Posts Tagged 'Doodletown'

Don’t Know Jack?

Someone hath browsed off the overhanging spathes and tips of the spadicies of these Jack-in-the-pulpits (Arisaema triphyllum). This gives us a good view of the pin-striped goodness within these curious flowers.Otherwise you have to get personal.This is a flower that hides itself.Who is this Jack, you might well ask, and what is he doing in the pulpit? To say the spadix “looks like a man,” as does Better Homes & Gardens, seems quite the euphemism. The part is not the whole. According to this site, the plant is pollinated by fungus gnats and thrips. Also of note on that page: the ill-tasting plant scares off herbivores, so who did the work seen up top? Two legged? Deer not yet in the know?


Oh, spring, spring, you are so fast! Poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans).One of the lindens (Tilia). Some galls are already planted on these. As with the leaves immediately below, these were windfalls. Pin oak (Quercus palustris).Beech (Fagus) about to blow.Mockernut hickory (Carya tomentosa) already blown.

Share the pre-existing condition of being human? Then the GOP WealthCare abomination that passed the House yesterday isn’t for you.

Trillium erectum

We only saw these purple trilliums on the return leg of our walk. The invasive Japanese Barberry (Berbers thunbergii), which is all over the trailside, is about to shade over these maroon beauties. Did it also protect them from the deer?
This is one of the most common Trillium species found here in the east. It also goes by: red trillium, purple/red wake-robin/wakerobin, stinking Benjamin, and wet dog wakerobin/trilliumThe flower attracts pollinators by stinking like carrion (that old trick) and/or, presumably, wet dog. A spectacular flower regardless of how it pulls in the flies.


Bufo americanusThe tadpoles of a toad, I assume American Toad (Bufo americanus) rather than Fowler’s (Bufo fowleri), about a centimeter long. In the shallows of Doodletown’s Reservoir. The adult toads live inland but come to fresh water to reproduce.toad2There were innumerable numbers of them. They follow the human sperm plan; produce a lot, a few will probably survive.toad3On the surface of the same water, a number of swimming bugs.Rana clamitans melanota A Green Frog (Rana clamitans), somewhat outnumbered.

Field Trip: Doodletown

American carrion beetle, Necrophila americana.

The name “Doodletown” usually gets a quizzical look, but it’s real, or was once. Nestled between Bear Mountain, West Mountain, and Dunderberg Mountain in Bear Mountain State Park, Doodletown was a village founded in the late 18th century. Iron mining, logging, and tanning (using hemlock bark) were local industries early on. The last residents were either bought out, or thrown out via eminent domain, during the 1950s-early 1960s by the Palisades Interstate Parkway Commission. Sites of former homes and businesses are marked along the paths. The two small cemeteries are still open to family members.
Spirobolid millipede, Narceus americanus.
Forest tent caterpillar, Malacosoma disstria.

Wisteria now grows wild all over, and it was blooming on Saturday when we walked along the red-blazed 1777W trail towards the reservoir. Worm-eating warblers and American redstarts provided the musical backdrop, with guest appearances by a hooded warbler, ovenbirds, red-eyed vireo, black and white warbler, scarlet tanager, and blue-winged warbler, as well as cat birds. A ruby-throated hummingbird made a very special appearance. Above, a red-tailed hawk, turkey vultures, and a black vulture. Along the highway up, deer both roadkill and live. On the ground, the various invertebrates pictured here.

In the reservoir, we saw several eastern newts (Notophthalmus viridescens), impossible to photograph, and oodles, moodles, bidoodles of what turned out to be American toad (Bufo americanus) tadpoles along the shoreline:
A great day in the woods.


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