Playing the New Brunswick Tourist

Searching for Butterflies in Fundy National Park.

Searching for Butterflies, Fundy National Park.

A few weeks back, my partner Michael and I took a weekend to explore the Bay of Fundy. ¬†Normally I am travelling New Brunswick for work, so it was great to get to travel as a tourist. However, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and the places we chose to visit look a lot like the sites where I work. I’m a sucker for nature! The two highlights of the trip were our visits to Hopewell Rocks and Fundy National Park. Both are fantastic examples of Canada’s stunning landscapes, and I am very glad they will be protected for generations to come. All of the beautiful photos in this post were taken by Michael. He has been the inspiration for me to take a camera into the field to capture some of the animals and plants I come across.

Playing in a Tidal Flat

Tidal Flats

Being from Ontario, I have almost no experience with oceans and their wonderful creatures. Working in the Maritimes this summer has been a new adventure, and I’m slowly piling up ocean experiences. ¬†One evening during a work trip to Prince Edward Island, my colleague and decided to investigate beaches near Charlottetown. While we never found the beach we were looking for, we ended up at an even better place, the Tea Hill Park tidal flats. Between the flounder trying to hide under our feet, or the shrimps hitching rides on our ankles, it was a magical place. Before we knew it, the sun was going down and the evening had flown away.

Last Summer for the Maritimes Butterfly Atlas

Great Spangled Fritillary

Great Spangled Fritillary – Fredericton, NB

When I moved to New Brunswick, I was aware of the Maritimes Butterfly Atlas, a project of the Atlantic Canada Conservation Data Centre, but I was disappointed to find out that 2014 was the last season for participation. I don’t really need an official purpose to go out an look for butterflies, but it’s nice to know that your data is useful. So, much to my delight, it was announced just over a month ago that the data collection period for the atlas was being extended to cover 2015 as well. The extension was made to match the end date of the Maine Butterlfly Survey, so that the results could be published jointly. For those already keeping track of the butterflies they see, participating in the atlas is as simple as submitting your records (with a photo) to eButterfly. So, if anyone reading this blog happens to be from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, or Maine for that matter, next time you see a butterfly this summer, think about snapping a picture and contributing to this great citizen science project.

Here are just a few of the butterflies I’ve seen this summer that are now submitted to atlas: