Posts Tagged 'Bronx'

Monarch Monday

Some of the dozen Monarch caterpillars (Danaus plexippus) seen feasting on swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) in the Bronx recently.  This was my highest ever count to this date, although to be fair I’m much better at spotting them now. Good to see some action on one of the other milkweeds besides A. syriaca.In Queens a few days later: a trio of Milkweed Tussock Moth caterpillars (Euchaetes egle) were on the same plant as two Monarch caterpillars. These colorful and hairy milkweed specialists, not done any justice by this photo, are, like Monarchs, walking advertisements for tasting bad. Nearby on another milkweed was a Fall Webworm caterpillar (Hyphantria cunea). This species, which makes tent-like webs in trees and so is often confused with Gypsy Moth, is a generalist: will eat practically anything. Milkweed, too? Speaking of eating. Here’s a nymph Spined Solder Bug (Podisus maculiventris) feasting on a Monarch. This was one of the dozen Monarchs seen in the Bronx. The rest were alive, but life’s a risky business.

Have you thought much about civil disobedience?

Monday Prep

A selection of recent sightings in Brooklyn and the Bronx to rev up your Monday morningI don’t think I’ve ever gotten a good picture of a Gray Hairstreak with wings open before.

Raptor Wednesday

Just a short distance from a new parking lot in the Bronx, young Red-tailed Hawks continue to raise a ruckus.

Reading against fascism. Where I reacquainted myself with this quote from Hannah Arendt: “The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced Communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction (i.e., the reality of experience) and the distinction between true and false (i.e., the standards of thought) no longer exists.”

Mammal Monday

This feature of the blog is sporadic, for there’s a rather limited selection of diurnal mammals to be found with any regularity in the city.
But baby Eastern Chipmunks (Tamias striatus) should carry you through the weeks.Cute, right? Don’t be deceived by anthropomorphic mammal-philic charisma. Without regulating predators like coyotes and foxes, small mammals like these chippies become, as they say in the groves, problematic. Chipmunks are hosts for a pallet of tick-born diseases, and they are extraordinary good predators themselves, meaning their population explosions become problems for birds and others.

Speaking of Ticks, or More Foxes, More Possums!

I didn’t have my camera with me, so recent run-ins with three young rabbits in the Bronx went unrecorded. Each of them was festooned with ticks, around the ears, face, and neck. Some of the ticks were hugely bloated, looking like malignant gumballs or creepy purple pearls. A few days later, armed again with lens and digital thingamajibbles, I caught this Cedar Waxwing at the communal bath.There in the throat.

Yes, there’s a Waxwing nest nearby.


Sweetbay Magnolia has such a delightful perfume.Magnolia virginiana.
A native of the southeast that stretches up the Atlantic to New York.

You know what doesn’t smell so good: 53-year old Brett Kavanaugh, and Kennedy’s negotiations to have his former law clerk replace him while his (Kennedy’s) sons are complicit in Trump’s corruptions.

On Young Kavanaugh, a stunningly mediocre but ideological jurist: environmentalists call him Lord Voldemort. He’s a pro-corporate plutocratic toady dedicated to a (Republican only, please) authoritarian presidency. Horrible on civil rights, gun laws, women’s health, presidential power…. He wouldn’t even be on the Federalist Society list if he wasn’t dedicated to overturning Roe. (Curiously, for such a reactionary Catholic, over 13 years of marriage he has somehow only produced two children). And he is partisan to the core: he was a big leaker to the press when he was ejaculate-investigator (sorry, but we’re talking Republicans here) for Ken Starr. His shameless sucking up to Trump the other night tells you all you need to know about his personality.

Call your state’s U.S. Senators even if they’ve stopped taking your calls.

Raptor Wednesday

Three in number, vocal in youth. (The third is hiding in the lower right.)The apricot/salmon flush to the breast is a sign of youth in Red-tailed Hawks. The feet are signs of raptor.Notice, too, how pale the underside of the tail feathers are.At least one parent was nearby, harried by Blue Jay and Eastern Kingbird. Interestingly, the song birds did not go after the young hawks.SO much larger and noisier than the fledgling #BrooklynKestrels.Did I mention the racket?

One of the birds was feeding. Possibly a pigeon.The other two wanted some, too.

*Subscribers saw an earlier version of this post accidentally over the weekend. Sorry! I entered the wrong date for publication, the 1st instead of the 11th, and when I saved it, it posted. Which meant you got an email post curiously dated more than a week earlier. Sorry for the extra hawks in your email!

But, would-be subscribers, this doesn’t happen often. Why not consider getting these posts in your morning email? There’s no cost. (Some say the gain is priceless.) Enter your email at the top right: you’ll get a confirmation notice.

There are many reports of how extremist Brett Kavanaugh is. Here’s one from his fellow Yalie alum.


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  • Greater Angle-wing katydid calling outside from middle of block. Dzt! 5 hours ago
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