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Taken near Fort Langley, British Columbia, Canada.


Lots of migrant Savannah Sparrows are moving through the Fraser Valley at this season.


Dave and I did a little birding after Dave got off work. We pulled up alongside the corner of a corn field where a thick covering of what looked like ragweed was growing where the corn didn't take. The patch erupted with birds.


I got out of the driver's seat to get into the back seat on the right side passenger seat and got ready to do some photography while Dave 'pished' at the sparrows to bring them closer to our vehicular blind. There was probably upwards of two hundred Savannah Sparrows in this flock, one of the best I've encountered. When after about a half hour later, we decided to move on to another spot.


I got out to go back to the driver's seat, but before I got there this handsome specimen jumped up on the hardhack growing in the ditch on the left hand side of the road.


Savannah Sparrow

Topaz Studio


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Please, don't fave and run, you will get yourself blocked.


Spiraea douglasii - hardhack


Taken near Fort Langley, British Columbia, Canada.


Lots of migrant Savannah Sparrows are moving through the Fraser Valley at this season. This little fella perched nicely for me on the top of an well expired hardhack bloom.


Savannah Sparrow

Spiraea douglasii

Douglas' spirea




Taken near Mission, British Columbia, Canada.


Another shot from a recent encounter.


MacGillivray's Warbler

Taken at my friend's ranch near Quesnel, British Columbia, Canada.


A summertime leftover taken before the autumn deluge had begun in September (while it was still officially summer, mind you).


I was sitting down relaxing on the ground last June. The grass was sprinkled with an array of wild flowers in an old clear cut. The area at hand was replete with new growth like willows, hardhack, and young alders. It was there that I found this cautious but curious fellow.


And, I might overabundance of mosquitoes!


Clay-coloured Sparrow

Taken at my friend's ranch near Quesnel, British Columbia, Canada.


Sitting down on the grass sprinkled with an array of wild flowers in an old clear cut that supports new growth like willows, hardhack, and young alders, one often finds a curious fellow like this.


And, I might overabundance of mosquitoes!


Clay-coloured Sparrow

Taken at Campbell Valley Park, Langley, British Columbia, Canada.


Found this guy living on the verge of the boardwalk.


Compare this Pacific Northwest form to the Eastern form in the link below.


Song Sparrow - Melospiza melodia morphna

With the rest of the world slowly opening due to the pandemic, I thought I would post another opening in my part of the world. A beautiful Spring flower is opening its petals to greet the day.

Looks like a hop cone, but not!


Sycamore Park

Decatur (Sycamore Ridge), Georgia, USA.

19 July 2020.



▶ "Ostrya virginiana, the American hophornbeam [so named from its fruits resembling hops used in beer production] is a species of Ostrya [small deciduous trees belonging to the birch family] native to eastern North America, from Nova Scotia west to southern Manitoba and eastern Wyoming, southeast to northern Florida and southwest to eastern Texas. Other names include eastern hophornbeam, hardhack (in New England), ironwood, and leverwood."




▶ Photo by Yours For Good

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▶ Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M10 II.

▶ Commercial use requires explicit permission, as per Creative Commons.

I walked past a shrubby cinquefoil (Dasiphora fruticosa) near our house and looked to see if there were any neat insects on the flowers and found this one.


It's a female lesser hornet hoverfly (Volucella inanis), on of Sweden's largest hoverflies with a wingspan of around 30 mm.


These guys parasitize on wasps and lay their eggs in the nests of various wasp species where their larvae feed on waste from the wasps as well as actual wasp larvae.

So I'm out looking for interesting hoverflies in a rather large shrubby cinquefoil (Dasiphora fruticosa) when I notice something way smaller, nothing more than a black speck in the center of one of the very yellow flowers.


Fortunately I had the Canon MP-E65mm on my camera so I wound it up all the way out to 5:1 magnification and managed two shots of it. It moved enough between shots to make a program like Zerene Stacker not being able to handle it, but I blended the two manually using Photoshop and ended up with this result.


Being sub-2 mm in length, this strawberry blossom weevil (Anthonomus rubi) is actually a quite serious pest on raspberries and strawberries.


Here it is on my hand for a sense of the scale:

We are having a series of rain storms. The ground is very wet.

The wetland peninsula trail.

The huge snowfall in February has lasted until mid March as a blanket of ice. Very unusual here.

Another one from the new diffuser tryouts around the house. How do you think the diffusion looks on this one?


It's one of the running crab spiders (Philodromus sp.) captured on top of a shrubby cinquefoil (Dasiphora fruticosa) using the MP-E65mm at 2.2:1 magnification.


As the spider was nice (and/or cold) enough to stay still I could take more than one shot so this is five exposures combined into a single shot using Zerene Stacker.

Gnesta, Sweden


Spiraea douglasii is a deciduous, clump-forming shrub that will spread by suckers to form colonies over time. It typically grows 4-6’ tall. It is native from Alaska to northern California and Montana where it is often found growing in moist soils of marshes, swamps, bogs, damp meadows and along streams.


Genus name comes from the Greek word speira meaning wreath in reference to the showy flower clusters seen on most shrubs in the genus.


Specific epithet honors Scottish botanist David Douglas.

A second shot of some sort of Sphaerophoria hoverfly (most likely a S. scripta) which I found in the middle of September (which is late in the season for hoverflies in central Sweden) on a shrubby cinquefoil (Dasiphora fruticosa)


Part 1 (from the side) here:

The steeplebush flowers are fading and blue flowered plants, King gentian. are blooming. The steeplebush, Spiraea douglasii, is deciduous, it will be dormant before the lake returns with the rains.

I thought that it was smoke, but didn't smell wood smoke. Ground fog is normal this time of year.

Some species of bee or other hymenoptera (ID anyone?) on a shrubby cinquefoil (Dasiphora fruticosa) flower.


Gatunek (ID?) pszczoły albo innej błonkówki na kwiecie pięciornika krzewiastego (Dasiphora fruticosa).


The deciduous plants dominate the shallow waters of the wetland lake. Also known as steeple bush, for the flowers that point to the sky.

golden hardhack (Dasiphora fruticosa)





Taken at Campbell Valley Park, Langley, British Columbia, Canada.


Don't show up without some seed to offer him or he'll show you where you stand in the pecking order!


Black-capped Chickadee

Hardhack blooms in the summer. Individual hardhack flowers are cylindrical and narrow, pyramid-shaped clusters that can be up to eight inches long. Butterflies and other nectar-feeding insects find the flowers highly attractive. This single fuchsia colored specimen almost glowed in amongst the greenery beside marsh.

Dasiphora fruticosa subsp. floribunda

Dasiphora fruticosa subsp. floribunda

With a few ants buried in there.

Standing in the lake. Still very shallow water.

Sur des fleurs d'Eupatoire perfoliée / On Steeplebush flowers

Red Mill, Trois-Rivières, Mauricie, Québec, Canada

Still getting enough rain to keep things wet. In winter the whole area is a wetland.

Hardhack shrubs after a rain, with half-hidden spider

I was standing on a trail at Willband Creek this morning when I suddenly became aware that a flock of Bushtits had landed in the bushes near me. They twittered it up and went from bush to bush and I managed a few images. And then they flew further down the path.

Spiraea douglasii spends the winter standing in water. Grass is the lake plant that stays green in the winter lake.In the spring all of the lake plants green up.In the heat of the summer the lake shrinks to a small pond.

and a yellow blossom


Gelbblütiger Fingerstrauch


Pentacon AV 2.8/80

It's still mud out to the trees, and it's pretty damp in spots. Looking forward to the rains of the fall.

In the shallow water of the lake, The snow and ice beat this plant down. Also known as steeplebush and hardhack, it needs a very wet environment. This is a wet environment, the lake recedes in the summer, But, water is below the surface of the ground.

Spiraea douglasii—Douglas spiraea. Spiraea douglasii is a rhizomatous, deciduous shrub that grows in the northern Sierra Nevada and North Coast Ranges thence north to Alaska and eastwards to Montana. It can form nearly impenetrable stands in freshwater marshes and bogs. The species provides nesting sites for both birds and bears. This spiraea grows well in gardens. Photographed at Regional Parks Botanic Garden located in Tilden Regional Parks near Berkeley, CA

In the deep water zone. The mud out here is very moist.

Grass is the only lake plant that looks alive now.

The end of the winter.

Still some salal berries hanging out. Not many bears around anymore to eat the berries.

A flowering shrub native to Western North America. Common names: Western Spirea, Hardhack, Douglas' spirea, Steeplebush, Rose Spirea...

Avec un mâle de Leste / With a male of Spreadwing

Red Mill, Trois-Rivières, Mauricie, Québec, Canada.

Not to mention downed trees all around the region. I had planned to take some trees out in the early spring. Nature did it for me.

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