Saturday, July 27, 2013

Buggin' at Rock Point Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada

While it is that time of year where the birding sure slows down, some friends of ours and my husband have been relying on chasing dragonflies and butterflies for entertainment...and a new challenge. Like all new things, I am slowly learning as I go. Like all things wild, there are more complexities to them than most people care to think about. For now, I will just try to capture some decent photos of them so I can figure out what species they are and just enjoy them for their beauty. 

These were taken on a Sunday trip to Rock Point Provincial Park on the beautiful Niagara Peninsula in Ontario, Canada. We like to take day trips here mainly for late summer/early fall shorebird migration which is excellent, but things were a little slow today so this is what caught our eyes instead. 
Black Saddlebags
This was, in my opinion, our best bird of the day, spotted in a field along the road on our way to the park. There were two of these fabulous Sandhill Cranes, who up until this spring were my nemesis birds.

We managed to do a little birding, but our attention quickly turned to the variety dragonflies and damselflies buzzing along the lake shore. Our friend Willie, seen here is doing a 2013 Big Year within the Buffalo Ornithological Society Region that includes Western New York and extends west into the Niagara Peninsula of Ontario, Canada. He has been delving into the wonderful world of Odonates himself. Check out his blog and photos here
I will just call this a dragonfly rainbow
Lots of bugs are getting frisky this time of year.
Twelve Spotted Skimmer
Female Eastern Forktail Damselfly
Tule Bluet Damselfly

Below are some photos taken last year during a trip to Rock Point that feature more of the landscape.

Along the shore of Rock Point you will find exposed limestone with a variety of fossils which are very interesting to get up close and personal with. It is here you will find little pools of water that attract migrating shorebirds and other local birds like herons, gulls, and terns. You could sit here for hours watching the water, or peering around at the rocks beneath you. Not too far from these rocks is a nice sandy beach for those who enjoy swimming. 

Killdeer, a common local shorebird friend. 
A view of downtown Buffalo, NY from across the lake in Fort Erie, ON before returning home. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Allegany State Park: Program Site 62, Bridal Falls

I have been to Allegany quite a few times in the winter, but have not really explored other areas outside of what I already know. This time, along with my husband on our one year anniversary outing to Allegany, he suggested we try what looked like a small trail off of a pull off along Route 1 in the park. Located at Program Site 62, this is what we later came to find out was where Bridal Falls is located. As soon as we hit the trail, I knew this was going to be good. The forest was prime for fungus, moss, lichens, and other bryophyte friends. I just love that stuff. What's more...there was a lovely creek and a waterfall. Everyone loves waterfalls.

Some young Coral Fungus
Bridal Falls 

I love this crap. Could peer into it all day. Moss and fungus and their allies are something that fascinate more than most things, and oddly I feel  little need to classify and identify it like everything else out there. I just like to enjoy it. I say that knowing that I am anxiously awaiting a shipment of books on bryophytes, moss, and lichens  that I was long overdue on ordering. I guess deep down I am always on a "need to know" basis with the forest. 

For more on the trail and Bridal Falls...
here is a nice nugget on Scott Ensminger's web site Falzguy
and another on WNYTrails