Posts Tagged 'Shawangunk'

Location (3)

Still at Shawangunk. There’s one of those perma-porta-potties, thick with Drain Flies, and an observation gazebo. Mud-daubers and paper wasps appreciate the dry, sheltered spot.

Seemed like everywhere you looked up there were old or current Polistes nests.
There are… a number species of paper wasps in the Polistes genus in the northeast; 11 by one count, 21 by another, I assume it’s a matter of the range of the “northeast”. Anyway, this maybe P. fuscatus, the Northern or Dark Paper Wasp. Says Bugguide.net: “the separation of P. fuscatus from related species remains the greatest taxonomic problem of the northeastern Vespidae fauna.” Interestingly, the very yellow and black European Paper Wasp (P. dominula), which is all over NYC, is also in this genus.

Started seeing these dark ones in late August in Brooklyn, too. After a steady diet of P. dominula all summer, they’re a welcome sight.
Speaking of diet, this one has some food. I gathered there was a nest down there.

So many wasps! There was a time I would have avoided them all. Yikes! But they’re just going about their business, and I’m just quietly photographing them, and nobody is bothered.

Location (2)

The Shawangunk Grasslands NWR, that is. This Ulster Co. area is best known for its winter raptor scene, but the grasslands are at their peak in late summer.
A distant Red-tail and a closer Cooper’s Hawk were the only raptors in sight. But the invertebrate situation was fine indeed. Yesterday, we had some grasshoppers on display and there will be more of that below, but in the meantime, a Striped Blister Beetle.
Short-winged Meadow Cricket, missing a leg.
Peck’s Skipper.
Arcigera Flower Moth.
Goldenrod Soldier Beetle.
Oh, just a little cannibalism.
It happens. Possibly Red-legged Grasshoppers (Melanoplus femurrubrum). Female eating a male. And really, who could blame her?
***

I don’t use Amazon. Haven’t for many years now. It’s a monstrous corporation. And it’s not hard to avoid it, really. Here’s an exploration of the terrible cost of the fetish of next-day delivery.

Location (1)

Here’s a fine essay on paying attention, listening, noticing, watching, the natural world. A cicada sounds as I type this. Two mornings in a row the only sound around 5 a.m. has been a cricket outside. The boom of bombastic car stereos, the revving of little men’s big engines, and tear and crash of garbage trucks will soon enough burst in, but for a moment, the world is bigger than this block by a long, long way.
About two hours from here by infernal combustion, Shawangunk Grasslands NWR was twitching with grasshoppers. Dozens fired away from the short grass of the path before us. There were even many on the parking lot concrete, the remains of the old airport there.
The big Carolina Grasshopper (Dissosteira carolina) is a good concrete-mimic, until it leaps and its butterfly-like wings spread.
Short-winged Green (Dichromorpha viridis).
A genus Melanoplus spur-throated grasshopper of some kind. Only saw one of these.
Saw a lot of these. Also Melanoplus genus, possible Red-legged.

By the way, the grasshopped pictured at the top is the Differential (Melanoplus differentialis), the only hopper I see here in Brooklyn. (This picture is from the Bronx.)

Paging Aesop!


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