Posts Tagged 'Brooklyn'

Young Cardinal

Cardinalis cardinalisIn a Dogwood.

Bull

Lithobates catesbeianus…Frog (Lithobates catesbeianus).

And bull! too, to the repulsive display of nativism, racism, ignorance, and unparalleled mendacity at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

Stag Beetle

Lucanus capreolusA Common or Reddish-Brown Stag Beetle (Lucanus capreolus) male who didn’t make it. Lucanus capreolusFound on the sidewalk next to Prospect Park. This specimen is about an inch long. Inhabitants of parks, suburbs, and hardwood forests, they’re mostly nocturnal. They feed on sap; those pincer-like mandibles are used to battle other males for territory. Dudes.

A wonderful manifestation of the wild city at night, sadly stomped by someone who probably didn’t notice. Or perhaps did: an exterminationist attitude runs strongly among some of the benighted, especially when it comes to “bugs.”

Out of the Sun

Procyon lotorA Raccoon (Procyon lotor) was sprawled out on the second story fire-escape of my building’s inner courtyard yesterday. The critter probably found the shade most welcome on a hot day. It’s no tree cavity out there, true, but real estate is a bear in this borough. The animal was snoozing, as they are wont to do during daylight. Procyon lotorBut woke up to the paparazzi. Unfortunately, the animal is not welcome. The basement has to be secured against its marauding.

Nessus Sphinx

Amphion floridensisPerching covertly: Nessus Sphinx (Amphion floridness). When I first saw it, my thought was Cicada Killer Wasp. Amphion floridensisThe Peterson guide says this day-flying moth is common throughout its range — the northeast to Virginia, across the midwest — but I think this is the first I’ve seen it.

Ladybugs!

Hippodamia convergensConvergent Ladybugs (Hippodamia convergens) uh, um, converging. This year’s aphid boom needs more lady beetles!Propylea quatuordecimpunctataFourteen-Spotted Ladybug (Propylea quatuordecimpunctata).Harmonia axyridisThis looks like a variation of the Multicolored Asian Ladybug larva (Harmonia axyridis). These last two were spotted in Flatbush Gardener’s patch during the C-9 release.

Heather’s Birds

UnknownMy friend Heather Wolf’s Birding At The Bridge has just been published. This handsome volume detail’s Heather’s adventures watching and photographing birds in Brooklyn Bridge Park over the course of a couple of years.

BBP is where I first ran into Heather. She was carrying her long lens, which is what you really need to get such close-ups of birds. (And these things are the size of half a bazooka, and weigh as much.) And then I ran into her some more. For here was somebody visiting BBP much more than I was when I lived in Cobble Hill. (Well, she lived two blocks closer…)

This is a great example of “patch birding,” visiting the same spot over and over again through the seasons to see the changes, the cyclical arrivals and departures, the unexpected appearances, with discipline and commitment. Winter of course makes it a commitment, but I’ll let you in a secret: being outside in winter is unbelievably invigorating; and one of the wonderful things about the city is that there’s usually some hot chocolate near at hand. Sure, there’s less to see in winter, but there’s always something to see. I hope Heather’s book (which covers all the seasons) inspires more people to get out in nature during winter to look around.

You’ve got to always be worried about color reproduction, a tricky thing in publishing, especially since plumage is so important. Well, the pictures look great here. This is a little gem of a book. And that’s not the hot chocolate talking.


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