Posts Tagged 'Brooklyn'

Legion of Raccoons

Procyon lotorLate afternoon in Green-Wood, a crusty old bandit walking like a old cat. Procyon lotorElsewhere: one of two young and a mother who were just crossing the street then they saw us. They climbed back up the tree they’d come down.Procyon lotorThe youngsters seemed very curious.Procyon lotor

Maryland Monument Dasher

wreathTwo hundred and forty years ago today, the British and their Hessian swine-mercenaries walloped the still-loose conglomeration that was the Continental Army in Brooklyn. There’s a memorial in Prospect Park to the Maryland 400, troops who held the Old Stone House (the existing structure in J. J. Byrne Park is a recreation) down in the Gowanus while the rest of Washington’s soldiers made a pell-mell strategic retreat to Brooklyn Heights, and thence across the river. Geo. is supposed to have said “what brave fellows I must this day lose” about the sacrificial Marylanders.

Yet the British unaccountably did not press their advantage in Brooklyn. They occupied New York, but lost their opportunity of crushing the new American army right here. Big mistake. This, by the way, is also why we don’t have a national health system today.

Someone has laid a fresh wreath on the memorial in honor of the 400.

A pair of Blue Dasher dragonflies, concerned with their own history, were using the fence to tee up. This is the female.

Red-Tailed Hawk Stalking

Buteo jamaicensisA young Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) patrolling the 5th Avenue entrance of Green-Wood. I would hazard to guess that it is wondering where that Eastern Grey Squirrel went.Buteo jamaicensis


IMG_9461This large wind vane on a building on Hanson Place and South Elliot is one of the delights of downtown Brooklyn. It is a sight rapidly being overshadowed by the generic glass towers rising rising around the neighborhood, which make the borough look like Anywheresville.

Three things:
1. This actually does move, which, for a roughly 5′-6′ arrow, is kind of impressive.
2. Why is it slightly bent?
3. I did not have my camera when a Peregrine Falcon, which had been flying around the tower of the Williamsburgh Savings Bank, landed on the rooster.

Here is your correspondent–not, I trust, your corespondent–looking up on the way to a dinner party. peregrine1Keep your eyes on the sky!

Trio of Dragonflies

Libellula pulchella12-spotted Skimmer (Libellula pulchella) male.
Plathemis lydiaCommon Whitetail (Plathemis lydia) male.
Erythemis simplicicollisEastern Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicicollis) male.

What’s up with all the males? They’re patrolling territory, in this case the ponds of Green-Wood, while females generally only show up to these sites when they want to mate. Otherwise the females are over the fields and meadows, at the edge of the woods, “across the river and through the trees”….

Brooklyn Long-horns

Melissodes bimaculatusThis black bee was a real brawler, tackling each flower like a linebacker, rolling up and over the flower parts until it was upside-down.

Note the long opera-glove-like sleeves of pollen on the hind legs. These legs have more hair than the other two sets, and these pollen packs are rather larger than you see on most bees who do this (leaf cutter bees, for another example, store pollen on the underside of their abdomen); this and the antenna helped me identify this one. Two-spotted Long-horned Bee, Melissodes bimaculatus. It is supposed to be common in the east, but I think this is the first time I’ve seen/identified one. This is one of the solitary bee species, not social like the non-native honeybees or partially social like some bumblebees.

Over two hundred species of bees have been found in NYC, but honeybees and several species of bumblebees are the most commonly recognized. Yet when you look closer, there’s so much more going on. This one was all over the flowers outside my apartment building.

Tiger Bee Fly

Xenox tigrinusXenox tiginus is a large fly with a distinctive black and clear wing patterning. At least in our eastern region, where there is just one of these Xenox genus flies; there are a few more out west. These lay their eggs at the entrances of Carpenter Bee nests so that their larvae can parasitize the bee’s larvae. And around we go…

They also seem to have an affinity for landing on humans.


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  • "He who has provoked the lash of wit, cannot complain that he smarts from it." ~ Boswell. Back to the Life. 355/1200, 1769; AETAT 60. 1 hour ago
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