Knowledge of the Butterfly

There is another aspect of life on the land; while working in forest or garden a man has time for meditation and indeed his very act is devotion. He becomes in tune with the Infinite. ~Richard St. Barbe Baker

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“Entomology extends the limits of being in new directions, so that I walk in nature with a sense of greater space and freedom. It suggests, besides, that the universe is not rough-hewn, but perfect in its details. Nature will bear the closest inspection; she invites us to lay our eye level with the smallest leaf and take an insect view of its plane.”—Henry David Thoreau.

In popular esteem the butterflies among the insects are what the birds are among the higher animals—the most attractive and beautiful members of the great group to which they belong. Entomology happens to be the branch of zoology focussing on the study of insects. Butterflies are primarily day fliers (diurnal) and remarkable for the delicacy and beauty of their membranous wings, covered with myriads of tiny scales that overlap one another like the shingles on a house and show an infinite variety of hue through the coloring of the scales and their arrangement upon the translucent membrane running between the wing veins. It is this characteristic structure of the wings that gives to the great order of butterflies and moths its name “Lepidoptera”, meaning scale-winged.

The Entomological Society of Saskatchewan takes part in the North American Butterfly Count July 21. The society members will also give talks, presentations and displays.

Take the time to learn how to establish a pollinator native plant ribbon or butterfly garden. The North American Butterfly Association will provide Certification for your butterfly garden.

Ronald R. Hooper states that 160 species of butterflies are known in Saskatchewan, in families known as skippers, swallowtails, whites, sulphurs, marbles, hairstreaks, harvester, metalmarks, brushfooted butterflies, meadow browns, and coppers (see bibliography for scientific nomenclature). Every fall the Monarchs journey from Canada to California or Mexico, and they return to Canada in the spring. During this migration phone Nature Saskatchewan’s toll-free line at 1-800-667-HOOT (4668) to report any Monarch Butterfly sightings.  When you are out and about this season, keep an ear out, do tell if there is the slightest murmuration when the butterflies migrate past.

And, whereas, the Monarch is known to migrate, this is not the case with all butterflies. Most of the Swallowtails pass the winter as chrysalids while practically all the Angle-wings pass the winter as adults. The Graylings and the Fritillaries are typical examples of butterflies which hibernate as newly hatched larvae. Many species simply find such shelter as they may at or near the soil surface, others may hibernate under boards, stones, or tufts of grass. The Swallowtails, nearly all of which hibernate in the chrysalis stage. Other examples are the various Whites, the Orange-tips, and isolated species like the Wanderer, and the Spring Azure and the American Copper. Now, an adult butterfly seems a fragile creature to endure the long cold months of winter, however many of our most beautiful species habitually hibernate as adults, finding shelter in such situations as hollow trees, the crevices in rocks, the openings beneath loose bark or even the outer bark on the under side of a large branch.

The butterflies furnish the best known examples of insect transformations. The change from the egg to the caterpillar or larva, from the caterpillar to the pupa or chrysalis, and from the chrysalis to the butterfly or imago is doubtless the most generally known fact concerning the life histories of insects. If you do not know the name of the lepidoptera larva, butterfly or moth that you have found, try to take a photograph of it. Identify your sighting at this web site which features an image gallery. If you have a photo of a caterpillar send in information about the plant that the caterpillar was found upon to Butterflies and Moths of North America and help to grow the database.

The Entomological Society of Canada hosts a Common Names database for insects and other related arthropods.

Learn about Butterflies Day Tuesday March 14.

1./ Learn.

2./ Experience

3./ Do Something.: ***

“The study of butterflies,—creatures selected as the types of airiness and frivolity,—instead of being despised, will some day be valued as one of the most important branches of biological science.”—Bates, Naturalist on the Amazons.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Aquatex Consulting ~ A guide to aquatic insects of Saskatchewan.

Butterfly Count 2

Canadian Geography and Butterfly Distribution. Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility. CBIF

Forte, Theresa M. Butterfly Gardens can be Elegant. Landscape Saskatchewan.

Froehlich, Shirley. Milkweeds and Monarchs. Prairie Originals

Holland, William Jacob. The butterfly book A popular guide to a knowledge of the Butterflies of North America. 1898. Garden City New York Doubleday, Page and Company.

  • The Butterflies of North America North of Mexico.
    Family I. Nymphalidae, the Brush-footed Butterflies
  • Subfamily Euplaeinae, the Milkweed Butterflies
  • Subfamily Ithomiinae, the Long-winged Butterflies
  • Subfamily Heliconiinae, the Heliconians
  • Subfamily Nymphalinae, the Nymphs
  • Subfamily Satyrinae, the Satyrs, Meadow-browns, and Arctics
  • Subfamily Libytheinae, the Snout-butterflies
  • Family II. Lemoniidae
  • Subfamily Erycininae, the Metal-marks
  • Family III. Lycaenidae
  • Subfamily Lycaeninae, the Hair-streaks, the Blues, and the Coppers
  • Family IV. Papilionidae, the Swallowtails and Allies
  • Subfamily Pierinae, the Whites, the Sulphurs, the Orange-tips
  • Subfamily Papilioninae, the Parnassians and Swallowtails
  • Family V. Hesperiidae, the Skippers
  • Subfamily Pyrrhopyginae
  • Subfamily Hesperiinae, the Hesperids
  • Subfamily Pamphilinae
  • Subfamily Megathyminae, genus Megathymus

Hooper, Ronald R. Butterflies and Moths. Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan. Canadian Plains Research Centre, University of Regina. 2006

Hot, dry weather yields blizzard of butterflies. Bugs go through 3-5 generations in 1 summer. CBC News. Aug 11, 2016

Identify a Butterfly, Moth or Caterpillar. Butterflies and moths of North America.

It is prime butterfly time in Saskatchewan. CBC News. August 2, 2016

Monarch Butterflies start their migration in Saskatchewan. Weyburn this week. August 12, 2016

Monarch Butterfly Cycle. Homeschool Travelers. World Wide Traveling.

Monarchs and milkweed. Nature Conservancy of Canada NCC

Places to find milkweed in Sask. to conserve Monarch butterflies CBC News. April 2, 2016

Walk through the Prairie Getting to know Canada.

“What hand would crush the silken-wingèd fly,
The youngest of inconstant April’s minions,
Because it cannot climb the purest sky,
Where the swan sings,
amid the sun’s dominions?

Not thine.”
Percy Bysshe Shelley.

There is another aspect of life on the land; while working in forest or garden a man has time for meditation and indeed his very act is devotion. He becomes in tune with the Infinite. The miracle of growth and the seasons’ changes induce a sense of wonderment and call forth worship from his inner being and in this sense WORK becomes WORSHIP.~ Richard St. Barbe Baker.

For more information:

Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, SK, CA north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city.
Wikimapia Map: type in Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Google Maps South West Off Leash area location pin at parking lot
Web page: https://stbarbebaker.wordpress.com
Where is the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area? with map
Facebook: StBarbeBaker
Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Facebook: South West OLRA
If you wish to support the afforestation area with your donation, write a cheque please to the “Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund” (MVA RSBBAA trust fund) and mail it to Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area c/o Meewasin Valley Authority, 402 Third Ave S, Saskatoon SK S7K 3G5. Thank you kindly!
Twitter: St Barbe Baker

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

“Winged flowers, or flying gems.”

Moore.

A Pollinator Garden Abstract

There is another aspect of life on the land; while working in forest or gar4den a man has time for meditation and indeed his very act is devotion. He becomes in tune with the Infinite. The miracle of growth and the seasons’ changes induce a sense of wonderment and call forth worship from his inner being and in this sense WORK becomes WORSHIP.~ Richard St. Barbe Baker.

A Pollinator Garden Abstract

The happiness of the bee and the dolphin is to exist.
For man, it is to know that and wonder at it.
-Jacques Cousteau

Its the middle of March, plant a flower indoors, begin a pollinator garden! When contemplating your next pollinator garden, factor in various flower colours, and sizes, along with a variety of plants which bloom in different seasons of the year. Your pollinator garden will support bees, hummingbirds, bats, ladybugs, butterflies and moths. A pollinator garden provides an ecosystem to plants as well as insects. Provided are links to listings for a variety of native plants to attract pollinators to your garden.

***From the various pollinator flowers for Saskatchewan, perhaps Red Raspberry (Rubus idaeus) is the easiest to establish and maintain.

***Lowbush Blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium) requires acidic soil such as found in the higher elevations of spruce and bog forests where the parkland meets with the tundra ecosystem of Saskatchewan.

***Prairie Crocus (Pulsatilla patens), the provincial flower of Manitoba, is a remarkable native flower and is being encouraged in its native habitat by efforts of the Saskatoon Nature Society. The requirements of the prarie crocus is soil which has been undisturbed (uncultivated) for about 30 years to allow the proper micronutrients to flourish to feed the crocus corms (bulbs). The crocus, also thrives under adverse conditions, and adapted to the migratory patterns of buffalo herds, and historic raging prairie grass fires extending miles across the plains.

***The Western Red Lily, Prairie Lily or Wood Lily (Lilium philadelphicum), is the official flower of Saskatchewan, and a protected species, so do not run out and pick the next one growing in its native habitat. Go to a reputable garden supply centre. Lily plants also grow from bulbs, so planting in the fall is the best season of the year to establish a bulb.

***Western Wild bergamot, or bee balm (Monarda fistulosa) is a beautiful purple flower attracting pollinators blooming in July and August.

***Purple Coneflower (Echinacea augusifolia D.C.) produces purple ray florets with a protuding yellowish-brown disc floret in the centre. Blooming in July through September, the yellow prairie coneflower Ratibida columnifera is more common, and the purple coneflower is very rare in Saskatchewan.

***Blanket Flower (Gaillardia sp.) is a bright yellow – orange flower growing to a height of 1 to 3 feet. Perennial Blanket are a burst of sunshine in your wildlife garden, and love well-drained soil

***Purple coneflower, upright prairie coneflower (Ratibida columnifera), and blanketflower or common gaillardia (Gaillardia aristata) are both a documented nectar source for the Dakota skipper (Hesperia dacotae).

***Alpine Columbine Aquilegia alpina is a spring/early summer blooming perennial. Small-flowered Columbine (Aquilegia Brevistyla Hook) and Wild Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis L) are both native to Saskatchewan.

***Common Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) with delicate white blooms loves to grow in moist soil – though will survive drought conditions` which has been disturbed (turned over). Blooming in late June, the yarrow will bloom into September.

*** Canada goldenrod (Solidago canadensis) saskatchewan produces a stalk with yellow blooms, flowering in late summer and into the early autumn months.

***Smooth aster (Symphyotrichum leave) or any member of the aster family are beloved by pollinators. Smooth aster is vivid blue violet in colour with prominent yellow disc florets in the centre. Growing between 1 and 4 feet high (30-120 cm) however mainly observed growing closer to the 1 foot height. In August and September is when this aster blooms.

March 10, Plant a Flower Day start a pollinator garden. Though it may be -19 Celsius, with snow on the ground, aim for a target. There are many other native flower species than those suggested here, don’t just trust me, click a link on this page.

Start your flower seedlings for an awesome and magnificent pollinator garden, and be amazed at the wildlife and biodiversity which arrive this summer.

Pollinators are what ecologists call keystone species. You know how an arch has a keystone. It’s the one stone that keeps the two halves of the arch together. […] If you remove the keystone, the whole arch collapses.
-May Berenbaum, PhD, Entomologist. From Silence of the Bees, PBS Nature.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

A good match Pollinator and flower

A good match ~ WPC Murtagh’s Meadow. Writings from the meadow.

Alpine Columbine (Aquilegia alpina) Choosing Voluntary Simplicity.

A Pollinator paradise

At the heart of nature composer in the garden.

Bat Conservation International | Conserving the world’s bats and their ecosystems to ensure a healthy planet | How to install a bat house

Bee Balm Pollinator superstar The garden diaries.

Bees Matter. Bees Matter to everyone. Explore our site to learn more. | Native Pollinator Friendly Plants by province

Bee friendly gardening infographic Richard Chivers Sharpen your spades.

Bee Happy [Kew gardens] Debbie Smyth Travel with Intent

Bee Virus Spread is Human-made Rachel Falco, How to provide

Bellflower. The lantern room

Bountiful Blue Wood Aster. The Natural Web.

Bumbles are back! Murtagh’s meadow

Butterflies: Where to Buy? Butterfly breeders.

Butterflies of Canada. Canadian Biodiversity information facility. Government of Canada

Crisis:Crash in pollinator numbers a big threat to wildlife point 4 counterpoint.

Create a be friendly garden | Build a bee house David Suzuki.

Crocuses and Bees Judith beyond the window box.

Dupont, Jamiee. My native species bring all the pollinators to the yard Land Lines The Nature Conservancy of Canada Blog. June 17, 2014

Farm life, Color, Pollinator Garden Hermitsdoor

Flower for Pollinators III Petals and Wings

Garden Photography Wildlife Garden Small blue green flowers

Harries, Kate. Glorious Goldenrod Return of the Native. September 2016

Help the Bats. | Why bats are important. Canadian Wildlife Federation

Help the pollinators and plant a Wildlife-Friendly Garden | Blooms for songbirds! Canadian Wildlife Federation.

Lepidoptera Buffet. Butterfly Garden Host and Nectar Plants.
Lepidoptera No. Aquilegia vulgaris (columbine)

Majerus, Mark. New Native pre-varietal Germplasm releases for the Northern Great Plains and Intermountain region.

Monarch Butterfly Milkweed Garden 101

Malley, Shaun. White nose syndrome. The fight to save bats heats up CBC News. August 21, 2015.

National Pollinator Week (June)

National pollinator week (June) Tina, my gardener says.

Native Plant Databases. | How to create bio-degradable pots for your seedlings. Evergreen.

Life of a Single mom (Bee) Chris Helzer, The Prairie Ecologist

Native Plants | Nature Regina listing of wildflowers for a native plant garden

Native Plant Society of Saskatchewan | Native Plant Sources

Native Prairie Survey Wilton IV Wind Energy Centre Burleigh County North Dakota September 2014

New bee plants in the garden A French Garden

North American Native Plant Society. Plant database

Plant and Pollinator Gallery Prairie Pollination. The Manitoba Museum 2014.

Plants in bloom month by month. Landscape Ontario.com Green for life [Though an Ontario resource and this province has different hardiness zones than Saskatchewan, there are overlaps in plant species, so the listing may give a quick guide to the time of year for flower blooming times.]

Pollinator Blog Posts Ryan Clark Ecology.
Pollinator Garden Design Workshop Mlozanduran.gapp.

Pollinator Garden Ashland Or garden club

Pollinator Health Fund Grants. MISA announcements

Pollinator independence. Albuguerque urban homestead.

Pollinator Seed Mixes Rhobin, Rhobin’s Garden.

Pollinator’s past Mark, nature’s place.

Province launches pollinator health action plan transition cornwall.

Raspberry Pollinators and Visitors: Focus on bees Government of Manitoba. Agriculture Crops Production publications.

Recent developments in pollinator conservation: IPBES, 10 Policies, pesticide conspiracies, and more Jeff Ollferton’s Biodiversity blog

Robert Miles – Bat man Ideacity. Moses Znaimer’s Conference.

Sadik, Pierre. Canadian scientists call for greater effort to save Monarch butterflies as their status is reassessed under the Species at Risk Act. Nature Canada.

Saskatchewan Mixed Grassland Species. Nature Conservancy Canada. [doc file]

Saskatoon Horticulture Society

Seeds of Diversity | Pollination |Make insect nests Pollination Canada.

Rare species surveys and stewardship activities by the Manitoba Conservation Data Centre, 2010

Shimmering Charades: Yard Butterflies Dirt n Kids.

Species: Achillea Millefolium – Common Yarrow. Lepidoptera foodplants. Butterflies. List of lepidoptera species using Achillea millefolium as larval foodplant.

The Sunflower Verdict Bill, practicing Resurrection

Think Native Asters in the Spring

To Bee or not to Bee? Robyn Haynes, Big Dreams for a Tiny Garden.

Unlikely plant-pollinator relationships Ecology is not a dirty word

Vinson, Katherine, and Dr. Youbin Zheng. Plant species Recommendations for Green Roofs in Northern Climates Based on Survey School of Environmental Sciences, University of Guelph. January 2013.

Whitecliff Butterfly and Pollinator Garden. Beautify crestwood

Wildlife Observations ~ Small things, Thank goodness for asters. Frogend dweller.

Pollinators are what ecologists call keystone species. You know how an arch has a keystone. It’s the one stone that keeps the two halves of the arch together. […] If you remove the keystone, the whole arch collapses.
-May Berenbaum, PhD, Entomologist. From Silence of the Bees, PBS Nature.

For more information:

Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, SK, CA north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city.
Wikimapia Map: type in Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Google Maps South West Off Leash area location pin at parking lot
Web page: https://stbarbebaker.wordpress.com
Where is the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area? with map
Facebook: StBarbeBaker
Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Facebook: South West OLRA
If you wish to support the afforestation area with your donation, write a cheque please to the “Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund” (MVA RSBBAA trust fund) and mail it to Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area c/o Meewasin Valley Authority, 402 Third Ave S, Saskatoon SK S7K 3G5. Thank you kindly!
Twitter: St Barbe Baker

Pinterest richardstbarbeb

There is only one real reason to keep bees, and that is because they are fascinating. If you just want honey, make friends with a beekeeper.
-Australia beekeeper, Adrian the Bee Man

Margaret Rae McKay ~ seeing the details

“Forest entomology and forest pathology are usually classified under the general heading of “Forest protection”…gathering data and information on the occurrence of insects and diseases and that protection from insect outbreaks reduces fire hazard.” ~ J.J. de Gryse

If nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies. ~Author unknown.

It is just 6 year since Margaret Rae McKay passed away, and her life has been memorialized in an autobiographical account, “The Life of a Female Drifter.  An Entomologist Remembers.” Margaret Rae McKay (October 18, 1914 Vonda Saskatchewan – October 24, 2011 Ottawa, ON) was the very first women to graduate with her Master’s degree in entomology from the University of Saskatchewan (attending between 1931-1938). During this time, female scientists, were indeed, the exception to the rule, and it was very uncommon to see a female scientist, and almost unheard of for a female to become an entomologist. This trend continued on even into the 1970s, though has somewhat changed by the writing of the Entomological Society report of 2005.

McKay was hired initially after graduation as a talented artist at the British Museum of Natural History as a scientific illustrator, or morphological artist. For many true artists, the world is their pedestal, for McKay it was the world of insects, and embraced her attention to detail. In 1940, leaving her job in London, McKay traveled back to Canada, receiving employment with the Department of Agriculture working with the head of forest entomology in Ottawa. Over the summer, McKay’s work as illustrator allowed her to study  live insects. Encouraged during this time by her peers to write a paper or two for scientific journals to utilize her training in etymology from the University  of Saskatchewan, which she did successfully. From here, McKay worked a short time in the prairies before being called by the Civil service to the Vernon laboratory in British Columbia before returning to Ottawa, where she remained until 1946.

After her mother had a stroke in 1945 she came to Ottawa to live with Margaret. They both headed west the following year, spending the summer on the farm near Saskatoon before heading out to Vancouver, British Columbia. It was there, that McKay was welcomed back to the Vernon laboratory. About six forest rangers worked in the Vernon laboratory, who conducted forest surveys investigating any damage or insect infestation, recorded sites and collected live insects and the host plants they were found upon. The Victoria forest rangers making similar collections on Vancouver Island also submitted their findings to the Vernon laboratory. From the reports of the various sites, and information furnished to the laboratory, McKay described and documented the various life cycles to enable identification and life history of the insects. The Vernon laboratory sought to control any insect infestations by natural parasites, enemies and disease rather than the use of pesticides. During this era, there was a need of a reference collection. McKay established a well-organised and labelled system to rely upon, making a proficient sorting and classification system.

In 1944, McKay was invited to work with Dr. Carl Atwood (the father of Margaret Atwood), in Sault Ste. Marie. McKay spent a month there assisting on the insect survey. Here she saw North Bay during an infestation of May Flies, and a flight over Sault St. Marie revealed the spruce budworm damage.

From here, McKay returned to work in Ottawa, after receiving many offers at Lethbridge laboratory studying fruit insects, and other Forest Entomology laboratories across Canada ~ Winnipeg , Calgary or Sault Ste. Marie. McKay chose to work in Ottawa working under J.J. de Gryse, Chief Forest Insect Investigations, Department of Agriculture. “The problem of insect control in Canada is as really vast as the forest itself…The only rational approach to the solution of forest insect problems is through forest management…The great variety of physical conditions obtaining in a large country like Canada, the enormous number of insect species, and the complicated maze of relationships between insects and their habitat, and between insects and insects, constitute an inexhaustable source of problems requiring thorough investigation..see the forest as an organism and gauge the different factors involved which contribute to its health or decay.”de Gryse. 1943.

Canadian entomologists study insects within forest eco-systems alongside silviculturists. Both professions are working to maintain insect and disease populations within the forests at endemic levels and monitor conditions such that they do not reach levels that will create circumstances that will prevent long term forest sustainability.

McKay also wrote scientific papers who had them reviewed by Hazen Wagmore with degrees in both English and entomology. It was thus that McKay learned the language to become a successful writer in her field. Subsequently, McKay, herself became scientific editor analyzing the content of works submitted to The Canadian Entomologist.

During this era of her work in Ottawa, her attention and field of speciality turned to the immature forms of Lepidoptera. She remained in that field of study for 22 years, working with entomologist contemporaries such as G.J. Spencer, a professor in the UBC Zoology Department, who wrote one of the first definitive works in entomology and the identification of species in The Canadian Entomologist Volume 96, Numbers 1-2, January February 1964.

“Nor can one ignore morphological studies of those stages to distinguish species and determine relationships. There is a close relationship between the morphology (form) of a moth larva and the fine distinctions in its behaviour and environment. The position or shape of the head often appears to be associated directly, or indirectly with its behaviour” whether boring in the roots of the host plant, mining its leaves, living in a nest of webbing and frass (droppings) or in another habitat. The teeth of the mandible seem to be modified for feeding on conifers or deciduous hosts, or mining in leaves. The spinneret is modified for the type and amount of silk required for its owner’s mode of living. …This kind of information, basic research is required [without which a] project destined to fail from the beginning because two or more species were being treated as one, as a result of faulty identification….[McKay worked ] to distinguish each species, genus and the higher categories, so that I could classify each larval specimen and produce systematic keys that would, I hoped, enable others to do the same.”Margaret Rae McKay McKay was diligent in her work, and not at all nervous classifying insects. Both McKay, entomologist, and Richard St. Barbe Baker, silviculturist, were champions for the forest, protecting them. “Forest entomology and forest pathology are usually classified under the general heading of ‘Forest protection‘…gathering data and information on the occurrence of insects and diseases and that protection from insect outbreaks reduces fire hazard.” de Gryse. 1943.

As a member of the Lepidopterist Society in 1954, McKay’s interest was recorded as “LEPID larvae”, showing that she was interested in all lepidoptera larva, including Rhopalocera (butterflies), Macroheterocera and Microlepidoptera (moths). The Lepidoptera larva was the sphere to which she occupied herself with, and provided fascination. The translation, identification, and acquaintance with this sphere of nature and awakened in McKay some genius to convey this quality to other men. For botanists, for etymologists, nature will be reported. Scientists are engaged through time in writing the history of all things. On the planet, the moth goes attended by its cocoon, the butterfly the chrysalis. And it is thus, that the lepidoptera leave their memoranda and signature which speak out to the intelligent. In nature, this self-reporting is incessant, whether it is the channel in the soil left behind by the river, or the fern and leaf writing their epitaph in the coal. The records of the entomologists are alive, as that which they record are alive. It is thus, that the world has a new image, composed of pictures, eminent experiences, and journal writings. The facts of the forest insects, of the various butterfly and moths, do not lie inert, some will subside, but others will shine out. Whatever insect an entomologist beholds or experiences becomes a model for a picture. And nature further inspires, until at last, the entomologist can fully articulate the significance, the endowments, along with the frame of the ecosystem in the casting of the insect in its lot. With great attention to detail, classification and organisation the scholar in this field stands well among their contemporaries.

As a civil servant, McKay traveled North America, publishing numerous scientific papers. Between 1959-1961 McKay left the office and worked in the field collecting and observing insects at the Chisos Mountains in the Rio Grande Big Bend site of Texas, the One Sided Lake near Fort Francis and Kenora, Ontario, and another to Boulder Colorado across the mountains to Leadville, Buena Vista. McKay became a specialist in moths, and received acclaim for her research. As a pioneering female, McKay contributed to the Memoirs of the Entomological Society of Canada. Honoured by the Canadian Museum of National History along with eighteen other women scientists, and invited to a reception at the University of Western Ontario, London, On. Upon her retirement in 1972, McKay was asked by the British Museum of Natural History and from California, if she would consider going to work there.

McKay had suffered from a heart attack in 1966 and a third attack in 1977, which required open heart surgery. Following her retirement she took up world travel, and fine art painting. McKay passed away peacefully at home in Ottawa at the age of 97, and her ashes are buried alongside the family in Saskatoon.  The Margaret McKay Scholarship is awarded by for a female entomologist in a graduate program at the University of Saskatchewan.

March 8 is International Women’s Day. “We want to construct a different world of work for women. As they grow up, girls must be exposed to a broad range of careers, and encouraged to make choices that lead beyond the traditional service and care options to jobs in industry, art, public service, modern agriculture and science…” – UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.* Being a woman in a male dominated field had its drawbacks for McKay.  A senior scientist asked to give an opinion on the stability of McKay, had evaluated her on the job performance as a “c” due to the fact that she was unmarried. When employed in field laboratories was passed over on aerial surveys to inspect insect damage because she was a girl. However, after years of service, upon retirement, McKay was one of the highest paid woman in the Civil Services department, with very few of the male staff earning the wage that McKay had earned. This was a fortunate anomaly for McKay, as even in today’s “more enlightened” times “Canadian women earn $0.82 to every $1.00 earned by men…[which] sets the gap in Canada at 18 per cent- much higher than in other countries, specifically in Europe.”Zamon On reflection, it seems as if the field of entomology holds promise for women scientists, on reviewing the life history of Margaret Rae McKay. Even today, there are “over 782 species of Lepidoptera in 6 families have aquatic stages. Unfortunately most have not been well studied. In Saskatchewan very little information is available on the aquatic species.”D Parker.

March is also National Women’s History Month

“The caterpillar does all the work, but the butterfly gets all the publicity.”
― George Carlin

“It is with a spirit of reverence that I approach God’s creation – this beautiful Earth. We may climb mountains or wander through field and forest, intoxicated by loveliness through the changing hours and seasons recorded by the length of shadows cast by the trees – and as we watch the pink, opalescent fingers of the dawn reaching up from beneath the dark horizon, so we wait for the sunrise of our awakening to the realisation of our kinship with the earth and all living things.”~Richard St. Barbe Baker, The Man of the Trees, Silviculturist, author and humanitarian

PUBLICATIONS by Margaret McKay [not complete list]:

Four monographs (book length) on the description of the larvae of families of moths, along with the detailed keys showing step by step routes to their identification, such as the larval study of Aegeriidae (clear-winged moths). Such monographs served to re-classify moth species by the larva to their respective genera. Up to this time botanist keys had been correlated for identification of adult lepidoptera, yet it was the larvae who affect the plants, flora and forest directly. To facilitate her research, McKay used an electron microscope to study the tiniest moth larvae species, who may bore in the needles of conifers, or mine leaves.

Additional larvae of the North American Olethreutinae (1) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae)

Larvae of the North American Tortricinae (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae)

Problems in Naming the Setae of Lepidopterous Larvae Canadian Entomologist 95(9):996-999 · September 1963

Larvae of the North American Torticinae (Lepidoptera: Torticidae)

“Almost everywhere in the world man has been disregarding the Divine Law and the Laws of Nature, to his own undoing. In his pride, he has rampaged over the stage of the earth, forgetting that he is only one of the players put there to play his part in harmony and oneness with all living things.”~Richard St. Barbe Baker

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Bulletin. Entomological Society of Canada. Société d’entomologie du Canada … Volume 37 Number / numero 1. March / mars 2005.

De Gryse, J.J. Cooperation in Forest Insect Studies relating to Conservation Journal of Forestry, Volume 36, Number 10, 1 October 1938, pp. 983-986(4)

de Gryse, J.J. Report on the Sub-Committee on Forst Entomology of the Canadian Society of Forest Engineers. The Forestry Chronicle, 1936, 12(2): 237-239, 10.5558/tfc12237-2

de Gryse, J.J. Forest Entomology in post-war rehabiliation The Forestry Chronicle. , 1943, 19(1): 44-50, 10.5558/tfc19044-1

The G.J. Spencer Memorial Lecture Series at the University of British Columbia

Hanley, Debbie. Women entomologists 19 and early 20th centuries.

Lepidopterist’s Society [McKay, Margaret, (Miss). Div. of Entomology. Science Service Bldg. Ottawa. LEPID. larvae] List of Members. December 1954

Lepidoterists’ Society. 1952-6(6-8)125 List of Members. December 1952

Lepidopterists’ Society. List of Members. [McKay, Margaret, (Miss). Div. of Entomology. Science Service Bldg. Ottawa. LEPID. larvae] December. 1953.

Margaret Mckay Obituary. Legacy.com Ottawa Citizen.

Margaret Rae McKay. Necrologie.Genealogie Quebec.com 2017 The Citizen, Ottawa, ON

McKay, Margaret Rae. The Life of a Female Drifter. An Entomologist Remembers. General Store Publishing House. ISBN 1-894263-71-5. 2002. Burnstown, Ontario, Canada.

Parker, D. Saskatchewan Aquatic Neruoptera, Megaloptera, Lepidoptera, Hymenoptera. Aquatex.

Pohl, Gregory R. Pohl, B. Christian Schmidt, J. Donald Lafontaine and Jean-François Landry,Gary G. Anweiler, Charles D. Bird.
Chapter 5 Moths and Butterflies of the Prairies Ecozone in Canada
[ includes Lepidoptera of conservation concern in the Prairies Ecozone ] Natural Resources Canada. Government of Canada.

Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Saskatchewan Volume 52. 2004. Editor Brian Galka.

Spencer Entolomological Collection. Beaty Biodiversity Museum.

Zamon, Rebecca. The Gender pay Gap in Canada is Twice the Global Average. The Huffington Post. May 6, 2015

“The spiraling flights of moths appear haphazard only because of the mechanisms of olfactory tracking are so different from our own. Using binocular vision, we judge the location of an object by comparing the images from two eyes and tracking directly toward the stimulus. But for species relying on the sense of smell, the organism compares points in space, moves in the direction of the greater concentration, then compares two more points successively, moving in zigzags toward the source. Using olfactory navigation the moth detects currents of scent in the air and, by small increments, discovers how to move upstream.”― Barbara Kingsolver

For more information:

Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area is located in Saskatoon, SK, CA north of Cedar Villa Road, within city limits, in the furthest south west area of the city.
Wikimapia Map: type in Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area
Google Maps South West Off Leash area location pin at parking lot
Web page: https://stbarbebaker.wordpress.com

Where is the Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area? with map

Facebook: StBarbeBaker

Facebook group page : Users of the St Barbe Baker Afforestation Area

Facebook: South West Off Leash Recreation Area SW OLRA

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If you wish to support the afforestation area with your donation, write a cheque please to the “Meewasin Valley Authority Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area trust fund” (MVA RSBBAA trust fund) and mail it to Richard St. Barbe Baker Afforestation Area c/o Meewasin Valley Authority, 402 Third Ave S, Saskatoon SK S7K 3G5. Thank you kindly!
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“Millions of acres of rich farm lands are now deserts as the direct result of wholesale destruction of trees and forests…Of the earth’s 30 billion trees, already nine million acres [are replaced by] desert …We submit that if the earth loses a third of its tree cover it will assuredly die. The water table will sink beyond recall, and life on this planet will become impossible. It is a deplorable fact that during the past fifty years we have been skinning the earth alive.~Richard St. Barbe Baker.”