Posts Tagged 'Prospect Park'

A Good Walk

Quercus rubraA good walk in Prospect Park with Ken Chaya, who always adds immeasurably to my knowledge. This young Red Oak (Quercus rubra) was holding on to its youthfully large leaves.Taxodium distichumA particularly nice spread of “knees” of a Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum). It was once thought that these projections from the roots were pneumatophores, helping the tree breath in the swampy habitat they are native to, but there doesn’t seem to be much evidence of this. Now the thought is that they are for stability and support.AccipiterThis looks like it came off one of the Accipiters. We did see a Cooper’s high over the Ravine. A single Swamp Sparrow and half a dozen Fox Sparrows were noted, as well as Goldfinches, Purple Finches, White-throated Sparrows, and the usual suspects. Hypsizygus tessulatusKen thought this was an Elm Oyster (Hypsizygus tessulatus). It was certainly high up on the tree, which is a characteristic of the fungi.Falco peregrinusOk, this Peregrine (Falco peregrinus) was some 2000 feet away, but still, it made for a falcon species trifecta over an 8-day week.

The Whiteness of the Squirrel

Sciurus carolinensisThis Gray Squirrel obviously isn’t very gray. It has been seen out and about in Prospect Park lately. Several “white” — or ivory — squirrels have been noted in the park and Park Slope in recent years, but they’re not all that uncommon here.Sciurus carolinensisLike the black squirrels also seen, these are all variations on the basic Sciurus carolinensis.

What a fall!

LullwaterThe Lullwater. Wood Ducks and a Pied Grebe and turtles and meadowhawks.Red MapleRed Maple (Acer rubrum) burning up the Vale.

BFH Nest Down

nestBald-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.

Tail-less

Turdus migratoriusThis Am. Robin has molted away its whole tail. Don’t worry: new tail feathers will emerge, and meanwhile, flight, including in the sense of escape, is still possible. The silhouette is now a bit reminiscent of a woodpecker’s.

Step into my funnel

funnel1Appropriation of the unnatural: this fence post has been taken over by what I think is a sheet-web building grass spider of the genus Agelenopsis. Note the funnel descending into the post. That’s where she hangs out. funnel2I picked up a leaf and gently tapped the other end of the webbing, which brought her out alert and curious. About 1.25″ long.

Squirrels

Sciurus carolinensisSciurus carolinensis.Sciurus carolinensis


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