Saturday, August 15, 2009

Cicadas are coming

A fully-emerged cicada on a beech tree near Cedar Hill
photo by M. Winn
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It's mid-August and the loud mechanical sounds of calling male cicadas can be heard during the day throughout Central Park. After dark you can watch the lovely, green-winged insects emerging from their brown nymph-cases at various park locations. The east end of Cedar Hill, where the path from Fifth Ave. and 79th St. intersects with the north/south path to the Model-boat Pond is one good place to search.The periphery of Turtle Pond is another. The transformation generally takes place on smooth tree trunks.

Don't forget to bring your flashlight and plenty of batteries: the amazing process can take a few hours. But take my word for it, the hours will seem like minutes if you luck upon a nymph about to emerge.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Imagine the park without flowers

Cardinal Flower - Lobelia cardinalis

Cardinal Flower

Regina Alvarez, the park's Woodlands Manager, is also the director of Horticulture. She writes:

Following is a list of plants we have been planting this month at the Lakeshore:


Pickerel weed (Pontedaria cordata)

Soft rush (Juncus effuses)

Bulrush (Scirpus validus)

Tussock sedge (Carex stricta)

Lizard tail (Saururus cernuus)

Bur-reed (Sparganium americanum)

Sweet flag (Acorus calamus)

Cattail (Typha angustifolia)

Marsh mallow (Hibiscus moscheutos)

Duck potato (Sagittaria latifolia)

Three square (Scirpus pungens)

Blueflag iris (Iris versicolor)

Wetland plants:

Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis)

Switch grass (Panicum virgatum)

Fox sedge (Carex vulpinoidea)

Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnate)

Sensitive fern (Onoclea sensibilis)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Heading south this morning

Dear readers, I'm having trouble uploading photos onto this page. But if you click on the following link --

you'll find a lovely photo of a Northern Waterthrush, taken by Lloyd Spitalnik last spring. You can find more of Lloyd's photos on his website: Http://

Ramble News Bulletin:
Among the migrating songbirds seen this morning by Alice Deutsch, Yukiko Konishi, and Ardith Bondi were a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher at the Riviera, a Blue-winged Warbler at the Oven, 2 Yellow Warblers at the Maintenance Meadow and a Northern Waterthrush at the Lower Lobe.