Prothonotary Warbler

Prothonotary Warbler

Friday, 6 May 2016

Rondeau....naturally photos

The 2017 Rondeau....naturally calendar is hot off the press. I just picked up some from the printer late this afternoon, and I will be delivering them to the Friends of Rondeau bookstore tomorrow (Saturday, May 7).

It is a 13 month calendar. Here are the photos (please note that the © P. Allen Woodliffe shown on most photos here does not appear on the actual calendar).

The cover photo was taken from the fishing tug harbour at Erieau, looking at a sunrise over Rondeau Bay and Park

Cover 

The January photo shows a Giant Swallowtail butterfly sipping nectar from a Wild Bergamot along Harrison Trail.
January
The February photo shows an attractive part of the Tuliptree Trail in late May, as it crosses ridges and sloughs to the interior part of the forest.
February
The March photo shows a water-filled slough along Bennett Avenue after a late winter snow storm has passed through, leaving wet snow clinging to the trees.
March
The April photo shows a Leopard Frog with inflated vocal sacs, as it tries to attract a mate. A cluster of eggs previously laid by a female is nearby.
April
The May photo shows an endangered Prothonotary Warbler reflected at the water's edge along the Tuliptree Trail. Rondeau has been the Ontario and Canadian stronghold for breeding Prothonotaries ever since they were first discovered nesting in Canada here in the early 1930s. It was none other than Jim Baillie, ornithologist from the Royal Ontario Museum who was on a field trip to the park who made this noteworthy discovery.
May
The June photo is a closeup of a gorgeous Tuliptree Flower. The Tuliptree is the unofficial flagship tree of the Carolinian Life Zone, and it is abundant at Rondeau. Here they can reach 35 metres in height. The largest diameter one I have measured recently was 125 cm.
June
The July photo is a closeup of Michigan Lily, a beautiful orange flower that can be found in the oak savanna habitat and along the edges of open oak forests.
July
The August photo is of a Great Egret flying against the blue sky. It doesn't nest at Rondeau, but is a frequent summer and early fall resident. Its closest nesting colony is at Walpole Island, about 70 km away at the north end of Lake St. Clair. Another nesting colony is on the islands in the western basin of Lake Erie.
August
The September photo is of a Midland Painted Turtle, the only turtle species in southern Ontario that is not officially 'At Risk'. Turtles are cold-blooded, as are all reptiles and amphibians, and this one is basking in the sun so that the sun's warmth will assist with the turtle's physiological processes.
September
The October photo is a close-up of an Eastern Chipmunk. Chipmunks are favourites of many visitors, (as well as many predators)!
October
The November photo shows a pair of Sandhill Cranes lifting off from the marsh. This species was quite rare in southern Ontario until a few years ago. It is now a regular breeding species here, with one or two pair breeding annually in the Rondeau area.
November
The December photo is of the very rare yellow form of the Red Trillium. Red Trilliums are not nearly as abundant in Rondeau as White Trilliums are. The yellow form is extremely rare. In almost 50 years of exploring rich deciduous forests, I have only seen this on two occasions, and one plant has occurred at Rondeau for at least the last 3 years.
December
A bonus is the January, 2018 image of one of Rondeau's most popular mammals, a White-tailed Deer. Deer are antlerless in the winter, and have a greyish brown fur coat. By spring, the winter fur will be shed, leaving them with their reddish brown fur coat.
January, 2018
So stop by the Rondeau Visitor Centre and check out the informative displays as well as the diverse array of books and other items available at the Friends of Rondeau bookstore. And while you are at it, take a look at this calendar. It might even make a good Mother's Day gift!

















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