Archive Page 2

Cobras!

Gleditsia triacanthosWellllll… not exactly. Honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos) pods posed to show off their curls.pod1So I brought these pods home, and two weeks later, they gave birth! Actually, some… thing emerged, cutting out circular escape passages after devouring the no-doubt tasty seeds within.pod2Here’s a list, which we must presume is only partial, of insects that enjoy this tree.pod3The cut-out portion of seed pod, and the bug.pod4

Dead Skeeter

skeeterSome of you, I know, enjoy my necropsy photographs from the human/mosquito war. Here’s a recent one. She either squeezed through the screens or made it past three doors.

Squirrels

Sciurus carolinensisSciurus carolinensis.Sciurus carolinensis

Pyrrharctia isabella

Pyrrharctia isabellaWhat is Autumn without a Wooly Bear crossing your path?

Flying

Insect-summer is over. But last week I was in Prospect Park and saw masses of dragonflies over the Butterfly Meadow, in a patch of the Nethermead, and then in two clusters along the Long Meadow. They all seemed to be Common Green Darners, the large migrating species. And they were hunting on the wing. Gnats, for want of a better description, filled the air.

And hunting for the dragonflies, a Kestrel, swooping in great deep arcs before briefly perching way up on a tree-top.falco

Drey

dreyA large clump of leaves in the branches of a tree is often mistaken for a bird nest. It’s actually a drey, or squirrel nest. More specifically, it’s a summer nest. Winter will find them squirreled away in warmer, sturdier spots, like your attic.
Quiscalus quisculaThis Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula), helping to perpetuate the impression that this is a bird’s nest, was rooting around in the leaves, which had no doubt attracted various invertebrates over the months.

My Shorter OED and Webster’s 3rd both throw up their hands on the origins of “drey,” which may also be spelled “dray.” The OED has it going back to the early 17th century. Also, it should be noted that, given English’s often multipurpose flexibility, there are no other definitions for the word.

Update: I am in error. See comments. THere is another definition for dray.

Seen on recent saunters

FagusBeech nuts and the pods they come in on. bumblestump1At another beech tree, this time a stump, some funky fungus.I like the way one of these “organ pipe” mud-dauber-wasp nests follows the arch here. Colaptes auratus
leavesIt will be some months before we see the trees this leafy again.


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