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05 July 2011 @ 06:24 pm
A Quick Visit to Cambridge  
I spent the last weekend in June in Cambridge to spend some time with my family. My mother was getting married, my sister was in town for the ceremony, and of course I intended to spend time with my father as well. The wedding - held at the fountain in Cambridge - was lovely. Although the sky threatened, the rain held off all day. I saw my sister-in-law and my 11-month-old niece Lilly at the wedding, as well as various family and friends.

The day after the wedding my fiancé and I visited my Dad's new trailer at the Pinehurst Lake Conservation Area. We went for a walk to see some of the area, and of course I took my camera with me.



The Crown Vetch and Cinquefoil were in bloom; I found a small patch where the two of them were growing together. The pink and yellow flowers were quite pretty.



Crown Vetch


Cinquefoil has five petals, as its name suggests. There are several different species of Cinquefoil in Ontario; I didn't realize this, and didn't examine it closely enough to identify it to the species level.



Cinquefoil


Crown Vetch, a non-native member of the pea family, was brought to North America from Europe in the 1950s. At first it proved useful for controlling erosion on slopes, soil rehabilitation and roadside planting, but its aggressive nature and tolerance for all soil types caused it to spread quickly and made it unwelcome.



Crown Vetch


When we came across a stand of Common Milkweed not yet in bloom, I decided to take a look to see if I could find any interesting insects among the buds. Milkweed is attractive to many, many different species, and to my delight I found a large monarch caterpillar munching on some of the buds!



Monarch Caterpillar on Milkweed


Here is another view of the same caterpillar.



Monarch Caterpillar on Milkweed


Another insect that I thought quite interesting was this Pale Green Weevil on one of the shrubs near the bathroom. Weevils are actually beetles and belong to the Order Coleoptera. Although some weevils are considered pests, this species does not cause any serious damage to the trees it feeds on. While it normally feeds on a wide range of forest trees, it will sometimes chew on the leaves of peach, cherry, apple, or pear trees, leaving ragged notches along the leaf edges. Any destruction is minimal, as the trees will compensate with increased growth.



Pale Green Weevil


Later, when we were almost back at my Dad's trailer site, I noticed a large damselfly flying just above the vegetation next to the path. When it landed, I identified it as an Emerald Spreadwing, my second one of the year:



Emerald Spreadwing


We heard a couple of Pine Warblers during our walk, and saw a few Chipping Sparrows, a White-breasted Nuthatch and a couple of chickadees; I also heard an Indigo Bunting singing beyond the fence but couldn't locate the singer. The Pinehurst Lake Conservation Area is lovely, and I would love to spend some more time there in the future and see what else it has to offer.