Some recent photos taken at the live butterfly collection at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa, Ontario.
Recently, I had the opportunity to spend a week at the home of some friends who live in the countryside of Eastern Ontario. During one of my days there, I walked around the property with my camera and telephoto lens and was able to take photos of some busy bees and hummingbirds, as well as some flowers that I liked, a few dragonflies, one of my favourite members of the insect world and some butterflies and a ladybug.
This morning I met up at 7:00 am with some of the members of the Camera Club of Ottawa so that we could explore the Mud Lake area in the morning light and when there are fewer people around. The wild life was a wee bit scarce and apart from the constant territorial disagreements between the Canadian geese, there wasn’t a lot of action. I did manage to get a few photos that I thought were worth keeping.
After a while, I decided to break away from the group and head out on my own to explore the swampy areas of Mud Lake. I’m glad I did – although not a great photo, I managed to capture three woodland ducks (one female and two males) having a ménage à trois in the bushes.
I resisted telling them to get a room. Not often you have a chance to see the wildlife in action.
Mud Lake is one of the most ecologically important natural habitats in the urban part of Canada’s Capital Region. It is identified as a Provincially Significant Wetland and an Area of Natural and Scientific Interest by the government of Ontario and is classified a Protected Area management Category IV (habitat and species management area).
This 60-hectare natural environment is a complex of wetlands along the Ottawa River, the majority of which is made up of deciduous swamp forest. The driest part, to the west, contains a mature forest stand which is made up predominantly of white, red and burr oak, as well as white pine.
Mud Lake is a habitat for a wide diversity of animal species. Located within the Lac Deschênes area and in a major migratory corridor, it specifically serves as an important environment for bird conservation and is recognized as one of the most popular urban sites for birdwatching in Canada. 269 species of birds have been recorded, as well as numerous species of amphibians, reptiles and fish that are not commonly found either regionally or nationally. It also hosts diverse plant life, with 44 rare and 15 uncommon plant species as well as several fauna species-at-risk.
Several species of invasive non-native plants threaten the biodiversity of the Mud Lake habitat. Eleven of these species have been recorded, covering about 29 percent of the total area of this natural habitat.