Posts Tagged 'Green-Wood'

Raptors vs. Squirrels

Another adult Red-tailed Hawk, another Green-Wood squirrel.
Sunday above Sylvan Water.
How many squirrels are in the cemetery? Not as many, I would guess, as in Prospect Park.While looking for interesting birds lately I’ve come across a couple of squirrels doing their best to lay low inside conifers. On Sunday, on the other hand, five of them ran towards me before breaking this way and that, including up into a bush. They were acting like new-borns but weren’t. Most of Saturday’s snow was already gone.

Sylvan Raptor

Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday I spotted raptors at the gory work of eating. First up is a mature Red-tailed Hawk in Green-Wood at the Sylvan Water.
The unfortunate meal is a Grey Squirrel.
I used a very large tree as a blind to get close as the weather went from cloudy to breaking sunny to cloudy and rainy.

Sassier!

There’s a suggestion that this is the oldest sassafras in NYC.
The tree is still going strong.
Now we come to an issue of tense. There are two trees here, just a few feet apart. Are these two actually, essentially, the same tree, a clonal pair, the last of a sassafras colony?
There seems a good possibility that this is so.
From certain angles, they line up and merge together.
Elsewhere in Green-Wood, a sprouting of sassafras. What might this spot might become… in 150 years?
(An ancestor, presumably of somebody, at the clones.)

Sassy!

A venerable sassafras (Sassafras albidum) in Green-Wood. May be the state record holder for tallest: 69′ in 2016. 138″ in diameter at 4.5′ height.
More interestingly, at least to me, is the question of age. Does this pre-date the establishment of the cemetery in 1838? If not it must come close.
Sprouting adjacent. Sassafras is a clonal organism.
You would be correct in your supposition that this magnificent bark is habitat. Just think of all the life forms that have lived upon and beneath it!
I was lucky enough to see this in my orbit of the tree. A piece of bark over a foot long had fallen off and on the inside was this Eumenes wasp mud pot nest.

Stay tuned for more sassafras tomorrow. Yes, more!

Good Bones

A couple of red oaks.
Gates of tuliptree, or… Ents, yes, there are definitely Ent possibilities in these two.
An uncharacteristic tuliptree. Usually they are quite straight and single-boled.

Cocoons

Over the weekend I found four large silkworm cocoons. This one was hanging in an oak.
This one was on the ground. I turned it over to see the other side. Coin is just over an inch in diameter. There was an oak overhead….
Another in a willow oak (at perhaps half a mile’s distance from the first oak).
Another, same tree, higher up.

As it happens, this — the tree with the two suspended cocoons — is the same willow oak where I found one of these last year. The tree has at least three cocoons now. I spotted one of them attached to a vine in November.
It has since fallen to the ground, to blend in with the leaf litter in the bulwark of the tree.

Now, I think these are all from the big Polyphemus Moth, Antheraea polyphemus. Oak is one of their food plants. Falling to the ground seems a normal part of the wintering process. I must look into how the caterpillar manages to wrap leaves around its cocoon.
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“Crime committed brazenly is over time redefined as something other than crime. It is entertainment, and then it is autocracy, and then it is too late.” Sarah Kendzior has been quite good on the Trump organized crime family and its Republican enablers, members, and co-conspirators. Here’s a list of the members of congress who are advancing the crime agenda in the petrie dishes of kleptocracy that are Trump’s properties.

By now you know that the repellent Rudy Giuliani has claimed he works as Trump’s henchman for “free” (a gift unrecorded by Trump, yet another ethics violation) while taking payments from sleaze ball Lev Parnas (indicted and singing like a canary turd), who in turn is paid by a Russian oligarch named Firtash, who, in the Putin-oligarchy, is up to his ears in brute corruption, too.

Raptor Wednesday

Cooper’s Hawk!
This bird was still up here two hours later. I think it was digesting breakfast.

***
Uncivil disobedience: a new paradigm in Hong Kong, or how do you fight the awful might of the state?


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