Posts Tagged 'plants'

Blooming Now

Red maple.
Wych elm.
Star magnolia.
Henbit deadnettle. (These are tiny, you’ll need to get down on your knees to see the detail.)

February Blooms



Whoa! Make sure the five foot long branches of poison ivy coming off the vine twirled up this old pine don’t get ya!
This is one of the best examples of the vine form of Toxicodendron radicans I’ve ever seen. It’s wild and wooly and has a hell of a wingspan. It would be easy to assume that these are just sprouts from the tree, but no sir, they ain’t.

Viny Attachments

Red tendrils are hairy, so scary.
Well, perhaps not as memorable as “leaves of three, leave it be” as a mnemonic for identifying poison ivy, but there you go. The climbing form of Toxicodendron radicans loves a good tree.

The USDA’s animal-killing division, named Wildlife Services in a touch of the Orwellian, wants to know what to do about all the supposedly destructive birds in New York State. They’ve had complaints about half the species found here. Their options for “bird damage management” range from doing nothing to killing everything. Here’s the draft report. Unfortunately, the comment period is already closed. Gives a good sense of the bureaucratic mindset, though.

Obviously, we’ve created some problems by introducing species that have become invasive. Management — stewardship would be a better word — is unfortunately necessary in the Anthropocene because the wild is very much in our hands. But look at their list of offending birds… it’s deranged.

A Miscellany

Indian pipe in fruit.
A spider wasp of some kind, found dead on this car. The pearly paint really shows up in detail; I bet its production is toxic as hell. The Pompilidae family of spider wasps has some 5000 species in it…
There are a number of fungi that stain wood various colors. Denim blue may be the best known of these colors. Possibly something in the Chlorociboria genus.
An old park sign.
This pollen-smeared bee kept going into and under these clumps in the hexpavers. Searching for a place to quarry a nest?
Shadow of a skipper.
Fruit of False Solomon’s seal (Maianthemum racemosum). They’ll redden up as they get riper. Who eats these? Ruffed grouse and other birds, white-foot mice and a few other mammals. We don’t have grouse in the city. Of the leaves: deer sometimes eat them but not often, and other herbivores leave them alone. Penn State says “this lack of herbivore pressure greatly assists the continued persistence and growing abundance of false Solomon’s seal in its forest habitats.”
Room with overhanging roof…
Fall webworm around a walnut.
A silky hideaway.
Greta Thunberg on the Malizia II passing the Statue of Liberty yesterday afternoon. This is the view from the moraine.

If you build it, they will come… sometimes

But not always. This wannabe Purple Martin colony waits patiently at the Narrows Botanical Garden. The half dozen bird-shapes are decoys It’s thought that the birds like to see that someone has done some recon. The so-called “scout” phenomenon of martins who arrive weeks in advance of others at a colony is, in explained by this: veteran birds returning to their nesting colony do it faster than the year-olds. Having made it back once, they’re able to do the migration rather quicker in subsequent years. (The oldest Purple Martin on record was 13-years-old.)

I don’t know of any Purple Martins nesting in Brooklyn. It’s certainly possible to see them passing through during migration. Meanwhile, here’s an established colony on Staten Island. Here’s another at Great Swamp.Meadows, meanwhile, are a very good bet for attracting: pollinators; the creatures that eat pollinators; creatures that eat plants; creatures that lay their eggs on plants. It cascades, it becomes more complicated, it triumphs over the sterile, water-wasting, poison-filled grass lawn.This hillside in Green-Wood is looking good. More than 99% of the place is still grass, though. Gotta start convincing people that life is better than lawn, and Green-Wood that its honeybee hives are a mistake.


The serviceberries are ripe.


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