Butterfly Show at Carleton University

I went to the butterfly show at Carleton University last week.  Learning from my experience two years ago, I went there first thing in the morning so that I did not have to wait in-line or be surrounded by loud people.  Sadly, I was there for only 15 minutes before schoolchildren started to pile into the greenhouse.


I brought only my macro lens and small flash with me, and I tried to note as many of the butterfly species I photographed as possible.


September update

Ever since school has started, I have not been diligent in terms of bringing my camera with me and taking pictures, even though most days in September are quite pleasant.

Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus)


Touring Toronto and Niagara Falls

My mother is leaving Ottawa this coming Saturday.  This past weekend, we went on another two-day tour - this time to Thousand Islands, Toronto, and Niagara Falls.

Our first stop was seeing the islands at Rockport, Ontario.

St. Brendan's Church
St. Brendan's Church


Wildlife around Mud Lake - lifers!

This morning I brought my mother to Mud Lake, which she thought was the nicest place in Ottawa I showed her so far.

The first bird that welcomed us was this American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis).


Touring Quebec City and Montreal

I have been slowly getting settled in my new apartment for about two weeks now.  It is at a convenient location close to Dow's Lake, Arboretum, bike path to school, Ottawa River, and more.  Shortly after I moved in, my mother flew from Richmond for a month-long visit, so I have been hosting her since then and that explains why I have not been photographing or blogging as much.

This past weekend, we visited Quebec City and Montreal with a mostly-Asian tour group.  And like most tour groups, the schedule was packed and there was little free time to do anything else.

Château Frontenac
We left Ottawa early Saturday morning, and the first attraction was Château Frontenac in Quebec City.


Birds around Sawmill Wetland (Ottawa)

I returned back to Canada on Wednesday night, and since then I had been searching for my own place (and not sharing with any roommates or landlords) for the remainder of my degree (another 1.5 years left).  I submitted a rental application on Friday and now I am just waiting to hear back from the apartment manager.  This afternoon, I walked around Sawmill Wetland (maybe for the final time) and looked at the birds around the wetland.

Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus)


July update - Conundrum Hot Springs (July 15 - 16)

For my final hiking trip of the season, I wanted to go somewhere farther and a bit more strenuous.  I decided to hike from Gothic to Conundrum Hot Springs via Triangle Pass.  I invited my friend to come with me, and we left Gothic early in the morning and headed towards Copper Lake.  Before we get to Copper Lake, the trail splits into two and one directs us towards Triangle Pass.

View from Triangle Pass
View from Triangle Pass

July update - Some photos from Kebler Pass

In less than 24 hours, I will be flying out of Colorado and heading back to Ottawa.  Before that, I am currently packing up my lab equipment, some of my personal gear, and updating my blog.

Here are some of my photos from Kebler Pass.

Looking at the contact zone between Mertensia brevistyla and M. fusiformis.

July update - Pikes Peak (July 9 - 10)

After returning back to Gothic for one night (for real food and shower), my friend accompanied me to Pike National Forest to help me measure Mertensia alpina.

Taylor Park Reservoir
Passing by Taylor Park Reservoir (larger image here).  I was here almost two years ago.

July update - Rio Grande and San Isabel National Forests (July 5 - 8)

From July 5th to 8th, I traveled to Rio Grande and San Isabel National Forests to search for Mertensia lateriflora and M. ovata, respectively.

Lake San Cristobal
Stopping along the Silver Thread National Scenic Byway to take a look at Lake San Cristobal.


July update - Fourth of July celebration

My field season is slowly coming to an end.  I will be flying back to Ottawa in one week, and now I have more free time to do data entry and sort through all of my photos taken (thus far) this month.

On July 4th, in the past I tended to avoid people and all the associated celebrations by going on solo hikes.  This year, since this might be my last summer in Colorado, I decided to enjoy the festivities by going to Crested Butte and watching the annual Gothic to Crested Butte 1/3 Marathon and the Fourth of July parade.

The marathon finish line in Crested Butte.  I arrived early in the morning so there weren't many people around yet.


June update - Everything

Since arriving in Colorado, my life has been incredibly busy and interesting, which is why I have not updated my blog until now.  This post is a quite poor in terms of topic organization, I apologize.


One of my many research projects is to examine if Mertensia plants with different floral orientation are influenced by rain differently, and one measure of this effect is the number of nutlets (seeds) each plant produce.  To test this, I constructed and placed a rain shelter over a plot with several Mertensia plants, manipulated floral orientation (upward or pendant) of haphazardly chosen plants, supplemented pollen to these plants, and waited until the end of the flowering season to collect the nutlets.


Relearning the wildlife of Gothic

Yesterday I showed my labmate some of the common plants and insects (and birds) that she will likely encounter during her own research, which provided a good refresher lesson for me as well.

Gothic Mountain
Gothic Mountain


Road trip to Colorado

After three long days of driving, I am finally back in Colorado!  My labmate and I left Canada on Monday (May 30th), which may be a miscalculation because it was Memorial Day in US and we sat and waited in the car for almost two hours to cross the border.  Because of the delay, we spent the first night in Ann Arbor, Michigan (instead of the usual first night destination: Kalamazoo).

We saw two White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) outside our hotel the following morning.


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