Drama at St. John’s Conservation Area: July 2020

I saved two lives today.

A moth was caught in a spider web:

Gypsy Moth (male)
Gypsy Moth (male)

I pulled it out and carefully plucked off all of the web material.

Gypsy Moth (male)

Off it flew.

Later, I found another floating on the pond:

Gypsy Moth (male)

Same story. I pulled it out, dried it off and away it flew.

Thank-you to Meegan Conklin for moth identification.

This all happened at St. John’s Conservation Area near Fonthill.

There are a good variety of trails here:

The Tulip Tree Trail features enormous Tulip Trees .. something we don’t see in the Toronto area:

Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera)
Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera)

The Sassafras Stroll features sassafras growing both as a tree and as a shrub. This sweet-smelling plant has a variety of leaf shapes:

Sassafras (Sassafras albidum)
Sassafras (Sassafras albidum)

Other botany:

Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)
Knapweed (Centaurea stoebe)
Joe-pye-weed (Eutrochium maculatum)
Joe-pye-weed (Eutrochium maculatum)
Willow-herb (Epilobium)
Dark Green Bulrush (Scirpus atrovirens)
Heal-all (Prunella vulgaris)
Cinnamon Fern
Lady Fern
Sensitive Fern
Christmas Fern
Skunk-cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus)
Skunk-cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus)
Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis)
Groundnut (Apios americana)
Hog-peanut (Amphicarpaea bracteata)
White Snakeroot (Prenathes alba)
Daisy Fleabane (Erigeron annuus)
Spotted Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis)

There is a large pond here with benches surrounding it:

Some of the life here:

Canada Geese (2 adults at the back and 6 young)
Canada Geese family
Canada Geese juveniles
Daddy Long Legs
Eastern Pondhawk
Eastern Pondhawk
Blue Dasher
Blue Dasher
Eastern Pondhawks
Blue Dasher
Widow Skimmer
Widow Skimmer
Widow Skimmer
Widow Skimmer

NATURE POETRY

Dog Days bright and clear,
Indicate a happy year;
But when accompanied by rain,
For better times our hopes are vain.       – Proverb

Miles Hearn

3 thoughts on “Drama at St. John’s Conservation Area: July 2020

  1. Charles Bruce-Thompson

    Hi Miles and thanks yet again for bringing nature from all over the province to our various devices. A great was to start the day!

    A couple of unsolicited comments: on your photo of Niagara Conservation map sign above, top right-hand corner, there’s an image of what looks like a tufted titmouse. A curious choice if it is. Are they common to the area? I’ve never seen one, ever

    Also, it could be argued that we need more spiders and fewer gypsy moths, but I’m sure the moth was grateful!

    Reply
  2. Lisa Volkov

    Bless your heart, Miles! I’ll never forget the time one of us (sorry, I can’t remember her name) noticed a bird caught in (I can’t remember the plant, something very sticky! It was in High Park) and how you painstakingly, with such care, freed that bird. I know, I know–Nature Red in Tooth and Claw, everyone has to eat, Prime Directive (of non-interference) which Star Trek kept breaking, anyway–but once we are there, we are, indeed, part of the drama. Bless your compassion–and thanks for the pictures, Miles!

    Reply

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