Journal archives for August 2016

August 17, 2016

Wildlife and the swimming pool

Each summer for a little more than two months, I go every day to run laps for an hour in the city pool at the end of my street in Manhattan. The pool is almost-olympic-sized, close to the East River, and surrounded by trees. We are not allowed to take electronics onto the pool deck, otherwise I would record more insect observations from there.

A lot of insects fall into the pool or are knocked into the pool, and most of them drown. But I discovered accidentally that some of the larger-bodied insects can recover and "come back to life" if they are fished out of the pool and left in the sun to dry out for 10 or 15 minutes.

Until today, my only iNaturalist record from the pool water was a male horntail, which I carried home in my pool shoe, so I could photograph it. Today there was a large, mostly black wasp in the pool with iridescent blue-black wings (kindly ID'ed a few hours later by @mdwarriner as the Blue-winged Wasp). I brought the wasp home in a drink container so I could take some (not very good) photos of it before releasing it.

I try to rescue all the wildlife that I find in the pool.

Here is a casual list of animals that I have found in that pool over the last 10 years:

Blue-winged Wasp - three times this summer
Chinese mantis - once, about 7 years ago
Horntail - once, this summer
Honey bees
Green June beetle - once, this summer
Small yellowish, dappled scarab-type beetles which fall from the London Plane trees [Oriental Beetles]
Lady beetles
Katydid - twice, once this summer
Dragonfly - once
Damsel fly - once
Moth caterpillars, which fall in from the London Plane trees
Numerous small flies -- they don't survive
Large cockroach - once

And last but not least:

A juvenile rat -- once

Dragonflies fly low over the pool very often, but most of them don't touch the surface and don't drown.

Posted on August 17, 2016 13:32 by susanhewitt susanhewitt | 2 observations | 9 comments | Leave a comment