Posts Tagged 'Ithaca'


One of the Lestes genus spreadwing damselflies.Spotted in Sapsucker Woods. One of the differences between dragon and damselflies is that damselflies rest with their wings closed. Except of course for the spreadwings… I think it’s the Spotted (L. congener), but I’m not a 100% sure on that. I’d never seen it before. Spotted on the same trail, an immature female Eastern Forktail (Ischnura verticalis). There are three color forms for the mature females in this species. Hadn’t thought I’d seen this version, but checking my records, I saw that I had.


There are a bevy of actions against the poisoning of the Supreme Court by Kavanaugh this Sunday. #StopKavanaugh nation-wide.

Latte Ducks

These two ducklings, still with stubbs of wings, swam against the flow of tumbling Fall Creek to team up with their mother on another rock.This foam looks a little like the froth atop latte or one of those other coffee products.

Good segue to this, then? Caffeine, like other drugs we take, passes through us and enters both fresh and ocean water via sewer systems. There’s a pretty limited understanding of all what all these uppers and downers and other chemicals are doing to other lifeforms, but bets on it not being good?

Birds in the Rain

Yes, the bird has caught a little fish here, one of several seen captured and swallowed with dispatch.This Great Blue Heron flew some thousand feet across Beebe Lake in Ithaca to chase away another Great Blue that had just flown in. I would have thought there was room enough for two.Baby flycatchers?!This Cedar Waxwing posing haiku-ready made sorties out over the lake for insects.


“Ithaca is Gorges” is awfully good branding. I thought the gorges that sliced away through shales and sandstones at the northern and southern edges of Cornell were gorgeous.Fall Creek in the rain during the morning. Most of this one is seen from above, on the Cayuga Trail. Only disconcerting thing: all the anti-suicide netting on the bridges.
Cascadilla Gorge in the late afternoon, after the sun had come out. We descended to town from the hill citadel of the university, right alongside the tumbling water.

Serpent Saturday

The highly variable Garter Snake, Thamnophis sirtalis. Twelve sub-species are listed at EOP; my venerable 2nd ed of Peterson’s lists six, with three color variations for the Eastern (Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis).

A co-worker from back in the day is making a sign-a-day to encourage voting. Give her site a visit.

I wish I was seeing more such engagement by artists and designers. We need to popular-front the hell out of this situation.

Least Bittern III

The first time I saw a Least Bittern was on Padre Island, Texas. It was a brief glimpse, the bird jumping from one clump of reeds to another. The second time was strange: the bird was high up in a tree in Prospect Park.Third time is a charm of a cliche, but what a sighting! Note those long toes. The bird, a juvenile (no dark crown), stilt-walked above the water by grabbing nearby foliage. They don’t have to wade like other herons.This was up at Montezuma NWR, where a fellow bird-dog called me back twice to make sure I spotted the bird, since it kept scooting back into the reeds.The binomial Ixobrychus exilis can be broken down nicely: the genus name might be translated as “reed boomer” and exilis simply means small. A Green Heron, a larger bird than the Least, seen a few minutes earlier nearby.

In New York? Today is the last weekday you can register to vote for the vital primaries held on September 13th.

A Patch of Mayapples

I’ve never seen so many Podophyllum peltatum fruits. This patch was up in the Finger Lakes region this past weekend.They aren’t quite ripe. When they are, they should smell “fruity” and weigh down the plants to the ground, according to Carol Gracie’s Spring Wildflowers of the Northeast. She also notes that an Asian Podophyllum species is harvested for cancer-fighting drugs — but not sustainably.Who eats this golfball-sized fruit? Turtles and deer. Whenever I see a wild fruit like this, I wonder if there were once other creatures who ate it, too.


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