Springtime in November

It was like spring in Prospect Park today. Late spring, even, except for the rich fall colors of the leaves and the lack of birdsong. How warm was it? There was a woman wearing a bikini in Nelly’s Lawn.

Among other sun-worshippers were the turtles, brought up out of the murk by the warmth.A few of the approximately 75 (!) turtles I counted basking in the Lullwater between the Terrace and the Lullwater Bridges. Most were Red-eared Sliders (a search noted by this blog recently was “Can I release my turtle in Prospect Park?” NO!), but there were at several Painted Turtles as well. And then there was this little guy:I thought at first it might be a musk turtle, first reported by City Birder Rob Jett in May, because of its smallness and high-domed shell, but I don’t think so after reviewing the situation. I’m sorry the picture isn’t very good, but binoculars focusing in on the critter didn’t help much either.

Continuing the unseasonal sightings: a host of Green Darners were buzzing around the little hillside meadow in front of the the Maryland Monument. Along the Lullwater, I found of few of these meadowhawks: “The red meadowhawks [genus Sympetrum] of North America present an intractable field problem,” notes the Stokes Beginner’s Guide to Dragonflies, so I think we’ll leave it at that.

5 Responses to “Springtime in November”


  1. 1 Marielle November 10, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Wow, what a fabulous day you had! I’ll have to tag along again sometime 🙂

    • 2 mthew November 10, 2011 at 9:27 pm

      I walked up Lookout Hill noting very little activity besides a good number of leaves falling, then descended down into an unexpected field of dragonflies. Things picked up after that.

  2. 3 Gillian November 21, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    Could your turtle be a Map Turtle? I’m not herpetologist, and have no idea whether they are found in your range, but if I saw that fellow up here in Ottawa that would be my first guess.

    As for your meadowhawk, I think it’s an Autumn Meadowhawk. It’s our latest flying species (at least here in Ontario, where it flies into November), has small black marks along the abdomen instead of large black triangles, and brown or yellowish legs (the other meadowhawks have black legs). They are quite easy to identify, unlike the White-faced/Cherry-faced/Ruby Meadowhawks which do indeed present a difficult identification challenge!


  1. 1 Don’t Dump Your Turtle « Backyard and Beyond Trackback on February 18, 2012 at 8:59 am

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