More signs of fall

Ever since Codemonkey pointed out a great spot for turtle watching, I’ve noticed a turtle regularly sunbathing in the same spot in the recent warm weather. It seems to be a painted turtle and is very shy, darting into the water if anyone approaches within 20 metres.

A painted turtle enjoys the last of the warmth.

A painted turtle enjoys the last of the warmth.

Dogwood is fruiting in many parts of the park and soon its leaves will fall away to reveal its distinctive red branches.

Red Osier Dogwood.

Red Osier Dogwood getting checked over by an Asian lady beetle.

The unusually coloured berries are popular with migrating birds and were once used as a native remedy against colds.

The ladybug, ladybird or Asian lady beetle on the dogwood is a powerful invader that is elbowing native ladybugs aside in many parts of the world. Introduced by greenhouse growers and perhaps the U.S.D.A. the ALB escaped into the wild and there will be no going back. Native ladybugs eating toxic ALB larvae do not survive. Once established in Canada, the ALB tainted many Niagara wines as growers couldn’t separate the bugs from the grapes. Armed with powerful chemicals, it takes only a few of these bugs to taint a whole year’s wine production. Having experienced some Chateau Ladybug (at a winery that was shamelessly trying to offload it) about ten years ago, I can vouch for its unpleasant and unforgettable taste.

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