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August 2004

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Subject:
From:
"Grkovich, Alex" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Vermont Butterfly Survey <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Tue, 17 Aug 2004 13:06:53 -0400
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> Given the proximity of the upland areas of the Laurentides north of Quebec
> City to Vermont, and the interesting habitat and Lepidoptera (and birds as
> well)  that occur up there, I thought I'd share this report with
> VT-Leps...
>
> As the reader will see, I made a return trip to the Laurentides on Friday
> July 30th...The prime target was the Purple Lesser Fritillary (Boloria
> titania grandis) which I did find at several locations 60 miles north of
> Quebec City and further, in the taiga forest...
>
> This area is less than a 3 hour drive from northern VT, and is really
> worth the travel...
>
> Alex
>
> -----Original Me
>
PS When my wife and I were up there in late June, there were caribou
reportedly along Rt. 175 about 50 miles north of Quebec City...We didn't see
them (they must have moved on by the time we got up there), but the point is
obviously...

> ssage-----
> From: Grkovich, Alex [SMTP:[log in to unmask]]
> Sent: Tuesday, August 03, 2004 2:24 PM
> To:   [log in to unmask]
> Subject:      RE: [leps-talk] Re: QUEBEC LAURENTIDES II (Redux): NO
> STRIKEOUT T HIS TIME
>
> Well, I made a quick trip back up to the Laurentides Mtns north of Quebec
> City on Friday; this was a first leg in a trip that would eventually take
> me
> over to Hamilton, Ontario on Saturday for a wedding on Sunday (not mine,
> of
> course, but friends...)
>
> No one accompanied me, neither Assistant nor sons nor friends...Sometimes
> that is the best way to do it...no one to tell you that she's either
> "tired", "thirsty", "hungry" etc. etc. or just sick of being bitten by
> blackflies etc. I had begun to get itchy about going back up there during
> mid-July and onward, as the flight season of the interesting Purple Lesser
> Fritillary (Boloria titania [or chariclea??] grandis) was
> approaching...This
> is of course the interesting northern relative of the White Mountain
> Fritillary (B. t. [or c.??] montinus) which flies in August on the
> Presidential range of Coos Co, New Hampshire, chiefly in the Hudsonian
> Zone
> just below treeline...About mid-July, I had begun to emit "feelers" to my
> Assistant about how "interesting" it would be to go back up there, we
> could
> visit the beautiful "Old Town" (Vieux Ville) of Trois-Rivieres (Three
> Rivers), situated between Quebec City and Montreal...No luck...but when
> she
> suggested about a week ago that I might go to the wedding in Hamilton and
> that she wasn't going to go...well, opportunity knocked...Probably I
> couldn't keep a straight face when my Assistant said, "You wouldn't run
> back
> up to Quebec, would you...?"
>
> Anyway, I left at 5AM and was through Quebec City by about 10:30AM (390
> miles), and in the Hudsonian taiga habitat where grandis flies by about
> 11:30AM...Weather was partly cloudy under light southwest winds, warm
> temperatures (even at 2600 ft. in the Laurentides), but a cold front was
> approaching form the west, with heavy rains forecast for the evening hours
> and on Saturday. So time would be limited...I searched a boggy habitat,
> first, at KM 122 along Rt. 175 (about 60 miles north of Quebec City). Here
> the spruce/fir boreal forest (at approx. 2000 ft.) was manifest, with the
> beginnings of the great moss/lichen covered terrain (incredibly beautiful)
> that is the habitat of grandis...I did find a colony of grandis (near
> peak)
> here in among the forest openings; Pink Edged Sulphur (Colias interior)
> was
> also flying abundantly...Grandis males are fast-flying, quite wary and can
> be difficult to approach and collect. They tend to favor (as does
> montinus)
> Alpine Goldenrods, stopping and perching only very briefly while
> patrolling
> the boggy moss/lichen roadside and forest clearing habitats. Females tend
> to
> be more sedentary, and often perch on the lichens...I observed a number of
> males climbing, during flight (perhaps perching in response to being
> chased)
> ascending and then perching fairly high above the ground on medium-sized
> firs...Again, they seem to be quite wary, and are excellent
> "motion-detectors". I encountered a single specimen of Atlantis Fritillary
> (S. atlantis) with purplish-brown VHW disk, which was taken at the
> orange-red flower (name???) which dominates the habitat...
>
> I then found another large colony of grandis at Mt. J.C. Bonenfant, at KM
> 147, again in similar habitat as at KM 122, except that a small creek with
> a
> grassy valley passes through...I had previously (June 23, 1991) taken
> Boloria freija (Freija Fritillary) here...Grandis were numerous here, as
> well as the Northern Blue (Lycaides idas [ssp. scudderi??)) was abundant
> in
> the low grassy areas near the creek; also single specimens of Silver
> Bordered Fritillary (B. selene atrocostalis - 2nd flight) and a fairly
> worn
> Silvery Blue (Glaucopsyche lygdamus couperi) were taken in the same grassy
> habitat...
>
> I then visited the same large dry bog at KM 163 at which I had taken B.
> freija on June 19th...Inornate Ringlets (Coenonympha tullia inornata -
> very
> dark and fairly worn) were taken here in the bog, along with a couple more
> C. interior...After a few moments of searching the bog, I finally found a
> few grandis flying in it...Confirming my suspicion that grandis and freija
> fly in similar habitats but of course at differing periods...Pecks Skipper
> (Polites peckius) was taken in a flowery area near the bog...These are
> interesting...they are MUCH darker and brighter than peckius found further
> south (Mass., Conn. etc.)...
>
> Finally, a stop at one mile north along Rt. 175 from the junction of Rt.
> 169
> was also fruitful...More grandis, Northern Blue, and this time a few
> Greenish Blues (P. saepiolus) were encountered in a moist, low flowery
> meadow near a large open bog (which is a likely habitat of Jutta Arctic,
> Bog
> Fritillary etc. earlier in the season...)...Also many more Peck's Skipper
> were encountered...In a nearby fairly dense wooded area, I encountered a
> large female Compton Tortoiseshell (by now it was 4:30PM) that was
> apparently seeking a roosting spot...
>
> Also seen were Cabbage Butterflies (yuck), a couple of Clouded Sulphurs,
> some European Skippers etc. Missing (too late for the flights) were the
> Chryxus Arctic (reported from under open habitats under powerlines near
> the
> highway), Bog Fritillary etc.
>
> I drove back through Quebec City and stayed the night in
> Trois-Rivieres...Then on (in at times pouring rain) to Hamilton, Ontario
> the
> following day...Not much was flying near Hamilton...perhaps the highlights
> were Acadian and Hickory Hairstreaks in open wooded areas near a creek
> (just
> north of Oakville, Ontario, near Highway 5 and Walker Line)...
>
> More trips up there (or up der) are planned for the future...
>
> Alex
>
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From:       Grkovich, Alex
> > Sent:       Thursday, June 24, 2004 5:43 PM
> > To: Grkovich, Alex; [log in to unmask]
> > Subject:    RE: [leps-talk] Re: QUEBEC LAURENTIDES: A STRIKOUT...ALMOST
> >
> > Whoops, a mistake corrected...
> >
> >     -----Original Message-----
> >     From:   Grkovich, Alex [SMTP:[log in to unmask]]
> >     Sent:   Thursday, June 24, 2004 5:41 PM
> >     To:     [log in to unmask]
> >     Subject:        [leps-talk] Re: QUEBEC LAURENTIDES: A
> > STRIKOUT...ALMOST
> >
> >     My Assistant and I were in Quebec City for a few days last weekend.
> > While
> >     the City is very beautiful, with numerous parks, an attractive Old
> > Town with
> >     many very fine restaurants and an exceptional Parliament Building
> > (the
> >     fleur-de-lis Quebec Flag flying high overhead), the weather was
> > changeable
> >     and unpredictable in Quebec City, and mostly very bad in the
> > Laurentides
> >     (the mountainous region to the north which houses the great boglands
> > and
> >     boreal forest areas). The target species was the Freija Fritillary
> > (Boloria
> >     freija freija), which I had previously encountered in the region on
> > June 23,
> >     1991.
> >
> >     We ended making two desperate runs up into the Laurentides, Saturday
> >     afternoon and Sunday morning. Saturday, conditions were overcast,
> > winds
> >     blowing perhaps 30 to 40 MPH, temps no higher than the 50's at
> > higher
> >     elevation. I found suitable habitat for B. freija in a dry bog
> > located at
> >     0.2 miles N of the KM 153 marker. Obviously, other than a few hardy
> > moths,
> >     nothing was flying. Sunday morning, however, conditions were
> > somewhat
> >     improved and during a short period of intermittent clouds (and wind,
> > not to
> >     mention cold) and sun between 10:15 and 11:30 AM, I managed to
> > encounter a
> >     few fresh B. freija flying in a dry sphagnum bog habitat at KM
> > [Grkovich, Alex]  163  along Hwy
> >     175, east of the highway...this is about 80 miles north of Quebec
> > City, at
> >     approx. 2500 ft. elevation...I have to credit my Assistant greatly
> > here,
> >     because it was she who suggested that I pull into this cleared area
> > at the
> >     KM 163 marker and "...go and have a look"...(Perhaps she was just
> > tired of
> >     driving around and wanted some peace and quiet while I ran around in
> > the
> >     bog)...
> >
> >     As I said, they were quite fresh; the season seems very late up
> > there...The
> >     exact locales of thes two bogs are as follows: In the first case,
> > park in an
> >     open cleared area about 20 yds. north of the KM 163 marker...the bog
> > is at
> >     the north end of the cleared area...At KM 153, 0.2 mi. N of the
> > marker, you
> >     will see a large pond through a clearing from the road...walk in and
> > stay to
> >     the south of the wet area, and you will come to the (dry, large)
> > bog...No
> >     doubt freija is in this bog. It has also been taken at Chemin de la
> > Brulee
> >     (50 miles from Quebec City) and I found it in 1991 at KM
> > 147...Suitable
> >     habitat is typical here, so the species is likely widespread...
> >
> >     As I noted above, the weather was not good the whole time we were up
> > there,
> >     and I was lucky (very lucky) to find freija...The Jet Stream has
> > stayed to
> >     the south of Quebec for an extended period, resulting in the passing
> > of one
> >     low pressure cell after another through the region. This is what
> > took place
> >     during our stay. Not much else at all was flying...nothing at all in
> > the
> >     Laurentides other than a few moths...south of Quebec City, all we
> > saw were
> >     Harris' Checkerspot, Silvery Blues, Diminutor Checkerspots, and
> > Canadian
> >     Tiger Swallowtails...
> >
> >     Interestingly enough, the Frigga Fritillary has never been recorded,
> > to the
> >     best of my knowledge (Chris???) in the Laurentides...It HAS been
> > recorded at
> >     Mistassini, north of Lac St. Jean...There seems to be a possible
> > (wet) bog
> >     for frigga near Mare du Sault, just south of Chemin de la Brulee,
> > about 50
> >     miles north of Quebec City...I would've checked the bog out, but on
> > both
> >     runs up there, it was overcast and windy...
> >
> >     We were going to check a couple bogs around Jackman, Maine for B.
> > eunomia
> >     dawsonii on the way back home  (on Monday - on the way UP last
> > Friday, the
> >     weather was also lousy)...but again, weather was bad (the Jet Stream
> > was
> >     moving through north-central Maine - it was hot (85 F) at
> > Waterville, Maine
> >     to the south) so I didn't bother...Too bad...Just north of Jackman,
> > I took
> >     an Arctic Skipper...
> >
> >     Alex
> >
> >
> >
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