Northern wildlife

After years of canoe-tripping in northern Ontario and Quebec, I have come to find the flora and fauna of boreal regions impressive in ways that nature documentaries tend to reserve for tropical rainforests and coral reefs. There are obviously major differences, not just in biodiversity but also in vividness. But the colour palettes of the north are pleasing in their own ways, and these ways are not only subtle. The photos below, from a road trip in 2019 starting near Sudbury then heading into the mountains north of the St Laurence and west of the Saguenay and then east to the Gaspe peninsula, give a glimpse of this beauty and variety.

From top left: a Gray Tree Frog (Dryophytes versicolor) on a willow leaf; a katydid by the roadside; a monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) in a Joe Pye-weed (Eupatorium maculatum) inflorescence; a fly on an aster flower; the landscape about 45 minutes north-east of Quebec City; fire-weed on the roadside; Sheep Laurel (Kalmia angustifolia); a gentian (likely a Closed Bottle Gentian, Gentiana andrewsii); Joe Pye-weed by a slow-moving river; a porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum); unidentified caterpillar on Mountain Maple; the maritime forest; a meadow vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus). All photos (C) D. A. Newman.

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