A Few More Flies

On the odd sunny day these last two weeks I’ve been focused on trying to capture more images of flies that have been frequenting our purple asters. The flowers are pretty much done now and I’m not sure how many more chances I’m going to get to enjoy these fabulous flies. I haven’t had a chance to work out the …

A Tough Tachinid

I recently read an excellent post by Julia Craves over at Urban Dragon Hunters about the dangers of using images on the internet to identify insects so I’m being more than a little cautious about my identification of this large fly. This large, bumbling, black, tachnid fly could possibly be Tachina algens – a species that is common in British …

Finding Time for Flies

Time flies when you’re having fun, and one of the things that makes time fly is watching flies. I had a spare hour this week, and on a sunny afternoon decided to check out a purple aster on our back border that was in full fall bloom. This late in the season, anything that is producing nectar and pollen is …

Eight-spotted Skimmer

One of the great things about backyard gardening, especially in an urban/semi-urban setting, is the different kinds of wildlife that turns up. We’ve got four raised beds in our small garden and the flowers and vegetables attract a whole host of insects and birds. The insects that are attracted to the flowers and water sources in the garden attract predators …

Scat Cat!

I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve never been a big fan of cats, probably has something to allergies. My neighbours however do like cats very much, so much so, that they have somewhere between six and a dozen. We’ve never been able to get a conclusive count on these wily felines. Unfortunately, our neighbours also don’t seem to …

A Blue-eyed Visitor

It’s been a busy month so it was great to have a bit of downtime this afternoon in the backyard garden enjoying the sun and a cold beer to celebrate the end of the teaching year. Both of the kids were out in the yard and I was nominally on child minding duty when I spotted a dragonfly basking on …

Summer Swallowtails

With the arrival of warmer weather comes the swallowtails of summer. This weekend I got a great look at one of my first Western Tiger Swallowtails (Papilio rutulus) of the year sunning itself on a hedge at Miracle Beach. The crispness of the wings and bright colour were stunning in the late afternoon sun. A bright Western Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio …

Angling in on an Anglewing

Finding dog excrement on a trail or a beach always disgusts me, especially in a provincial or national park. I have to wonder where the owner was or what he or she was thinking. I’ve heard the “organic” argument on many occasions, and true enough it is organic and does break down over time. However, what often isn’t factored into …

Backyard Beetle

This interesting Ground Beetle (Pterostichus sp.) was hiding underneath some rotting wood in my mother-in-law’s backyard. I found some small black beetles underneath rotting wood up at my mother-in-law’s place in Black Creek a couple of weeks ago and had a chance to check on whether or not they were still there. What I discovered was a large Ground Beetle …

A Galling Discovery

We’ve had some good weather lately and I’ve been walking the country roads around my place of work. Earlier in the year I noticed a large section of Thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus)  alongside the road with a large number of galls on the stems. I know that galls are usually a plant’s response to the eggs (and subsequently, larva) that are …