A Snow Goose (Chen caerulescens) was on Prospect Lake today. They are not uncommon in Jamaica Bay during the winter months, but don’t visit interior Brooklyn very often. Among the most abundant waterfowl on the continent, Snow Geese are often seen in huge numbers on fallow fields and wetlands.
Texas Tortoise (Gopherus berlandieri). Very fond of eating tender cactus fruit. I also found the skeleton of one of these elsewhere and pulled off a few of the scutes to get some detail.Nice to see Red-eared Sliders (Trachemys scripta) in their native region. Here’s a recent hatchling, about the size of dollar coin.Texas Spiny Softshell (Apalone spiniferus emoryi).This one was less than a foot long; they can get much bigger.
Tags: birding, birds, Texas
Yowza! Kinda gobsmacking, the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher. Tyrannus forficatus is a backyard bird in Texas.We say them every day. They’re the state bird of Oklahoma, too, where my mother was born. See it on the OK quarter. The males have longer tails, and more intense coloring. Look for the orange underwings. And those salmon flanks!The tail looks absurd, shameless showboating, and in the males the length is probably a marker for females, but these forked tails also make for sharp mid-air acrobatics, stalling and turning, just the thing for taking insects on the wing.It’s Earth Day. Of course, here at Backyard and Beyond, every day is Earth Day. I hope you’re subscribing to these posts to celebrate with me.
Black Skimmer (Rynchops niger) with Laughing Gulls (Leucophaeus atricilla).American Avocet (Recurvirostra americana).Marbled Godwit (Limosa fedoa).Roseate Spoonbill (Ajaja ajaja).Reddish Egret (Egretta rufescens) and Black-necked Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus).Wait for it…Long-billed Curlew (Numenius americanus).Some of the birds at an afternoon’s stop at the Hans & Pat Suter Wildllife Refugue in Corpus Christi.You know you can subscribe to these posts, don’t you, for free? I hear they are something of a welcome addition to people’s morning emails.
Tags: birding, birds, Brooklyn, Brooklyn Bridge Park, butterflies, flowers, Gowanus, Green-Wood, trees
When my plane descended into LaGuardia last Monday, there were a lot of gray/brown still-wintering trees in evidence. I’d just come from southern-most Texas, where spring was fully in motion, but things are stirring here, too.Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis) amid the weeping cherries, which were throbbing with honeybees, and an occasional bumble.The nacreous heart of a Chinese Mystery/Trapdoor Snail (Bellamya chinensis). Who doesn’t like saying “nacreous heart”?I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator) out of the water. Note those large feet, set rather far back, and good for diving. Totally fell for the Great-tailed Grackles down south, but the Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula) still has a place in my heart. You may know that I live between two Peregrine falcon scrapes. (Geography is relative.) There is something going on in the 55 Water Street location, either a youngster already or an adult moving. And there this one — note the band/ring — is perched on the construction site across the street from the House of D. Keeping an eye on the home front amid the grooming.The Superfund Gowanus Canal. Habitat.A male Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon) was fishing in that industrial toilet, diving for the little fish that come in with the tide.
Ai Weiwei’s He Xie of 2010. At the Brooklyn Museum’s Ai Weiwei: According to What? exhibit, which just opened and runs through August 10th. The phrase “he xie” means river crabs — these are made of porcelain — and is also slang for the Chinese state’s censorship of the internet, because it sounds like the word for “harmonious,” as in the Communist Party/kleptocracy’s jack-booted “realization of a harmonious society.”
As consumers of the world’s corporatist authoritarianism — even academics now realize we also live in an oligarchy — it behooves us all to see this exhibit, which puts a decisive finish to the long-peddled nonsense that capitalism necessarily means democracy. Seen on 6th Avenue Friday night.