Autumn in the Garden

Cooler nights and a profusion of aster & goldenrod flowers have signaled the arrival of autumn in the garden. Our ‘Summer Series’ Education Programme has ended for 2021. We are grateful to all of our event leaders and visitors who made the year successful.

Hummingbird migration is drawing to a close but several are still visiting the salvia, red sage and other flowers. Visit our new ‘Filmed in the Garden’ to view a great video on Ruby-throated Hummingbirds by Mark Williams.

‘Filmed in the Garden’ features several videos shot in the Urquhart Butterfly Garden in 2021. Current videos feature the Great Golden Digger Wasp and another with great shots of Preying Mantis, both by Mark Williams. Thank you Mark!

 Monarch butterfly numbers are building and will continue strong until successive cold fronts, north winds and sunny days carry them south. Watch for them flitting around the Butterfly Bushes or drifting by overhead.

Another great spot for autumn butterflies is the Crabapple trees near the cedar hedge at the west end of the Garden. On sunny days butterflies can be seen along the path feeding on the rotting fruit on the ground.

Other welcome sights include American Goldfinches and Eastern Chipmunk feasting on the Cup Plant seedheads as Cedar Waxwings pluck berries.   Don’t forget to watch for the bird migration overhead.

Paper Wasp. August 12th, 2021. Photo by Michelle Sharp.

Photo Contest Update

The September 7th deadline for entering the 2021 Urquhart Butterfly Garden Photo Contest has come and gone. We are grateful to have received many excellent photos of a diverse array of garden wildlife.

Photo Contest Award Announcement:

The 2021 Photo Contest Award Winners will annouced on our website on the morning of Tuesday, October 12th, 2021. Stay tuned!

Red Admiral. September 11th, 2021. Photo by Michelle Sharp.

Summer Series Update: Guided Nature Walk – Saturday September 11th, 10:00 am.

Up next in our 2021 Education Program Summer Series:

Urquhart Butterfly Garden Centennial Park, Dundas


Butterfly & Nature Identification Walk – Matthew Mills


Free Workshop Saturday September 11 at 10 am

Our own staff naturalist Matt Mills will lead our final walk of the year a Guided Nature Walk and tour of the garden. Early fall is a time of change for wildlife in the garden, but there is always plenty to see.


Monarch butterfly migration is underway, and we may see small groups in the garden or migrating overhead. A day with north winds could bring the hawk migration right overhead and insect diversity will be high in the abundant fall flowers.


The session is open to all, and you will leave with a new knowledge and understanding of the wonderful diversity of wildlife at the Urquhart Butterfly Garden.  

Saturday September 11 at 10 am.


You are requested to bring your binoculars & a chair. Be prepared to spend 1 hour in the full
sun of the garden – a hat and sunglasses are helpful. 

The event will be cancelled in the event of rain.

The Urquhart Butterfly Garden is immediately adjacent to Centennial Park and the Hamilton Air Force Association at 128 King St. E in Dundas.


There is plenty of free parking and the location is easily accessible by public transportation or bicycle.
………………………………………………………………………………………………….
For more information contact:

Joanna Chapman

jchapman@295.ca
905-627-8917

Funded by the Dougher Fund of the Hamilton Community Foundation

………………………………………………………………….

A pair of Monarch Butterflies visit a Zinnia in the Urquhart Butterfly Garden.
Photo by Michelle Sharp.

Summer Series Update – Birds of the Butterfly Garden & Canal Park: Saturday, September 4th at 10 am.

 The Urquhart Butterfly Garden,

Centennial Park, Dundas.                                                        

Birds of the Butterfly Garden & Canal Park

Brian Wylie

Saturday, September 4 at 10 am

Brian Wylie is a very observant naturalist and birder.   Brian can tell you about our birds,  their lives, and  migration patterns. It is surprising how many species of bird are hiding in plain view.    

By early September many birds are getting ready to leave us for the winter.  He will explain why some Robins leave us in the fall others stay and overwinter here.

Brian Wylie has been interested in birds and other creatures since he was a child, and for many years been a very active member of the Hamilton Naturalist’s Club.  He welcomes both young and old to his workshops, and has a great facility for explaining the mysteries of nature to young children. Join Brian on September 4 at 10am, for a free workshop.

  • Please bring your binoculars & a chair
  • Please no dogs
  • Session will be cancelled in the event of rain
  • Ample on site free parking & on a bus route

Funded by the Dougher Fund of the Hamilton Community Foundation

………………………………………………………………….

For more information contact: 

Joanna Chapman (905-627-8917)

email: jchapman@295.ca

Carolina Wren. Photo by Mark Williams.

Summer Series Update: Guided Butterfly & Nature Walk. Saturday, August 28th at 10 am.

Urquhart Butterfly Garden

Centennial Park, Dundas

Butterfly & Nature Identification Walk

Matthew Mills

Free Workshop Saturday August 28th at 10 am

Our own staff naturalist Matt Mills will guide a Butterfly and Nature Identification walk and tour of the garden. Late summer is an excellent time to view a diversity of butterflies in the Urquhart Butterfly Garden. 

Monarch numbers begin to build as they stage for migration, good numbers of summering species are still on the wing and rare butterflies blown north on summer heat waves are possible. Bird migration begins in earnest in late August so we will watch for movement overhead and new visitors in the garden.

The session is open to all, and you will leave with a new knowledge and understanding of the wonderful diversity of wildlife at the Urquhart Butterfly Garden.  Saturday August 28 at 10 am.


You are requested to bring a chair and wear a hat. We will spend 1 hour in the full sun of the garden. The event will be cancelled in the event of rain.

The Urquhart Butterfly Garden is immediately adjacent to Centennial Park and the Hamilton Air Force Association at 128 King St. E in Dundas.

There is plenty of free parking and the location is easily accessible by public transportation or bicycle.

Funded by the Dougher Fund of the Hamilton Community Foundation

……………………………………………………………

For more information contact:

Joanna Chapman
jchapman@295.ca
905-627-8917

A group of hike participants learn butterfly identification tips. August 7th, 2021. Photo credit: Michelle Sharp.

Summer Series Update: Bees & Bugs – Saturday, August 21st, 2021

Up next in our 2021 Education Program Summer Series:

Urquhart Butterfly Garden
Centennial Park, Dundas


Bees & Bugs
Jenna Braun
Free Workshop Saturday August 21st at 10 am

The abundant flowers of the Urquhart Butterfly Garden provide habitat for an
excellent diversity of native bees, wasps and insects.

Jenna Braun, ecologist and entomologist, is full of fascinating facts about the
insect world – a world which many of us overlook. 

Jenna has studied native bees and insects for many years and communicates her
enthusiasm easily. This is an great workshop for kids to see and handle insects up
close and safely.

Join Jenna on Saturday, August 21 at 10 am.

Please bring a chair
On a bus route and lots of free parking
Cancelled in the event of rain

Funded by the Dougher Fund of the Hamilton Community Foundation.

Sweat Bee & a Bumblebee on Purple Coneflower. Photo by Ken Kerr.

Summer Series Update

Urquhart Butterfly Garden at Centennial Park, Dundas

Dragonflies & Their Kin 

Brenda Van Ryswyk

Free Workshop

Saturday August 14 at 10 am

Dragonflies are amazing creatures.  They zip through the air, with an ability to fly up & down, hover like a helicopter, and even fly backwards and upside down in their quest for a meal of flying insects.  They have extraordinary eyesight, and their complex eye structure enable them, to see almost 360 degrees without moving the head.

Brenda Van Ryswyk, well known dragonfly expert, will be leading a workshop which will tell more about the the astonishing lives of these beautiful creatures, and how to locate and identify them.

The Urquhart Butterfly Garden is adjacent to water, so its an excellent location for dragonfly viewing.  Join Brenda on Saturday, August 14 at  10 am 

  • Please bring a chair
  • On a bus route and lots of free parking

     –   Cancelled in the event of rain

Funded by the Dougher Fund of the Hamilton Community Foundation

Summer Series Begins this Weekend.

Urquhart Butterfly Garden Summer Series 2021 :  Saturday August 7 – September 11

The Urquhart Butterfly Garden will begin a Summer Series of workshops on Saturday August 7 at 10 am.

Our own staff naturalist Matt Mills will be the first of the Saturday guides with a Butterfly and Nature Identification walk.  It takes a trained eye to point out hidden butterflies and to distinguish the identifying features.  Can you tell the difference between a Monarch and a Viceroy?  Do you know why stinging nettle is such an important plant in a butterfly garden?    Discover these answers and much more.

The session is open to all, and you will leave with a new knowledge and understanding of the wonderful diversity of wildlife at the Urquhart Butterfly Garden.  Saturday August 7 at 10 am.

You are requested to bring a chair and wear a hat. We will spend 1 hour in the full sun of the garden. The event will be cancelled in the event of rain.

The Urquhart Butterfly Garden is immediately adjacent to Centennial Park and the Hamilton Air Force Association at 128 King St. E in Dundas.

There is plenty of free parking and the location is easily accessible by public transportation or bicycle.

………………………………………………………………………………………………….

For more information contact:

Joanna Chapman
jchapman@295.ca
905-627-8917

Black Swallowtail. August 02, 2021. Photo By Michelle Sharp.

2021 Summer Series

The beautiful sunshine and soaring temperatures of midsummer have arrived and the butterflies have followed. The garden is in full flower and an excellent diversity of species may be seen on sunny days.

A Tawny Emperor – a first for the garden – was photographed last week. Other spectacular species, including Milbert’s Tortoiseshell, are present for the patient visitor.

The photo contest continues through August. Unique photo experiences abound in the height of summer so be sure to seize the opportunity.

We have a free summer education series set to begin August 7 and run until September 11.  Come visit each Saturday morning as local experts teach about wildlife in the garden. A schedule is posted below.

Announcing the winners of the Winter Photo Contest

Congratulations to all entrants!  Your photos were of a very high standard and selecting just one winner in each category proved to be exceptionally difficult. 

There were no pretty butterflies or colourful flowers, but with fewer subjects to choose from in the winter, it forced a great deal of creativity and you took many stunning photos.

Because the choices were so difficult, we decided to have ‘runners up’, which appear in alphabetical order under the category.

The four First Prize winners will receive an envelope in the mail in approximately one week.

Once again, congratulations to all!

1st Place – Red-tailed Hawk. Mark Williams, Hamilton
Runner Up – Miner Bee and Pussy Willow. Doug Hall, Brantford
Runner Up – Common Garter Snake. Keith Sharp, Dundas
Runner Up – American Robin. Michelle Sharp, Dundas
Runner Up – Snail. Michelle Sharp, Dundas
Runner Up – Sparrow. Marsha Wright, Waterdown
1st Place – Sunrise over the canal. Michelle Sharp, Dundas
Runner Up – Open Seadhead. Ted Jez, Burlington
Runner Up – Leaf on Snow. Ken Kerr, Dundas
Runner Up – Snow Shore. Mike Pearson, Dundas
Runner Up – Winter tree reflection on the canal. Michelle Sharp, Dundas
1st Place – Ring-billed Gull. Rebeka Bateman, Hamilton
Runner Up – Hooded Merganser. Florina Keller, Hamilton
Runner Up – Mallards. Florina Keller, Hamilton
Runner Up – Chipmunk eating snail. Kalan Post, Hamilton
Runner Up – Chipmunk. Sarah Skinner Brown, Dundas
1st Place – Winter Leaves. Kalan Post, Hamilton
Runner Up – Puddle Reflection. Kalan Post, Hamilton
Runner Up – Bee Balm. Sarah Skinner Brown, Dundas
Runner Up – Insect on Periwinkle. Sarah Skinner Brown, Dundas