Last October I led a five-hour guided mushroom hike for the Sierra Club Of Canada. Just today the organizer sent me a photo from that outing. I have fond memories of that day since the people were so keen to learn. We also found some great stuff - including one species that was new to me! Since getting into fungi two decades ago, fall has become my favourite time of year (Sorry other seasons).
I'm still pinching myself. Due to increased interest this year there are going to be two sessions - Session 1 (Sept 30-Oct 3) and Session 2 (Oct 7-10). Each session serves up three days of learning about mushrooms in a beautiful, remote part of the province. What's not to like?
Here is the eye-catching poster which students in the 2012 workshop created from photos they took, showcasing a smorgasbord of sizes, shapes and colours. A full-size version hangs proudly in the Queen's University Biological Station (QUBS) dining hall. Hats off to workshop participant Donna Fano who conceived of and designed the poster.
Hot off the press! The book came out just a few days ago. I just ordered my copy and anxiously await its arrival. The guide includes photos of the butterflies and their caterpillars. Plus it includes range maps, fight seasons, and etymologies of both genus and species names. Thank you Peter, Colin, Antonia and Brad (the guide's authors) and the 65+ photographers, for sharing your expertise with the rest of us.
Here's the official press release from ROM Press:
This is the very first field guide on the butterflies of Ontario. It highlights the diversity of life by featuring a staggering 167 species of butterflies known to occur in Ontario. The ROM Field Guide to Butterflies of Ontario includes descriptive species accounts, flight season phenograms, and striking field photography of adults and caterpillars. Using range maps based on hundreds of thousands of historical records, and what we believe to be a first for a field guide: computer-modelled predictive distributions, this book illuminates the complete life history of these butterflies. The field guide’s easy-to-access approach, comprehensive coverage, and beautiful design make it an essential guide for both amateur naturalists and professional lepidopterists.
Headed up to Carden Alvar, aka Carden Plain, a couple days ago to look for Odonates (dragonflies & damselflies) with my friend Gary. While the area is better known for its specialty birds, it was a great day with 32 species of odes seen. Surprisingly, one of the highlights of the day turned out to be of the non-ode variety -- a Harvester butterfly which alighted on my hand. I suspect it was seeking out the salt in my sweat (despite how charismatic I am). This uncommon species has a unique claim to fame - it's the only butterfly in North America whose caterpillar is carnivorous. Fortunately, the caterpillars dine solely on woolly aphids and the adult butterfly isn't carnivorous. Otherwise, I might have been in serious trouble!