Eileen has always wanted to see more of Canada, and with all my jaunts to different corners of the world there's a lot of my own country I haven't seen myself. To partially correct this state of affairs we decided to take a motor trip east, to the Atlantic provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. With our friends Kam Chuen Lau and Cynthia Chew - both ex-Malaysians - we set off for the drive to Fredericton, New Brunswick on May 27, 2012.
Though this was meant to be a tour of eastern Canada we started out by driving through the northeastern United States, through Vermont and New Hampshire to Maine, before crossing the border again into New Brunswick. The breeding season was under way in the northern New England woods, and birds like this Chestnut-sided Warbler (Setophaga pensylvanica) sang all around us.
I found at least three dragonflies, including a Common Green Darner (Anax junius) that refused to pose for my camera and a Chalk-fronted Corporal (Ladona julia) that did.
As I walked around to the far side of the pond, I came across a rather tattered Eastern Comma (Polygonia comma)...
and a sight I usually only expect to see in the tropics, a mob of butterflies gathering, or kettling, on the ground in search of mineral salts.
In the tropics you can sometimes find dozens of butterfly species kettling together, but here only one was involved: these are Canadian Tiger Swallowtails (Papilio canadensis).
From here I drove back to town to pick up the shoppers. I will leave it to readers to decide which of us had the better time!