Journal archives for May 2022

May 07, 2022

Back to NYC for Spring and part of the City Nature Challenge 2022

So... we got back to NYC very late on Saturday April 30th. I was expecting NYC to be noticeably more green after four weeks away in the tropics (the West Indies), and it does look a lot more like mid to late spring now than it did before we left NYC on April 2nd. Apparently the weather here in NYC was mostly cold and dry during the four weeks we were gone.

The two days after I got back, Sunday May 1st and Monday May 2nd, were the last two days of the global City Nature Challenge (CNC). I had decided to do my part by going iNatting the Freshwater Wetlands area of Randall's Island on the Sunday, and inatting in John Jay Park and Carl Schurz Park on the Monday. Steven Bodzin came with me on the Sunday outing. It was very nice, warm and sunny, although I don't think I found anything new, and there were not a lot of insects out yet.

Monday was on and off rain, mostly drizzle, so not great for iNatting, but not terrible. However, my foot was hurting a fair bit, so I could not walk all around in Carl Schurz Park, but I covered two areas.

I did OK in terms of getting a decent number of observations for CNC, and adding quite a few species to the Personal Bioblitz 2022 project.

On May 5th I went to the 106th Street area of Central Park with my old friend Pat Redding. It was nice to see her and the weather that day was also sunny and warm.

At home while I was away I entirely lost "my" usual flock of twenty Mourning Doves, but gradually they are coming back to the bird feeder, and now I have six of them.

The best organism I have found since I have been back is the spectacular "Tongues of Fire" rust fungus, Gymnosporangium clavariiforme, which I found lost of on a garden Juniper on my block of 77th Street on May 4th. My image of that species was featured on the front page of the New York Mycological Society email newsletter for Saturday May 7th.

Posted on May 07, 2022 05:07 PM by susanhewitt susanhewitt | 2 comments | Leave a comment

May 20, 2022

Sutton Place Parks

This afternoon I had to be on 1st at 56th, so afterwards I walked across to Sutton Place so I could visit the little parks there. There are five of them, pocket parks, but I only visited three of those.

There were quite a lot of weeds, most of them not very surprising.

But the best thing I found was Shining Crane's-Bill (Geranium lucidum) which is a pretty small geranium, a species I have never seen before anywhere.

There was also a mass of green aphids on the new growth of a Solidago species. I am not sure about the ID of the aphids.

Posted on May 20, 2022 10:28 PM by susanhewitt susanhewitt | 9 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 30, 2022

Conservatory Garden in Central Park, a renovation

I tried to visit the Conservatory Garden today, and I was really dismayed to see that the English Garden (the southern one, which is normally full of flowers by now) is completely fenced off, and currently the French Garden has nothing at all planted in its large beds, whereas normally they would already have planted the young Korean Chrysanthemums, plus all the decorative flowering items which usually line either side of the four entranceways.

In the English Garden they have ripped out everything underfoot -- all of the paths and steps -- and will completely re-do those. Personally I thought they had been fine, and did not need to be replaced.

I asked, and the optimistic guess is that they will be finished sometime during this fall. But I suspect the work may not be completed until the spring of 2023.

In the meantime I will have no access to see all the butterflies and flower flies and so many other great flying and non-flying insects that I am used to seeing in the English Garden in summer, and I will have nowhere to go to see all of the fabulous flying insects in search of nectar and pollen in October and November, when they all usually flock to the flowers of the late-blossoming Korean Chrysanthemums in the French Garden. I will also probably miss seeing the several uncommon and interesting weed species that seem to show up each year in the French Garden.

I know that @steven-cyclist and @zitserm will find this all to be bad news. @karenholmberg will also be disappointed that I can't soon show her what I can normally find there.

Currently you can still walk the path that loops around the outside of all three gardens, but I suppose they may close that too at some point.

Posted on May 30, 2022 09:48 PM by susanhewitt susanhewitt | 8 comments | Leave a comment