Two of the gardeners at Brooklyn Bridge Park showed me the evidence of Viburnum Leaf Beetle that they were hunting down. The pits in the twig are egg cavities, dug into the tree by the mature beetle. The tiny larvae can just be seen.
The destructive invasive beetle is rampant through most city parks, but is so far kept at bay in BBP, which has multiple species of viburnum growing. Here’s what the damage looks like when it runs wild.
In early November, I found four adult Two-spotted Ladybeetles (Adalia bipunctata). And without looking very hard. I just stood under the tree and looked up.
This is some kind of Lacewing larva. It was found predating under the Catalpa leaves, where the ladybugs are still to be found, too, deep into October. On the rocks below the trees, a lady bug pupa.
Common Green Darner, Anax junius.
Bald-faced hornets (Dolichovespula maculata) have been in the news recently. There seem to be a lot of their nests in Brooklyn: a bumper crop or just people noticing more of them? While some seem to think they are the Ebola of wasps, the wasps won’t bug you if you don’t bug them, or their nest. This magnificent specimen of wasp-paper was on the ground in Prospect. This year’s wasps are mostly done, except for mated queens, who stash themselves for the winter elsewhere.
A hike in the fall woods is always a sensual and philosophical experience.I was in a yellow light under oaks and beeches in an overcast sky, later speared through by shafts of sunlight.Yes, both the woods and I were speared. My eyes kept shifting from the whole to the parts. Walking over even relatively smooth trails still requires at least one eye on the path for rocks and roots and unexpected katydids. You can just see one of the animal’s tympana, or ears, on the top foreleg, just under the joint, here.And of course you must stop, and catch your breath, which has run away from you, and turn around. I mean all the way around.This Chicken-of-the-Woods, with its cascade of yellow and orange petticoats, wouldn’t have been noticed otherwise.