Friday, August 29, 2008

Friday Flowers: Found on a Thistle Bloom

Our day in Toronto last weekend was one of the hottest of this summer. Hazy humidity hung over the city and the sun's rays were strong. We spent a few hours on the city streets and then drove over to the Leslie Street Spit. (I wrote about the area before in this post). Tommy Thompson Park is an important birding area. It is located on a man-made peninsula which was created with land fill from excavations for foundations of buildings in the city. It seems improbable that such a lovely nature area could be tucked in near warehouses and docks of the harbour district.

We started along the trail hoping to find a refreshing breeze from Lake Ontario. The spit is about 5 km long and would be a challenge to complete both ways on foot in a couple of hours. A bike is really the best way to explore the area. There was no breeze on this afternoon but the birds and butterflies were so abundant in the first section of the trail that I kept going in spite of the heat.
The favoured flower was the purple Bull Thistle and all I needed to do was stand near one and wait for the visitors. The Monarch butterfly is on the flower of a Burdock plant.

Orange Sulphur Butterflies

Great Spangled Fritillary

Black Swallowtail

Monarch Butterfly

American Goldfinch
(unfortunately, this one had conjunctivitis)

Have a great Labour Day Weekend...the last long weekend of the summer!


  1. Oh My these are just so lovely.....the detail is absolute joy to look at....tku....

    Enjoy your long weekend.....

  2. Fab pics Ruth. I seem to have vague recollections of that spit being built.

  3. Anonymous7:45 am GMT-4

    Oh you know that I was going to love this post. Those pics are stunning. What vibrant & glorius colors. WOW!

    I'm sure the heat of the day played a big factor in bringing those lovely creatures out. Even on the hottest day of the summer, there was a silver lining.

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. Wonderful photos. What an uplifting way to start the long weekend. Hope yours is wonderful.

  5. Your pictures of the butterflies are absolutely beautiful! And I love the little one of the Toronto skyline. Have a great weekend as well.

  6. Poor goldfinch. I had only two instances of eye disease this winter. When I see it, the feeders have to be cleaned which is a big job. Beautiful butterflies!!!

  7. A Beautiful collection of butterfly photos Ruth.-Hope you have a nice labor day weekend as well-Don't work too hard-or maybe not at all.

  8. Nature is so full of color - we don't see it
    "just walking by" - have to look and take pictures.

  9. Those sulphurs are gorgeous! Wow.

  10. Beautiful! Have a wonderful weekend yourself Ruth. :c)

  11. Aren't butterflies just the greatest mood lifter! Beautiful!

  12. Incredible butterfly pictures. We are inundated with beautiful ones right now but they are so flighty I can't seem to focus in on them.
    Congratulations on your results!

  13. Lovely pictures and a familiar skyline in the background.

  14. Cheryl- Thank you. I admire you butterfly pics as well.

    AC- :-) I was a self-absorbed adolescent when the spit was built who would never have dreamt a landfill could be thing of beauty.

    Cheryl D- You are right. I have wondered why I see the most butterflies on noon hour walks. Heat is the key.

    NCMW- Summer went so fast!

    April- I do like Toronto's skyline too. I hope to take it from Toronto Island soon.

    RW- I took several pictures of this bird. In most of the pictures its eyes were completely swollen and closed.

    Larry- I will be sure to take things easy this weekend!

    Jean- Having a camera does make me notice small things more.

    Laura- The Sulphurs were a new butterfly for me. I could not believe my luck with this picture as I took at least 15 bad ones first of these tiny, flighty wings.

    Jayne, Mare and Ann...Thanks for your comments. Glad you enjoyed the pictures.

    Mom- It is very hard to get butterfly pictures. You have to get them on something they love to eat. These thistles filled the bill and they stayed long enough so I could focus. Perhaps you could put some fruit like orange halves out for your butterflies.


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