Because Ontario is harsh, and the invertebrates are quickly going to ground, I decided to do two days of outings this weekend! In addition to our trip to Leslie Spit on Saturday, I went out alone to High Park on Sunday to see what I could find.
The herbaceous vegetation was mostly dead, with very few insects out and about.
I found these Leptoglossus occidentalis (western conifer seed bug) behind some boards, getting ready to overwinter. These were not present in Toronto when I was a kid.
Behind the same boards I also found a Agelenopsis on an egg sac. I replaced her carefully after this shot.
This very orange Araneus diadematus was also on an egg sac. She also posed, and then I put her back on her sac. It is doubtful the adults ever survive the winter here.
This Phidippus audax was much more orange than others we have found so far.
Not sure why it was missing a palp, but it will probably regrow, as this one was still small.
At Humber Bay, I found some hungry wasp queens. Luckily I had a vial of honey on hand. This one ate so much she could barely fly afterward, but it should fatten her up for the winter.
I was delighted to find this brown snake, AKA Dekay’s snake (Storeria dekayi) moving along a fence.
I encountered these small snakes often when I was a kid. The juveniles of this species are quite beautiful,and the adults have their own subdued charm.
These snakes are natricines, related to garter snakes. They occur in Eastern N. America all the way down to Guatemala.
This shot shows the faint iridescence of the scales
All in all, I was glad I went out! This kind of break from the downtown chaos will hopefully keep me sane!