Photo Contest 2020

Two weeks left to take your photos and enter the contest! Photos must be taken from the paths of the Urquhart Butterfly Garden between July 17 and September 8, 2020.

Read the rules carefully and submit all the required information. Please submit photos without watermarks. Good luck!

Seen in the Garden 2020

Seen In the Garden is a snapshot of a few of the creatures and plants spotted on a particular day at a specific time.  It in no way represents all the wonderful wildlife that could be seen throughout the day!

Michelle Sharp visits the Urquhart Butterfly regularly, usually every day.  She spends about an hour meandering through the paths, and takes photos of many of the things that catch her eye.  Most of the photos on the site will be hers. Michelle designed all the Urquhart Butterfly Garden signage, posters, and  brochures – in fact everything!  Added to her design abilities, Michelle is a keen amateur photographer & naturalist.

This year, two other photographers have been contributing to “Seen in the Garden”:  Ken Kerr and Mark Williams. Both visit the Garden frequently and have added some great shots of interesting creatures. Many thanks to all for sharing their photos.

Click to enlarge each photo to observe the details.

Bombylius: a short film by Mark Williams

The Bee Fly, or Bombylius, is a frequent visitor to the Urquhart Butterfly Garden. Mark Williams created this stunning feature all about this fascinating insect. Thank you to Mark for sharing this delightful video with us!

Bombylius (commonly named the large bee-fly or the dark-edged bee-fly) is a parasitic bee mimic fly. The fly derives its name from its close resemblance to bumblebees and are often mistaken for them. It exhibits a unique flight behavior known as “yawing” and plays a role in general pollination, without preference of flower types. The fly does not bite, sting, or spread disease. However, the fly uses this mimicry of bumblebees to its own advantage, allowing close access to host solitary bee and wasp nests in order to deposit its eggs. After hatching, the larvae find their way into the nests to parasitically feed on the grubs.

A short film by Mark Williams

Mark Williams, a frequent visitor to the Urquhart Butterfly Garden, created this beautiful video from his observations at the garden this year and last. It showcases some of the great diversity of insects and plants you may find as you wander through the paths. Thank you to Mark for creating this delightful video of life at the garden.

June, 2020

The Urquhart Butterfly Garden website is off to a really late start this year, however we hope to make up for lost time with more postings and more photos than ever.   

Unfortunately we are unable to hold our usual Summer Series due to COVID-19, but we do hope to hold a modified Photo Contest – watch this website for further information.

We have been gardening since early April, getting the garden ready, pruning, separating perennials, removing invasive species and generally cleaning up.

We usually grow many of our annuals from nursery stock, but last year a decision was made to ask two local organic growers to grow plants from seed.  We also overwintered the Lantana and some of the Salvia Black and Blue.  The Lantana was planted at the UBG on June 5 and should be successful, but the Salvia did not fare so well.  This all means that many of our plants will not flower until later in the season.

We hope to see you at the Garden, and please share your photos with us!

Dragonflies & Their Kin – Masters of Air & Water

A Free Workshop on Saturday August 17, 11 am
Brenda Van Ryswyk is an expert on dragonflies, and she is coming back this year
by popular demand!


Photo by Michelle Sharp UBG August 2019

Dragonflies have lived on earth for 300 Million years, and during this time have
honed their extraordinary skills, which include being able to see in all directions at
the same time, and the ability to hover like a helicopter.
Dragonflies and Damselflies are fascinating to watch, with their extraordinary
displays of speed and agility in the air, and some species can fly for many
thousands of miles. However, don't be deceived by their agility and beauty,
because they are also very powerful hunters, and gobble up scores of smaller
insects as they zip through the air.
This free workshop on August 17 th at 11 am is suitable for young and old.
– Please bring a chair
–  The workshop will be cancelled in the event of rain
–  Lots of free parking and on a bus route
The Summer Series 2019 is funded by the Dougher Fund of the Hamilton
Community Foundation
Joanna Chapman, Coordinator, Urquhart Butterfly Garden,
Phone 905-627-8917

Guided Butterfly & Moth Identification Walk

3August2019_Silver-Spotted Skipper

Guided Butterfly & Moth Identification Walk
& Plant Sale
Matt Mills
Saturday August 10, 11am
Accomplished Naturalist Matt Mills, will be pointing out all the interesting
butterflies and day-flying moths, that can be seen at this time of year. Matt’s guided
interpretive walk will be on Saturday August 10th at 11 am.

“The Urquhart Butterfly Garden changes from day to day, and with the changes
come different butterflies seeking their host or nectar plants” Matt said recently
when chatting, and he pointed out that the Buddleia is now in flower which attracts
many nectar seekers.When choosing nectar plants it is important to be selective, because some flowers look terrific but do not provide the nectar that butterflies are seeking.
This is especially true of hybridized and treated plants. Matt grows many native
plants from seed which he has carefully collected and all are ‘butterfly friendly’.
Following the Workshop there will be a ‘cash only’ plant sale.
The guided walk takes about an hour. It is recommended that you bring a chair, and
wear a hat. The event is cancelled if it rains.
The Summer Series is funded by the Dougher Fund of the Hamilton Community
Joanna Chapman
Phone: 905-627-8917