Posts Tagged 'Green-Wood'



Prunus serotina

There are still, after all these years, parts of Green-Wood I’ve never been. I came across this massive black cherry only recently.
It was after a big wind and bits of the scaly bark and branches were scattered about.
The mature bark is very different from the younger stuff from way up there.
Turning over the loose pieces on the ground, I found a Nabis genus damsel bug.
And a springtail! (And something even smaller I can’t tell what).

February Blooms

Crocus.
Prunus.Veronica.

What Colors!

I can’t believe there are still fish in the Dell and Crescent Waters, since this male Belted Kingfisher has been around all winter dipping into the stock here.

Here he has a goldfish. Usually they just scarf their prey down PDQ, flipping it so it’s head first and then sluuuurrrppppp! This bird, however, just chortled and rattled from tree to tree, carrying the fish with him.
He was up pretty high in a tree here. And he dropped the fish. What?
About 12 seconds after my last shot of fish-in-bill, I caught this image of the Kingfisher in the act of spitting up a pellet! I guess he couldn’t have the external thing meeting the internal thing half-way, so the fish had be sacrificed to get that bundle of scales and tiny fish bones out of the gullet…
I was chatting with a passerby for a few minutes, so didn’t find this before the fleshfly was on the job already.

More Galls

I found a mother-of-gall tree! A red oak, Quercus rubra, in Green-Wood. This tree was probably brought in as a sapling a few years ago. I wonder where it was raised? Could it be that the gall-making species came in with the tree, as we’ve seen with lichens transported into the city on saplings destined to be street trees?
Everything pictured in today’s post was on this one oak — two very nearby red oaks, both looking like they were planted this year or last, were devoid of this diversity. They only had one type of gall on them.
How many gall-makers are seen here? Three, four?
Is this, for instance, one or two gall species at work?
Oops, here’s another.
And another.

Getting very little traction on iNaturalist with identification for these things. There are too many galls and not enough people interested in them.

And yet, consider the fascinating relationships of insect (wasp, mite) and plant. (And not just insects!) The plant forms these structures, which are unlike anything else they produce in the normal course of events, in response to the animal. The animal uses the plant for shelter and food, and some other animals may use the first animal, parasitizing the egg or larva inside the gall. And around and around it goes.

Raptor Wednesday

Aren’t you glad you’re not an inch tall, or, conversely, that these things aren’t forty feet tall?
This young Red-tailed hawk, the same bird seen nearly an hour earlier, flew into a corner of Green-Wood that is sometimes patrolled by a male American Kestrel. The falcon was there! He set up a hue and cry, dive-bombing the buteo, but to no avail. The big hawk flew from tree to tree before descending down to the ground. Jump-flying around, trying to capture something. Didn’t seem to catch whatever it was, however.
When it took to a tree again, the Blue Jays arrived. The big bird ambled away to a couple of other perches before settling here:

Didelphis virginiana

How sad to run across an opossum stiff with death and cold.
This one was the size of a very large cat. I hope he or she was a great fount of progeny.
The tail is finely haired.
Magnificent and remarkable creatures with bad press. They snarl when cornered, they’re vicious in a cage. But then, aren’t we?
Our only marsupial. As they’re nocturnal, I’ve only seen them a few times here in Brooklyn. Long ago in Prospect; once here in Green-Wood; and once a few blocks away on a residential street.
Did you know they hoover up ticks like there’s no tomorrow? They’re also immune to rabies.
***

Come on, Iowa, you can do it!

More Bits, More Pieces


Eumenes
wasp mud nest pots.
There were a dozen of these mantid egg cases in this patch of Rhus aromatica, the same spot I found the mud nests in.
If there were sheep about, I say this was a bit of wool with a medium-sized marble in it. I am, however, hoping it’s some insect I know nothing about making it through the winter. It was too high up in a tree to touch. Those are pine needles stuck to it.
Bird skull.
***

Good luck to Great Britain as it leaves the EU and the bandits sharpen their knives, the very day the craven cowards of the GOP join the fascists of the GOP to confirm that Trump can attempt to steal the 2020 election any way he can.

Bits and Pieces

Jawbones. On iNaturalist, someone thinks these are Brown Rat. The coin is an inch in diameter.
Same coin, different jaw. I pulled out the incisor: rodent teeth keep growing.
6mm long claws extracted from a pellet. Owls swallow everything. I’ve seen our local American Kestrels choked down the entire legs of their bird prey, talons last. You don’t want these sharps heading though the cloaca, evidently (I certainly wouldn’t), so up them come in packets of undigestible parts.

Raptor Wednesday

Squirrels and Blue Jays were in an uproar about this young Red-tailed Hawk.
And when this mature Cooper’s Hawk landed briefly on the other side of the same tree, the mammal-avian alarms went haywire. Since I’d used a tree as a blind to get closer for the shots of the Red-tail, I couldn’t see what it was up to while this big Accipiter perched. The Coop certainly saw the Red-tail when it came around the tree. As I’ve noted before, I almost always see young Cooper’s hawks, so this was a lovely look at the red eyes and orangy-chest of a mature bird.
The Red-tail was still there when I wandered away.
Less than an hour later, I ran into this young Red-tail again, as did the police-like Blue Jays, but this is another story…

Catalpa

Hey, wait a minuted! It turns out I’d never seen a catalpa seed before.
The pods, sure, all the time, but always already empty.
Both the Northern and Southern catalpas are found in our region. They also hybridize. And there are a number of other species in the Catalpa genus that have gotten around as ornamentals.


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