Category Archives: Nature Walk Reports

Monarchs and Red Soldier Beetles by the Don: July 2020

In my eagerness to learn more about butterflies, I headed out to the wild fields by the Don River.

Monarchs belong to the Danaidae or Milkweed Family butterflies. Because the caterpillars feed on toxic milkweeds, the adult butterflies are distasteful to birds.

Monarch Butterfly on milkweed

Monarchs are the only butterflies that annually migrate both north and south as birds do. No single individual makes the entire round-trip journey.

Monarch Butterfly on Milkweed
Monarch Butterfly on milkweed

Red Soldier Beetles feed mainly on pollen and nectar.

Red Soldier Beetles

These beetles are very common in Europe and were introduced into North America.

Red Soldier Beetles

The adults, which are active between the months of June and August, spend much of their short lives mating and can often be seen in pairs.

Red Soldier Beetles
Red Soldier Beetles
Red Soldier Beetles
Red Soldier Beetles

Other flying creatures:

Cabbage White Butterfly
Cabbage White Butterfly
Cabbage White Butterfly
Silver-spotted Skipper
Silver-spotted Skipper
Honey Bee
Honey Bee
Eastern Carpenter Bee
Eastern Carpenter Bee
Eastern Carpenter Bee
Eastern Carpenter Bee

Thank-you to Ken Sproule for his assistance in identification.

Eastern Kingbird nest with chick

Some botany:

Water-parsnip (Sium suave)
Water-parsnip (Sium suave)
Forget-me-not (Myosotis)
Yellow Avens (Geum aleppicum)
Morning-glory (Ipomoea purpurea)
Tumble Mustard (Sisymbrium altissimum)
Red Raspberry (Rubus strigosus)
Mullein (Verbascum thapsis)
Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron rydbergii)
Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron rydbergii)
Gray Dogwood (Cornus foemina)
Chicory (Cichorium intybus)
Honeysuckle (Lonicera)
Honeysuckle (Lonicera)
Vipers Bugloss (Echium vulgare)
Crown Vetch (Securigera varia)
Apple (Malus)
St. John’s-wort (Hypericum perforatum)
St. John’s-wort (Hypericum perforatum)
Daisy Fleabane (Erigeron annuus)
Daisy Fleabane (Erigeron annuus)
Dame’s Rocket (Hesperis matronalis)
Birdfoot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus)
Buttercup with 6 petals instead of 5
White Clover (Trifolium repens)
Dog-strangling Vine (Vincetoxicum rossicum)
Teasel (Dipsacus fullonum)
Curled Dock (Rumex crispus)

NATURE POETRY

Black bees on the clover-heads drowsily clinging,
Where tall, feathered grasses and buttercups sway,
And all through the fields a white sprinkle of daisies,
Open-eyed at the setting of day.    – Abba Gould Woolson (1838–1921)

Miles Hearn