Butterflies – Zebra Longwing – Heliconius charitonia

Butterflies – Zebra Longwing – Heliconius charitonia

Photographed at the Carleton University “Live” Butterfly exhibit in the Fall of 2010. (Location)

The Zebra Longwing is one of the favorites of the commercial butterfly houses and exhibits.   They are long lived, flashy and attracted to various members of the Passion Vine which grow well in greenhouse environments.  It range includes the southern USA where it is the official Florida butterfly as well as Central America, the northern portions of South America and various islands in the Caribbean.  Like many butterflies, the Zebra Longwing caterpillar is able to absorb poisonous compounds found in the Passion Vines and pass those compounds along to the adult stage thus providing some deterrent to predators which might otherwise view them as a meal. Because they survive for long periods in captivity (2 -3 months) and breed comfortably in captivity, the Zebra Longwings are often used in butterfly studies as well as being just another pretty butterfly flitting from flower to flower in butterfly exhibits.

 

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The Pinery Provincial Park

Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)

The Pinery Provincial Park is a park located on Lake Huron near Grand Bend, Ontario.  When I arrived late in the day, the weather could be best described as wet and miserable and I was not looking forward to pitching my tent and spending many hours inside of it.  I was happy though that the drizzle kept the vultures huddled in the trees close enough to the ground so that I could move in close for some photos.

Turkey vulture with wings spread to try and deflect the drizzle.

A rather damp turkey vulture finds a somewhat sheltered tree limb in which to hunker down for a drizzly night.

The area encompassed by the Pinery contains a variety of woodland vegetation attracting many species of birds and insects.

Rufous-Sided Towhee/Eastern Towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus)

The weather continued to be rather miserable the next morning so, after climbing up one of the hills, I turned around and got into my car and drove on to another location. My stay at Pinery Provincial Park was, therefore, much shorter than I had planned.

 

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