Shaken, in Black and White

The Republican cult is disenfranchising hundreds of thousands of voters and working to suppress voting and create chaos in battleground states. A familiar crew of corrupt fascist oligarchs are funding this assault.

And now the Republican plan, forthrightly announced in the 1970s, to return the federal courts to their traditional role as reactionary redoubt of property and plutocracy has been supercharged by the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Inciting violence at his Nurembergesque rallies and “press conferences,” Trump is also already calling a potential Democratic win in November a “coup.” His party/cult’s anti-reality conspiracy bubble is bubbling over with such rhetoric; his paramilitaries-police coalition has already killed. (As always, the projection, that is, the taking of one’s own characteristics and projecting them on the enemy, is out in force with these fuckers.)

Here’s a merciless primer on how bad things are and how corporate media abets the disaster. It cuts through the bullshit with remarkable straight-forwardness.

Without a real opposition party, we have to depend on non-state actors: check out for helping with voting, and protecting voting. Trumpists are already out protesting early voters in Virginia.

Warbler Close-ups

This Black-throated Green caught a spider, and probably a lot more but the spider was big and visible.
And another Magnolia.

More on the western bird massacre: it’s starting to look like starvation.

Warblers, Etc.

A great front of birds flying south on a chill wind swept into Brooklyn on Tuesday morning to be greeted by an orange-red sun rising in the smoke haze wafted here from the west’s conflagrations.
Mature male American Redstart.
Female and juvenile male Redstarts out-numbered the old males by far and were simply falling out of trees everywhere in Green-Wood.
Chestnut-sided Warbler.
Scarlet Tanager.
Rose-breasted Grosbeak.
Northern Parula.
Black-throated Blue male.
Tennessee Warbler. Never captured one of these in photos before.
Lincoln’s Sparrow.
Common Yellowthroat.

Meanwhile, on the other side of this climate-changed continent: a mass die-off of migrating birds across the southwest.


Ok, so Venus has some gas that may be the byproduct of life. So perhaps our first alien encounter is a fart.

Meanwhile, here on Earth:
Red-banded Leafhopper (Graphocephala coccinea).
Coppery Leafhopper (Jikradia olitoria).
Curculio genus weevil, with a snout long enough to reach into nuts and acorns. Found on an old northern red oak ripe with big acorns.
Hard to see in all these pictures, but this creature’s antennae… emerge from half way down the snout.
Locust Digitate Leafminer Moth (Parectopa robiniella) on black locust.
Andricus ignotus, the twenty-first oak gall wasp species I’ve found in Green-Wood. On a swamp white oak, Q. bicolor, that had a minimum of four other gall wasp species on it.

Raptor Wednesday

Osprey over the water… the Valley Water in Green-Wood.
These birds will be abandoning us soon, some heading as far as South America.

On Monday, I had simultaneous Peregrines on St. Michael’s and, for the first time since the spring, on the Industry City smokestack. Consistently over the last five years, they abandon the high view of of the smokestack post during the breeding season, but come back in the fall and then are seen with great frequency during the fall-winter-spring.

That two-year-old Bald Eagle from New Haven was seen well again in Green-Wood this past Saturday by others. The bird’s black band reads R over 7 to a good telephoto lens. I looked on Sunday but didn’t see the bird.

Here’s my post about R7 from April.

Witch Hazel Trifecta

A busy picture of American witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) and associated gall-makers.
Witch Hazel Cone Gall, created by a aphid (Hormaphis hamamelidis).
Spiny Witch Hazel Gall, created by another aphid (Hamamelistes spinosus).
Interesting that the spiny galls run larger than the plant’s actual fruit capsules.
Ant near the fruit, and that could be a winged-form aphid on the gall.
Another ant on the left and the rare-for-these-parts Widow Yellowjacket (Vespula vidua).
But wait, there’s more! This splotch seems to be is the work of the Witchhazel Leafminer moth caterpillar Cameraria hamameliella, which eats, or mines, between layers of the leaf.

Mushroom Monday

My boot, at bottom of image, is almost exactly one foot long.
An enormous example of Berkeley’s Polypore (Bondarzewia berkeleyi).
Another large polypore, Black-staining (Meripilus sumstinei).
Details of the Black-staining.


dewy grass
wet-bellied woodchuck
good morning

I come across woodchuck/groundhog holes in Green-Wood with some frequency. (Good to keep at least one eye on the ground there, lest you miss a grass-clutching moth or a one-way trip into the underworld…) But I hadn’t seen an actual Marmota monax for some time until last weekend.
A typical sighting…. They are out and about now, foraging as the acorns, hickories, walnuts, and crab apples fall.
“Whistlepig” is a name you come across in the literature. Has anybody out there in readership land ever heard one whistle?
Last Monday, I had a close encounter. Turned out the entrance to the den was right here.
Your nose would be a bit dirt-smutched if you lived underground, too.
Anthropomorphizing here, but this strikes me as a skeptical look, and, well, wouldn’t that be justified?

Spotted Leaves

Speckled Tar Spot on maple.
Oak LeafBlister on red oak.
Pear Rust on Callery pear, top and underside of leaf.

(All IDs tentative.)


We get a lot of vegetarians on this blog.
But that’s not the whole story, of course.
Mantid devouring a skipper. Wings discarded.
Ants scavenging a… meadow cricket?
Egret tossing down a small fry.
Young Northern Mockingbird dispatching a dog day cicada.


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