Friday, August 15, 2008

Brooklyn's Wild Kingdom

Prospect Park was just dripping with life today. Ripening fruits staining the paths, squadrons of chimney swifts and swallows over the Nethermead, incessant cicada song, mysterious plops of fish, amphibian, and reptile in the Lullwater, dragonflies everywhere, and duckweed besmirching the breasts of mallard ducks and the shells of turtles. Have you noticed the complete absence of all the male mallards? This time of year they go off to molt in private. Sensitive souls. This dragonfly was down for the count; it was actually on the sidewalk on Bergen St, I noticed it because a little beagle did a double-take while going up to it. Note the little dark spots at the top of each wing tip: these are the pterostigma.
This is a “well-marked skipper” of some kind. Interesting how the wings are set up, forewing and hindwing looking quite different from regular butterflies.
A dog-day cicada, source of that sound of August in the woods, dead on the Ravine path.
This is either a question mark or a comma; in this case I really needed to see the outerwings. Found it in the butterfly meadow on Lookout Hill.
This one was very obliging on the Lullwater path. There are up to 30,000 hexagonal lenses in each of those big eyes.

4 comments:

Gerry Gomez Pearlberg said...

MORE nice bugs!

Don't you love it that there are butterflies named after punctuation marks?

This is the kind of little thing that make me happy to be alive.

amarilla said...

beautiful, thanks. here's an exclamation point for the mystery butterfly.

what do you think the pterostigma are for? and what's the significance of the hexagons? do I have them in my eyes?

M.Thew said...

GGP: there's with a "M" on its outer wings, too, or so we say.

Amarilla: I've never seen your eyes, which I'm sure are sparkling wonders, but we mammals have a whole other system.

Bluebird of Friendliness said...

Fantastic photos. Thanks so much for sharing!