Friday, May 25, 2007

Black Swallowtail

Amherst Island today.

Amherst Island

In the short space of one morning we saw 66 bird species, including 3 for the life list!

Summer Tanager

This is definitely the sighting of the year!

Blackburnian Warbler


These were new for me.

Grey Cheeked Thrush

Another lifer!

Philadelphia Vireo

Upland Sandpiper

And yet another for the life list!

White Rumped Sandpiper

Wilson's Phalarope

Brant and Dunlin

Canada Geese

Yellow Warbler

Thursday, January 11, 2007


Little brown mushroom
Lemoine Point, Kingston
7 January 2007

The mild rainy weather was just what was needed to encourage the appearance of this fungal fruit. Little brown mushrooms are notoriously difficult to identify but it was nice to be able to do a little mushroom hunting in January.

Sunday, January 07, 2007


Lemoine Point, Kingston, Ontario
7 January 2007

This beetle was overwintering in the roots of a clump of moss, just a little poking around unearthed him and he was quick to start looking for more peaceful quarters.


Lemoine Point, Kingston, Ontario
7 January 2007

I don't have a good field guide for spiders so this one is unidentified. I found him under a rock and as it was a cold day he was not interested in running away.

Striate Bird's Nest Fungus

Cyathus striatus
Lemoine Point, Kingston, Ontario
7 January 2007

Lithobiomorph Centipede

Lithobiomorph Centipede
Lemoine Point
Kingston, Ontario
7 January 2007

It may be January but the lack of snow, mild temperatures, and a little turning over of rocks and logs can unearth a few interesting species such as this common Centipede.

Saturday, January 06, 2007


Algonquin Provincial Park, Bat Lake
25 June 2006

Entoloma are very difficult to identify to species. The stain on the gills is indicative of the pink spore colour indicative of Entoloma. It looks something like Entoloma clypeatum in George Barron's "Mushrooms of Ontario and Eastern Canada," but it would only be guessing to label it as this species. For a description of the Rove Beetle in this picture, see under insects.

Fungus Rove Beetle

Oxyporus quinquemaculatus
Algonquin Provincial Park (Bat Lake)
25 June, 2006

These beetles are from the family Staphylinidae (Rove Beetles), subfamily Oxyporinae, genus Oxyporus. Stephen Marshall indicates that the family Staphylinidae "constitutes one of the last great frontiers in North American beetle taxonomy." Staphylinidae is the largest family of beetles in North America and it is possible that less than half of the species have been identified yet. Marshall says that "Rove beetles are usually predacious, but some feed on fungal spores or tissue..." If you look at the first picture, above, you can see that these beetles have been doing a pretty good job of eating this Entoloma fungus.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Forked Fungus Beetle

Bolitotherus cornutus
Bat Lake, Algonquin Provincial Park
June 25, 2006
(Found on Shelf Fungus, Fomitopsis pinicola)

The Forked Fungus Beetle is a member of the Superfamily Tenebrionoidea, family Zopheridae (Ironclad Beetles). The Tenebrionidae are referred to as "darkling beetles" because most of the are black or brown. Stephen Marshall (Insects: Their Natural History and Diversity, Firefly, 2006) says of this species that they "stay close to hard shelf fungi or bracket fungi, rarely moving between fungi on different trees in the same forest." They are mostly nocturnal and produce a brown stain of defensive chemicals that burn or discolor skin. The pictures above are of a female.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

John Muir

I love this quote from John Muir posted by Journals of An Amateur Naturalist:

"When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world." John Muir