There are many beautiful flowers in the meadows and marshes this month, and the insects that visit the plants are photogenic in their own right.
For today’s post we venture to some of the farthest reaches of greater metropolitan Port Darlington – from the east end of West Beach Road out to the meadow beyond Westside Marsh.
The beautiful plant below is sometimes called Blueweed, sometimes Echium vulgare, but I think Viper’s Bugloss is more suitably dramatic. Whatever the name, it attracts a variety of bees in addition to the Virginia Ctenucha moth.
Virginia Ctenucha moth on Viper’s Bugloss. (click images for larger view)
These flowers also attract lots of honeybees and bumblebees.
Bee on Viper’s Bugloss.
Just across the road from the stand of Viper’s Bugloss is a wetland meadow. Here the often-loathed Canada Thistles are showing just how tough they are. Even though they’ve been standing in at least 15 centimeters of water for the past six weeks, they are still coming into bloom.
Thistle in flooded meadow.
Four little flyers, ranging from about 1 centimeter to perhaps 2 millimeters in length, are attracted to this single thistle blossom.
Wading through head-high grass and flowers beyond the Westside Marsh, I saw a flash of orange which I mistook for a moth. After tracking it through the thicket and waiting for it to settle long enough to be photographed, I learned it was not a moth but a butterfly; just a frayed Freija Fritillary I’m afraid.
Among the profusion of flowers here were yellow salsify, pink wild roses, white daisies, and lots of marsh marigold, below.
As far as I know damselflies are not pollinators, but the beautiful specimen below was a thrill to spot nevertheless. The Tule Bluet frequents marshes across much of Ontario, and this one was just a stone’s throw from the waters of Westside Marsh.
Top photo: Redhead – click here for larger view. This unidentified pollinator was spotted visiting American Bittersweet flowers. If you know the identity of this insect please drop me a note using the Contact page.