Monday, September 3, 2012

Four-Winged Beauties

As promised in my last post, I'm sharing some of the pictures I've taken this summer of the four-winged type.  My interest definitely increases as I move from insects, etc, on to birds, and then too wildlife, but there sure is a lot of diversity and beauty in the butterflies around us.  Before I started this hobby a little more seriously, I had never really noticed more than the typical butterfly or the odd other variety, but now that I'm out more, I see there is a greater variety around.

We went as a family to Pinehurst Conservation Area on the July Long Weekend, and they have a walk which passes through the Carlolinian Forests and then opens into a meadow walk which was full of butterflies.  It was at the end of the walk and with the whole family along, chasing them around was not to be.  I did get one decent shot before I had to run and catch up with the gang.

Painted Lady Butterfly

The boys had cared for a couple Monarch butterfly caterpillars this summer, but only one spun a chrysalis and that one had actually fallen down from the lid.  We didn't figure it would end up emerging, but thankfully we found it before it died in the garage by the garbage.  Their colours are stunningly brilliant when they just new like that.

Newly emerged Monarch Butterfly

Monarch Butterfly

When I followed the Monarch to the church gardens behind our house to get the picture above, I noticed one bunch of flowers covered in Aphids.  A few Ladybugs were there feasting away.

Aphids and Ladybug

Aphids and Ladybugs

There is a relatively new (about 2 years I think) nature which we pass on the way to church every Sunday. The place has been named Amaolo Nature Sanctuary after the donour of the lands. I think I headed out there a little late in the season for butterflies as many of the flowers were already finishing, though I'm no butterfly expert by any stretch of the imagination.  I've added it to my location list and you can see the spot here.

The sign by the road.  Look carefully or you'll miss the spot.

The  Amaolo Nature Sanctuary

Justin - my butterfly hunting buddy.

Here are some of the butterflies I saw.  I could figure out the names of most, but I haven't found a very good website to identify them for here in Ontario. If you know what any of the ones I've missed naming (or incorrectly named), feel free to let me know.

Cabbage White Buttefly

Canadian Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly

Clouded Sulpher Butterfly

Common Buckeye Butterfly

Common Buckeye Butterfly

Black Spicebush Swallowtail Buttefly

Tawny-edged Skipper

Common Ringlet (thanks Dwayne)

Peck's Skipper (again, thanks Dwayne)

And another unknown -
A tiny white butterfly or moth, hardly a cm across.

Viceroy Buttefly

Here is a sampling of the wildflowers which were planted in the abandoned field to attract butterflies.  I don't know most of their names.  My mom might be able to inform me.

Sun glistening through the soft grasses.

On the way home, Justin and I stopped by the Fox den but didn't see anything more than the ground covered in fresh tracks.  We did see this very cool, big grasshopper though.  Although it doesn't have four wings, it is winged and so I thought I could legitimately insert it into this post.

unknown Grasshopper.

Well, the typical "summer" portion of summer is officially over, Labour Day (in Canada here) marking that point.  The kids schooling here at home is already begun, and even mentally, I think at work people buckle down a little more.  But there's still lots of God's good creation to enjoy, and I have some good shots of things to share which are still in the queue. Till then...


  1. Hey Brian,
    Great posting! I really got interested in butterfly watching this summer as well. Some help with the ID's here: Common Ringlet and Pecks Skipper. Also, the Spicebush might be a Black Swallowtail, they are almost identical, but the Black Swallowtail has a small dot in the bottom inside of the hindwing. The other white butterfly may be just a moth, but I may be mistaken! The Monarch is pretty cool looking. Somehow, it looks strange to me! - DM

    1. Thanks for you help on the butterfly ID's Dwayne! Given that we put a Monarch caterpillar in the container, I can only be a Monarch butterfly right? :) I'll have to check the other pictures of what I had ID'd as the Spicebush more closely. Thanks for the pointer!


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