puddles, and search for anything moving, making sounds, or just being attractive.   Since it is only early spring here in eastern Canada, we didn't see any bees constructing new nests in the nest boxes and saw only some hepatica flowers in the quadrats.

While I was checking the nest boxes, I noticed this Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) pecking a tree nearby.

Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus)


Checking for Spring around South Keys area

I went for a long walk around my neighbourhood this afternoon trying to document some of the organisms that are emerging and becoming more active/abundant with every passing day.

Hepatica (Anemone sp.)
Hepatica (Anemone sp.) - always the first ephemeral to emerge in McCarthy Woods.


Who is ready for Spring? Flowers, birds, and I.

Knowing that I was already two days behind in my "annual spring check-up at the Arboretum" (see my 2014 and 2015 posts) because of my busy work schedule, I decided to finish work earlier today so that I can go find the flowers afterwards.

The flowers seemed to bloom right on the calendar date (regardless of the type of winter we had) and when I got there this afternoon, most of the flowers appear pretty old already.  Sadly, there were no pollinators visiting the flowers.

Crocus sp.
This was the best image of the blooming Crocus sp. that I photographed.


New birds of the year

I took the long route to the bus station (around Sawmill Creek Wetland) yesterday, and I was very glad that I did - because of the birds that I saw.

Female Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus).


Waxwings in backyard & Photo updates

There was a large museum of waxwings (about 200 individuals - mostly Bohemian and some Cedar) hanging out in my backyard this morning.  I left my E-M1 camera at school yesterday so I had to use my phone and E-620 to document them eating the berries in the backyard.

Mostly Bohemian Waxwings (Bombycilla garrulus).

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