Posts Tagged 'New York Botanical Garden'



Bronx River Dreams

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Knowing the new regime is Republican is enough to know that the environment will be under assault. The air we breath, the water we drink, the soil that feeds us ~ it’s all real estate to these folks. Trump made many scattershot promises and threats, and his M.O. is blustery bullshit ~ his scriptwriter calls it a negotiation tactic ~ so it’s hard to say what he’ll do exactly. His hopeful fans will be betrayed as a matter of course, of course, on the economic side. But the scum-sucking profiteers around him are known entities.

Three-fourths of the American people didn’t vote for them, so there should be some hope in that fact. (Hmm, if only there was an organization, say, a party, that could harness the American majority for national parks, climate change preparation, and….)

Lizard City

Podarcis siculaDid you know that there are lizards living in New York City? Podarcis siculaNo, I don’t mean captive ones. As their name suggests, these Italian Wall Lizards (Podarcis sicula) originated elsewhere but seem to have adopted to our climate and habitat (NYC and Naples are on the same latitude, you know). Last week, when the temp got up to 70, several were sunning themselves in the NYBG Native Garden.Podarcis siculaThese were introduced on Long Island in the late 1960s. They’ve spread out. I’ve seen them in Queens’ cemetery belt, too. The Northern Fence Lizard was also introduced, on Staten Island, but I’ve never seen one. There are, however, native lizards living in the Hudson Highlands.img_1091There are at least four lizards visible here as this bold-as-brass feral cat wanders by.

Pignut!


Carya glabra
Pignut Hickory, Carya glabra. Let this fill your screen…Carya glabraIn addition to birds, bugs (warmth-dependent), and the last of asters, we’ll be looking for similar leaf color tomorrow on our tour of Prospect Park.

Monday Meadows

meadow1Open these up.meadow2For megapixels of wonder.meadow3And speak not to me of lawns.

Cocktail Hour

Eremnophila aureonotataIs this too much John Cheever-John Updike, drunken wasps getting it on? Above are Thread-waisted Wasps (Eremnophila aureonotata) mating on that pollinator-magnet mountain mint (Pycnanthemum). Like many wasps, the adults eat nectar, but feed their larvae flesh. (OK, now we’ve entered Stephen King territory) These provision their young with caterpillars. Scolia dubiaBlue-winged, a.k.a. Digger Wasp (Scolia dubia) with their distinctive yellow dots on red-orange abdomen. These are all over the city; I walked by a swarm in the middle of a front yard in Park Slope recently. The females dig burrows in search of beetle larvae to feed their young; Green June Bugs and invasive Japanese Beetles are favored.

Snapper

Chelydra serpentinaSnapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina), the smaller of two seen this weekend.

Note the spotless shell. Compare with another snap seen two years ago in the Discovery Center pond. Much more growth on the shell of that younger specimen. The huge beastie I’ve seen in Prospect Park’s watercourse a few times over the years has also evinced a spotless shell, which I attribute to chorine in the water (yes, it’s tap water). Here’s a little one in the Prospect Pools. Here’s a tiny one I found crossing the road a few years ago in Massachusetts.
Chelydra serpentinaShell length here 6-7″ long. Love the dinosaur thorns on the tail.

Traces of the Ice Age

striationsDon’t you just love these? These grooves are found along the path in the forest of the NYBG, and time and generations of feet have worn them down slightly. They’re glacial striations, gouged out by the rubble on the bottom the ice as it scraped across the hard surface rock.

These can be found in Central Park, too. But not here in the home borough, which is all glacial deposit–made up, come to think of it, with some of that Bronx rock.


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