Posts Tagged 'flowers'

Master Aster

asterThe wind was making it impossible to focus this perfectly. So it’s a little more abstract, but just as lovely. One of the numerous Asters that make the autumn so exciting to human and pollinator.asterAnother, held firm.aster2These last two pictures may be Smooth Aster. A complicated family.

Early Autumn

fall2The view towards Storm King Mountain.fall1mushroommossfall4

Blooms and Pods

asterSmooth Aster

In Da Bronx


Franklinia alatamahaFranklinia in bloom. What a scrumptious flower! And the bees agree. (All of today’s trees are descendants from seeds collected by William Bartram in the 1760s. The plant is unknown in the wild.) Sylvilagus floridanusOn the mammal front, Cottontail and Chipmunk and Gray Squirrel.IMG_3877In addition to the frog, a Garter Snake crossed our path, and a couple of the elusive Italian Fence Lizards were seen (more on these anon).IMG_3829See the exuvia? AsclepiasPurple Milkweed Asclepias purpurea. IMG_3838




tadpolesOne of the unexpected sights during our walk along the Northumberland Coast Path was this (tidal?) pool full of what we thought were Common Toad (Bufo bufo) tadpoles. Surprising because this was brackish water at best, if not fully the brine of the nearby North Sea. Bufo bufoIt seems, though, that they can tolerate a certain amount of salt. And they are not the only amphibians to do so. I found this abstract of a journal article that provides a “review of the literature of amphibians in saline waters and present data on 144 species, in 28 families, on every continent except Antarctica. In doing so, we make the case that salt tolerance in amphibians may not be as rare as generally assumed.” IMG_3017Speaking of salt tolerance: near the tad-pools were some clumps of Glaux maritima, which seems to have more common names than you can shake a tadpole at, including, in the UK, Sea Milkwort. Found across the northern hemisphere, on coasts and high-elevation alkaline meadows.

Some Recent Sightings

Hirundo rusticaBarn Swallow (Hirundo rustica): this is a Brooklyn bird, but this is a cosmopolitan species; Eurasian specimens, which I saw most days recently in the UK, have generally longer tails and brighter colors.leafcutterThe clean work of a leaf-cutter bee on Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia), one of their favorite plants. If you’re a gardener, you should be proud to be hosting these bees, who line their nests with plant fragments. MegachilidaeHere’s one of these Megachilidae family bees on that pollinator-magnet Milkweed (Asclepias). Note that hairy underside of the abdomen: they gather pollen here. OrthopteraA young (early instar) grasshopper, and a much more ragged edge of leaf-munching. The short antennae are a quick distinguishing mark from their Orthoptera cousins, the katydids.katydidThese antenna are more than twice the length of this katydid’s body. Sterna hirundoA Common Tern (Sterna hirundo), a NYC harbor nester, fishing from the pier.


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