On the morning of the 9th Nelson (in the red shirt) took our little group weekending at his cottage on a trip into Peterborough, with a stop at the lift lock on the Trent Canal near Lakefield.
Here I found numbers of Powdered Dancers (Argia moesta). This species is almost entirely a river specialist, especially where there are exposed rocks (or, in this case, concrete).
Females are dimorphic (that is, they come in two colour forms), though the ones I saw here were mostly brown (the other form is largely blue) and quite distinct from the heavily pruinose (or powdered) males.
Two more females - one alive, one the victim of a spider.
Here are a mating pair "in wheel" on the bridge leading over the canal.
I met these damsels again, in large numbers, on a little afternoon excursion I made to a rapidly-flowing rocky stream to the east of the entrance to Petroglyphs Provincial Park.
Along its banks I could admire both insects and geology; here I was at the southern edge of the ancient Canadian Shield, with its handsome Precambrian outcrops crossed now and then, as here, by impressive dikes and sills where lava, long ago, penetrated into cracks and between layers of stone before hardening into ruler-straight ridges.
Powdered Dancers were everywhere along the rocks at the water's edge. I found myself almost kicking them out of my way as I searched for my real target: members of the dragonfly family Gomphidae, many of which here are insects of rapidly-flowing streams and rocky banks.
Sure enough, after some searching I found a male and female Midland Clubtail (Gomphus fraternus). I only had time to squeeze off a few photos of the male male before he flew off, never to return. Notice the broad, paddle-like extension if the end of the abdomen - the row of three yellow markings across the middle of the paddle is a clue that this is a Midland Clubtail and not one of his similar-looking relatives.
The female, whom I found perching unobtrusively on a slab of rock further upstream, was much more cooperative. In fact, she never moved while I photographed her from a number of angles. Her "paddle" is narrower than the male's, and notice her rather wicked-looking genitalia, projecting from it like a pair of vampire's fangs.
The underside of the road bridge crossing the river was covered with exuvia, the shed larval skins of emergent dragonflies. Perhaps this one is a clubtail, too? Notice the open "escape hatch" from which the adult emerged.
While searching for clubtails I found, as a bonus, the most beautiful of Ontario's damselflies: the Ebony Jewelwing (Calopteryx maculata), an insect that would not be out of place on a forest stream in Malaysia.
I only saw one, perching precariously on some wind-blown vegetation (unlike the Powdered Dancers, which stayed pretty much exclusively on the rocks).
As far as I can tell, this extremely dull dragonfly is a young Chalk-fronted Corporal (Ladona julia).
Other dragonflies exploring the vegetaton along the stream banks were species I had already seen at the cottage (see previous post): a female Common Whitetail (Plathemis lydia)...
...a female Eastern Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicicollis)...
...and a female Slaty Skimmer (Libellula incesta).
Just to be different, this Widow Skimmer (Libellula luctuosa) is a young male (notice the combination of wing pattern and yellow sides to the abdomen).
This one stumped me, but I believe that it is just an odd-looking female Widow Skimmer.
Petroglyphs Provincial Park is, practically speaking, just around the corner from Nelson's cottage, on the northeastern shore of Stoney Lake. Its primary reason for being is a large exposed rock face, now protected by a specially-erected building, covered with aboriginal rock carvings of some spiritual significance to native people (note the sign). No photographs are allowed in the building, so I had to save my camera for the wildflowers and insects outside.
Bladder Campion (Silene nivea) is a European native plant, widespread in North America.
So is Goatsweed or Common St John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum).
Lance-leaved Coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata), however, is a native North American plant - proof that not all our roadside wildflowers are aliens.
Harebell (Campanula rotundifolia) is native to both Eurasia and North America; it rates a mention in Shakespeare's Cymbeline.
Bergamot, Beebalm or Oswego Tea (Monarda didyma) is the reverse of many of our wildflowers - it is a native of eastern North America that has established itself in Europe.
Salsify (Tragopogon sp) is, however, another alien from Europe; there are over 140 species. Like a number of the plants in this post, parts of it are edible (in this case, the root, which is supposed to taste something like oysters).
This is a male Long Dash Skipper (Polites mystic), a butterfly widespread across Canada and the northern United States. The name comes from the blackish streak across the forewing.
I had already seen Pearl Crescents (Phycoides tharos) at the cottage, but at Petroglyphs I got this shot of one with its wings open.
The ubiquitous and unmistakeable Monarch (Danaus plexippus) is certainly our most famous butterfly; this one is perched on a milkweed, its larval food plant. It may have been a female looking for a spot to lay her eggs.
This is a "Northern-type" Bluet (Enallagma sp.), with a mostly blue abdomen, doing its best to remain unobtrusive on a plantain spike. Which of a number of nearly identical species it is I cannot say.
As we were leaving Petroglyphs I spotted this Canada Darner (Aeshna canadensis) actually perching at eye level along the trail to the parking lot. This is one of a number of similar darners, but I am basing my identification on its lack of a facial stripe, the pattern of its thorax (notice the notch in the blue stripe running along the side) and abdomen pattern and its pale legs. It perched in typical aeshnid fashion, suspended almost vertically from a twig.