Sunday, September 25, 2016

New York nature

Yes, it exists.

I saw a black and white warbler in Central Park, hunting for bugs in a tree. He was unafraid and sweet to watch.

Bird books say that warblers are widespread but I only ever see them in fall. Last week there was a little yellow one in the garden.

                  Late-flowering boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum), is a marker of early autumn.

A feral cat stalked across a path, looking well fed. An orchestra of staccato chipmunks popped from the woods behind him. Outrage. If you see something say something.

It is golden rod (Solidago) season. Many people think this is ragweed. It is not ragweed.

A bird dropped from a branch in the North Woods. Not identified. I was hoping for mushrooms, after a rain shower, but the rain was not enough.

I did see a great northern flicker. They are usually very shy and take off as soon as they hear or see you. I crept, soft-footed.

A day goes by.

Then, Staten Island, with the Frenchman, via a Car2Go. In Conference House Park (where peace was not reached, in 1776) we saw a fly catcher ruby crowned kinglet (see comments), above - busily catching flying insects.

Cranberry viburnums are ripe. Strange and sour taste.

Goldenrod on the water, its roots in the sand.

Staten Island's southern tip, with tiny waves lapping the beach.

And an army of Japanese knotweed inbetween beach and woods. 

I'll return in spring.

We headed to High Rock and Park, and its woods, where we found white tailed deer.

And, to my delight, dinner. Chicken, of the woods, Laetiporous sulphureus (the underside is brilliant yellow). They were very tender - this can be a very tough mushroom.

We'll be back in a few weeks, as our night time tempertures have dipped, and October is in the offing. That means one thing: maitake, hen of the woods, Grifola frondosa

Wish me luck.

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