Published February 21, 2017
Tags: birds, Bronx
You can almost see the golden eye from here. You can certainly see the white spot on the cheek of this male Bucephala clangula. I don’t see these often: they do not favor the harbor. There were a few dozen off Hunter Island in the Bronx, the western end of Long Island Sound, and the males were doing bits of their head-thrown-back mating dance.
Trivial: Ian Fleming called his Jamaica estate Goldeneye, and named his ridiculous hero after the ornithologist James Bond.
Political: The Democrats have never been a leftist party. Here, an actual leftist anatomizes the party of business that pretends it isn’t. And why such an entity is so dangerous right now in the face of Trumpism.
Published February 19, 2017
Tags: birding, birds, Bronx, owls
A note on populism. “There is no right [-wing] populism, only intolerance.”
Is this too much John Cheever-John Updike, drunken wasps getting it on? Above are Thread-waisted Wasps (Eremnophila aureonotata) mating on that pollinator-magnet mountain mint (Pycnanthemum). Like many wasps, the adults eat nectar, but feed their larvae flesh. (OK, now we’ve entered Stephen King territory) These provision their young with caterpillars. Blue-winged, a.k.a. Digger Wasp (Scolia dubia) with their distinctive yellow dots on red-orange abdomen. These are all over the city; I walked by a swarm in the middle of a front yard in Park Slope recently. The females dig burrows in search of beetle larvae to feed their young; Green June Bugs and invasive Japanese Beetles are favored.
Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina), the smaller of two seen in the water of the native garden at NYBG this weekend.
Note the spotless shell. Compare with another NYBG snap seen two years ago in the Discovery Center pond. Much more growth on the shell of that younger specimen. The huge beastie I’ve seen in Prospect Park’s watercourse a few times over the years has also evinced a spotless shell, which I attribute to chorine in the water (yes, it’s tap water). Here’s a little one in the Prospect Pools. Here’s a tiny one I found crossing the road a few years ago in Massachusetts.
Shell length here 6-7″ long. Love the dinosaur thorns on the tail.
Don’t you just love these? These grooves are found along the path in the forest of the NYBG, and time and generations of feet have worn them down slightly. They’re glacial striations, gouged out by the rubble on the bottom the ice as it scraped across the hard surface rock.
These can be found in Central Park, too. But not here in the home borough, which is all glacial deposit–made up, come to think of it, with some of that Bronx rock.
Published August 20, 2016
Tags: Bronx, plants
Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) creeping into a subway station, an elevated subway station: Bedford Park 4 train in the Bronx. The little reddish rootlets help the aerial vine form of this crafty plant grab hold of a foundation, like a tree, or a sluggish commuter.