Posts Tagged 'trees'

The Color of Elections

“Freedom is in peril. Defend it will all your might.”


I assume you’re all voting tomorrow. Hopefully you’ll take friends and relatives along with you…

Black Tupelo

Blackgum, sourgum, pepperidge, bee gum: Nyssa sylvatica. These berries, ripe now, are savored by birds and mammals, in the tree or on the ground.

You may have noticed a dearth of bird photos in the midst of fall migration. My camera has died, after a lot of hard work (and getting smashed up during a fall in the dark of moonless Moneghan Island) over the last five years.

So I’m going to try something different: a GoFundMe campaign! Call me crazy, but I want to see what happens with a crowd-funding appeal to help me get an upgraded camera to improve image quality here. (This is an ad-free blog, which means I pay for it and you don’t have to put up with garbage ads about weight-loss mortgages tricks, or whatever.)

All is explained at the link. I hope you’ll take a look.

Lobster Claws

The emptied husk of a dog day cicada (Neotibicen). This is the final form of the underground nymph stage of these annual cicadas, which spend four to five years underground sucking on plant roots, counting the days. They’re “annual” because there’s a brood or cohort every year. This is split open and hollow inside now, because the adult form has emerged to make its way up into the tree for a summer of, ideally, love.

There were nine of these on the bole of this fat beech in Green-Wood a week ago. That’s a lot. Other beeches had one or a few on them. Do they like beeches in particular, or are these exuviae just easier to spot on the silvery-gray bark?

Mammal Monday

Half a dozen Greys were around or up inside this tree. (Some kind of walnut, I think; fruit looked pecan-y but leaves didn’t.) Also I wasn’t sure if the nuts raining down upon me were intentional. Poetic fallacy and all.

The tree certainly makes the animal work for it.

Update: We ran into Daniel Atha, of the NYC Ecoflora Projet. He had just come from taking a specimen of this tree! It turns out to be butternut (Juglans cinerea), which is also known as white walnut. It’s the only living one in the city he knows of. The specie sis beset by butternut canker; in some states 80% of the butternuts have been killed off.

Reading: Resistance: Reclaiming An American Tradition by Jeff Biggers. (Please don’t use Amazon. The link is to Indiebound. Or your local library.)


Beech and Sassafras running the gamut.A nice-sized Sassafras albidum. They run smaller in the city, where they’re often much newer plantings.And somewhere in the middle zone, Prunus avium, bird or sweet cherry.

Beeching Out

All the same Fagus.Galls, burls, one and the same?

Did they dig out or dig in?


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