Butterflies and Moths Brighten Up a Free Visit to Bronte Creek Provincial Park

On July 15 2016, admission to all Provincial Parks in Ontario was free for the day. Since I don’t have a pass this year, I took advantage of the opportunity for a quick visit to Bronte Creek Provincial Park. We had company arriving in the afternoon so I only had time for an hour’s walk. I travelled down from Parking Lot A, past the play barn, a field, and down the Gnome’s Homes Trail, up the hill on a side path through the meadow, then through the forest back to the picnic areas and my car. Along the way, I found many butterflies to admire.

Swallows Swoop Near the Ripening Grain Fields at Bronte Creek

Photo of Grain Bronte on NaturalCrooksDotCom
The ripe grain in the fields danced in the welcome breeze.

Photo of Swallow Immature Bronte on NaturalCrooksDotCom
Several young swallows perched waiting for snacks from their parents.

Butterflies and Insects Gather to Sip Sap and Sun on a Tree at Bronte Creek

I was a bit surprised and quite pleased to find another Oak “sap” tree at Bronte. Like the one at Riverwood Conservancy it was attracting lots of insects.

Photo of Red Spotted Purple Very Battered Bronte on NaturalCrooksDotCom
This very battered Red-Spotted Purple variant of the White Admiral butterfly was difficult to identify at first with its wings closed.

Photo of Red Admiral Bronte Sap Tree on NaturalCrooksDotCom
Red Admirals are easier to id because of their colours but also by their aggressive flying style.

Photo of Black Horse Fly Bronte On NaturalCrooksDotCom
This Black Horse Fly was huge.

Photo of Common Wood Nymph Bronte Sap Tree on NaturalCrooksDotCom
The Common Wood Nymphs seemed very textured in the shadowy morning light.

Photo of Comma Bronte Near Sap Tree on NaturalCrooksDotCom
This Comma butterfly visited the sap but spent more time perched nearby.

Photo of Mourning Cloak Bronte Sap Tree on NaturalCrooksDotCom
Unlike the Red-spotted Purple, this Mourning Cloak was in good shape.

Up the Grassy Knoll at Bronte Creek I Meet Orchard Orioles and Interesting Insects

Photo of Orchard Oriole Male Juvenile Bronte Creek PP on NaturalCrooksDotCom
I enjoyed watching this small male Orchard Oriole working to feed its juvenile offspring. The male flew off to some purple flowers and flew back, possibly with some pollinators. The youngster followed him perching in nearby trees and shrubs, calling.

Photo of Hummingbird Clearwing Moth Chicory Bronte Ck PP on NaturalCrooksDotCom
Hummingbird clearwing moth on chicory

 

Photo of Cabbage White Butterfly Bronte On NaturalCrooksDotCom

Cabbage White butterfly

Photo of Skipper Brown Bronte Creek on NaturalCrooksDotCom
This brown Skipper kept dancing away. I suspect it’s a Wild Indigo Skipper as there was lots of Crown Vetch in bloom.

Photo of Dragonfly Bronte Creek on NaturalCrooksDotCom
Dragonfly sunning

Back Along the Edge of the Woodlot at Bronte Creek

Photo of Staghorn Sumac Bronte on NaturalCrooksDotCom
Staghorn sumac glows

Photo of Skipper Bronte PP on NaturalCrooksDotCom
An unknown orange Skipper

Photo of Silver Spotted Skipper Bronte Ck On NaturalCrooksDotCom
Finally a Skipper I can recognize: a Silver-Spotted Skipper

Photo of Blossoms Bronte on NaturalCrooksDotCom
Delicate pink blossoms on a shrub

Photo of Common Whitetail Dragonfly Female Bronte on NaturalCrooksDotCom
Common Whitetail dragonfly sunning

Photo of Comma on Grape Leaf Bronte On NaturalCrooksDotCom
Comma butterfly on grape leaf

I Wish the Ontario Provincial Parks Free Admission Day Was On a Weekend

It would be great if future free admission days at the Provincial Parks could be on weekends. Admission to Bronte Creek Provincial Park for a family arriving by car is $17. That’s quite a commitment from a family who have never visited. Giving them a chance to try the park would be wonderful.

Whether it’s free or not, I expect I’ll visit Bronte again next July. It offers some habitats to explore that are worth visiting.

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Did you take advantage of the free provincial park admission day? Or have you visited Bronte Creek this summer? Please share your views with a comment.