Posts Tagged 'Prospect Park'

Mammal Monday

This European or Brown Hare (Lepus europaeus) was as big as most of the dogs in Göteborg. We were surprised to see it on a backstreet one evening. I think some of the locals were, too. The species has been expanding its range in Sweden.Red Squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris).Like our Eastern Greys, which have become invasive in other parts of Europe, these are very active in parks. Eastern Cottontail back on the homefront, in Prospect Park last week.

The One, The Many

In fact, you almost always see Mourning Doves (Zenaida macroura) in pairs, year-around.A herd of Rock Doves (Columba livia), not quite as denim-y as they looked that day.

Look Out: Ranger Robin is Back!

After an unaccountable absence of several years (!), the incomparable Ranger Robin, the no-holds-barred rogue Park Ranger Action Figure, defrocked (hmm, perhaps that’s the wrong word in this context?), excommunicated, and turned out to pasture by the fools in power, is back! Probably on account of good behavior….

And damn, is she anxious.

What, she wonders, will “community” input mean for the Rose Garden in Prospect Park? This long-abandoned section of the park, best known to birders and the down-low, hasn’t seen any roses since… well, way, way back. And the three oval pools have been dry since Mayor John Lindsey’s day. “That was way before my time, bloggy boy,” says R.R. Anyway, the area is scheduled to be… improved. Uh-oh.

Ranger Robin shares my trepidation about all this, considering that, whatever the “input” is, the money will talk. As it did in the Vale of Cashmere, where a local plutocrat dictated the placement of yet another playground, and the Prospect Park Alliance literally stomped all over the po’ people’s pennies, raised to plant bird-friendly habitat, as they knelt to service his bankroll.

Stay tuned…

Quiscalus quiscula

Another day, another Common Grackle youngster being served up a moth for lunch. Note how the young bird’s plumage lacks the iridescence of the mature bird, and is a drab gray rather than blue-black, except in the tail feathers.

(That’s plastic tarp they’re hanging out on, laid down to smother phragmites.)

This, about a remarkably well-preserved hatchling in amber, is astonishing. 

Tree Chipper

We usually see Eastern Chipmunks on the ground, but this is your periodical reminder that they’re fine tree-climbers. That’s how they predate bird nests. This one is about 15 feet up. Cheeks bulging with chow.


Green Heron, evidently abandoned. A rather loose collection, looking precarious, like a Mourning Dove’s, but larger and twiggier.Red-winged Blackbird.  Lots of grassy-sedgy material in these whirling constructions.Fierce defenders of their breeding areas, RWBBs will go after anything that gets in their space, including much bigger birds like Red-tailed Hawks. As I approached this lake, one chased off a Green Heron. A friend in Illinois was recently attacked by a RWBB. The ones around these nests just yelled at me.Oops! Baltimore Oriole male leaving nest after dropping off some chow.

Anil Dash put this very well in one-two tweets yesterday:

“We don’t have effective registration of firearm sales only because gun advocates want to preserve the ability to shoot federal officials.”

“That’s not conjecture, that’s the stated reason. Hunting & self-defense are not compromised by registering firearm sales.”

Case in point, Raul Rand, while running for President last year, shared this tweet from one of his lunatic fringe allies: “Why do we have the Second Amendmenment? It’s not to shoot deer. It’s to shoot at the government when it becomes tyrannical!”

Papilio glaucus

Enjoy these images of an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail — which spent a good deal of time drinking (?) out of the surprisingly fecund cracks between the bricks in Prospect Park — as I slip out this morning from behind the Backyard and Beyond desk to get married.“Arrival is the culmination of the sequence of events, the last in the list, the terminal station, the end of the line. And the idea of arrival begets questions about the journey and how long it took. Did it take the dancer two hours to dance the ballet, or two hours plus six months of rehearsals, or two hours plus six months plus a life given over to becoming the instrument that could, over and over, draw lines and circles in the air with precision and grace? Sumi-e painters painted with famous speed, but it took decades to become someone who could manage a brush that way, who had that feel for turning leaves or water into a monochromatic image. You fall in love with someone and the story might be how you met, courted, consummated, but it might also be how before all that, time and trouble shaped both of you over the years, sanded your rough spots and wore away your vices until your scars and needs and hopes came together like halves of a broken whole.” ~ Rebecca Solnit, in The Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness 


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