Mid-June means the emergence of some of my favourite bugs, including the most colourful of all the damselflies, the Rainbow Bluet. After hearing that a friend of mine had spotted some along the river at Hurdman Park I went there on June 17th to look for myself. It was a hot, gorgeous day with a bit of a breeze, and I had no objection to spending my lunch hour along the bank of the Rideau River. As soon as I arrived I spotted a couple of large dragonflies patrolling the river; at least one Common Green Darner was present, as usual, but the Prince Baskettail was a bit of a surprise. It, too, was flying up and down the river, only a foot above the water. However, it was flying a little further out than the Common Green Darner, which often came in close to investigate the vegetation along the shore. Occasionally the Prince and the Darner crossed paths with each other, and a battle would ensue which ended up with them trying to chase each other off at high speeds. It is at times like this when I realize that the dragonflies are not just insects, they are also animals, and behave just as any other animal would when a competitor enters its territory.
Marlborough Forest is not only a great place for birds and odonates, it is a wonderful spot for butterflies, too. When I arrived I spotted a couple of large butterflies fluttering through the parking lot as soon as I arrived; at least three White Admirals were basking on the sunlit gravel, though they kept chasing one another into the vegetation. I was hoping to get a photo of one perching on a leaf, but they were so active I wasn’t able to get any pictures. This Northern Crescent was much calmer, resting on a leaf while the much-larger Chalk-fronted Corporals hunted close by.