Posts Tagged 'Green-Wood'

Galls Again

Yes, it’s time for a Fall Gall edition. These are the structures created by the tree, in this case, in response to insects (in these cases) who lay their eggs on the tree. This one is, I think, a Hedgehog Gall.
Not sure on this species.
Nor this. This one was much smaller and looked like felt.

This one white oak in Green-Wood has at least four gall-forcing species on it. These three were evidenced on fallen leaves and twigs. (Here’s the fourth.)

Raptor Wednesday

A pair of Red-tailed Hawks, half of the foursome then in the sky over Green-Wood. The feet-down flying thing is romance.

Another day, another Red-tailed.
Yet another day, another Red-tailed….It is actually the day without a Red-tailed sighting is worth noting. Not easy to see, but look at that profile: this one has a very full crop, bulbously telling of a very recent meal. The crop is an elastic pouch at the bird’s throat/breast. Food passes from here to the stomach.

From the House Intel Committee’s report released yesterday:

“The impeachment inquiry has found that President Trump, personally and acting through agents within and outside of the U.S. government, solicited the interference of a foreign government, Ukraine, to benefit his reelection.”

This we know despite the obstruction of justice by Trump and Co.: “The White House, Department of State, Department of Defense, Office of Management and Budget, and Department of Energy refused to produce a single document in response to our subpoenas.”

11th Month Insecta

There are still a few insects in the cold.
On Friday, this wasp, bumble bee, and fly were active. There were other flies about, and other impossible-to-photograph diptera, and a lovely leaf-hopper or two.
Some kind of gall on a crab apple. Exit hole visible.
Remember last January when I found a large cocoon that I thought belonged to a Polyphemus moth? On Friday, at the same willow oak, I found another.

Paper wasp paper.
Saturday was much colder, but this Fall Armyworm was on the march.
Also on that cold and blustery Saturday, we found three different harvestmen, each one on lichen or moss. Of course, we were looking at lichen and moss, so…


A curious thrush.

The Faces of Lichen

It wasn’t so long ago that I thought these memorials were just dirty, worn away with time and the elements, including acid rain.
But I’ve been looking closer. At the lichens.
Tireless, long- and slow-growing lichens, lovers of stone. Well, at least these species. Others favor wood. Some grow on both wood and stone. Some favor other kinds of stone (these are limestones and marbles, I think). There are specialists and generalists among the lichens.
Lichens can corrode stone. They do this physically, by expanding into the rock, as well as chemically, by excreting acids.
(Berry or seed courtesy of a bird.)
(This one is two-faced.)
Up on their plinths, they’re too high to get that close to.

Old Hickory

This was actually yellower to my eyes than this orange-ish reproduction via the camera, but either way it sure jumped out at me — from outside the cemetery, actually.
Carya species native here include mockernut, bitternut, pignut, and shagbark, but of course Green-Wood is an arboretum originally planted with specimen trees. I think this might be the mockernut…

Raptor Wednesday

A yew: evergreen, dense, low to the ground. Accipiters in Green-Wood love these trees the year-around.

A bird I could not identify was making a very odd noise at the top of one of these yews recently. This is often a sign of warning or distress. I saw a squirrel shock-still under the neighboring tree, and then suddenly from the ground to my right this young Cooper’s Hawk flew up to a nearby tree.
Then it flew to another, then another, before winging away low out of sight completely.

But why was it on the ground to begin with? I went back to look under the yew.Yes, something in the nature of rat. That Teddy Roosevelt dollar coin, by the way, which I didn’t know existed until very recently, measures just a tad over an inch across.

But wait, aren’t Accipiters like Cooper’s bird-eaters? This I learned: they actually eat a fair amount of non-bird, too. One study suggested the idea that they eat almost all birds was based on incomplete observations and overestimations. The subject Cooper’s of this study, which were in Wisconsin, were awfully fond of chipmunk. Citing other studies, this study noted that five genera of mammals and two of reptiles have been seen in the Cooper’s prey mix, as well as 18 genera of birds. (Another study found that Goshawks, the biggest Accipiters, take almost twice the amount of mammals as Cooper’s.)
Meanwhile, it sure is looking like fall around here.


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