female merganser, observed with juveniles.
red cardinal flower; growing wild; along internal shore of lake on Franklin Island.
Adult maple spanworm moth; near deciduous oak-maple bush.
White-tailed deer swimming across a channel in Georgian Bay between mainland and Franklin Island. Water temperature would be about 4C. Although this route is heavily used in the winter when the water is iced over, it seems odd that a deer would swim to an island when there appear to be abundant resources nearby. Perhaps coincidentally, this was also the day before the opening of deer hunting season.
Small garter snake (about 12 inches) observed in mixed deciduous-conferous bush in mid-October.
Solomon's seal (green with alternating leaves) and wild columbine (red and yellow flowered plant).
These grow wild in a moist soil under a mixed oak/alder/maple canopy.
Mature male yellow-legged meadowhawk dragonfly observed soaking up the sun's rays in mid-October.
Twelve-spotted skimmer observed in early August.
Pickerel weed - observed along the shore of George Lake in Killarney Provincial Park.
Wild strawberry plant (aka woodland strawberry). I don't think I've ever beaten the chipmunks and red squirrels to a single berry in five years of visiting this site.
Swamp milkweed - cultivated specimen for monarch butterflies.
Gizzard shad lie dead along the Canadian shore of Lake Erie.
Blueberries growing wild along the roadside near Parry Sound, Ontario.
Such a beautiful flower - no wonder people refer to weeds as flowers growing in the wrong place!
Mullein - with its distinctive "fuzzy" leaves is not native to Ontario. It is widely distributed along roadsides in the province. Some specimens are five feet tall.
With the ban on herbicides in urban Ontario, my lawn has become a flourishing ecosystem of grass, weeds, wildlife and bugs. Even the toads are making a comeback!
This juvenile cottontail is enjoying the white clover that has sprung up.
This is Ontario's only lizard and it is considered of Special Concern/Endangered both provincially and nationally. More info at http://www.rom.on.ca/ontario/risk.php?doc_type=fact&id=152.
We only see two or three a year at this location.
Leech in pool on granite island.
I photographed this cardinal on a sidewalk beneath a metal canopy outside a retail shopping centre in London, Ontario.
There had been a heavy snowfall without any wind the night before, and the snow was nearly a metre (three feet) deep in the parking lot (I followed a snowplow into the lot).
The cardinal seemed dazed - exhausted perhaps? - and made no move to fly away as I took pictures. Given the depth of snow and the fact that the trees in the surrounding area would have been layered with snow, it is possible that it was unable to roost.
I id'd this as a glaucous-winged gull, but it has been suggested that this is probably a glaucous-winged x western gull hybrid, based on the dark wing tips. The suggestion was made that on a pure gwg "the primaries would be the same shade as the back."
A black turnstone (Arenaria melanocephala) foraging along the shore of the Pacific Ocean, Victoria, BC.
The garry oak (Quercus garryana), also known as Oregon oak, is the focus of attempts to preserve this threatened ecosystem in the heart of some of the most expensive real estate in Canada. This specimen was observed in Rithet's Bog, Victoria, BC.
A mallard hen puddles about in Rithet's Bog, a conservation area in Victoria, BC.
A harbour seal waits for fish at Fisherman's Wharf, Victoria, British Columbia.
A blue jay (Cyanocitta cristata) waits for me to leave so it can get back at the bird feeder (November 2010).
Growing wild in wood litter, Georgian Bay shores, Ontario.
Purple shore crab picked up along the Pacific Ocean shoreline on Vancouver Island's west coast.
The snow was quite thick in February 2009 (unlike 2012, when we had hardly any snow). A white-tailed deer stops in thick snow to watch us. I'm guessing this is a young doe, but would welcome feedback from someone more knowledgeable on deer.
In the winter, especially when the snow is thick in the bush, the white-tailed deer make good use of both the gravel roads and ice surfaces along the edge of Georgian Bay.
Observed while canoeing on George Lake in Killarney Provincial Park.
Bald eagle at the Quinsam River near Campbell River, British Columbia, during the sockeye salmon spawning run. Photo taken November 22, 2009.