The first 🐣ROBIN was here as of Feb. 1st, in the snow and cold! They've nested and hatched: May 14. The robins fledged on Sunday, May 29, having hatched exactly 13 days ago. No eggs remained, I assume they hatched 3/3 eggs.
We had a helicopter go over the nearby lake. It is always a bit creepy since I associate them with emergencies. I asked on Facebook, and they are spraying BTK on the caterpillars. I hope all our butterflies and caterpillars are safe here. They were up about an hour. Our LDD Spongy Moth caterpillars have mostly died off. After a couple of years they get hit by a naturally occuring virus.
Public notices describe BTK as harmless to people, and non-toxic to insects, birds, fish, mammals, and adult moths and butterflies. However, this is misleading. BTK is not species-specific and, if consumed, will result in mortality of any butterfly or moth larvae at the time it is sprayed. BTK has been sprayed in several extremely rare Ontario habitats, such as oak savannah, oak woodland and tall grass prairie — which means it can also negatively affect many rare moths and butterflies that use these habitats.
I was quite happy to be able to sit on our back deck in the 31 C. weather. There were flies, but no mosquitoes or blackflies. I've been using Skin-so-soft when I go out to do the lawn. That certainly helps. My left arm is covered in several blackfly bites, oozing little hives. Unlike mosquitoes, they land and immediately dig in. You just don't feel them.