Friday, August 8, 2014

New York Botanical Garden

     My brother-in-law was interested in "doing something nature-y" and on his birthday (Happy Birthday, Joey!) asked to do something nature-y with me. So we did, we met up at the New York Botanical Garden, it was my first visit ever and I was happy to explore it with someone else who was okay with stopping constantly to explore.
     The garden is large and we didn't even get to see everything. It is nearby to the zoo-- like across the street, and lies along the Bronx River. Its manicured lawns are inviting, but it is also nice that you can get in that "wilderness feel" by walking the areas along the river. I was hoping to see more butterflies among the flowers, there were mostly bumble bees and even some honey bees. Eastern cottontails were spotted periodically along our walk and lots (lots!) of chipmunk. You can also spot some lovely melanistic eastern grey squirrels, there are a large population of them in the zoo, so it made sense to see some here as well. The frogs were the animal of the day, we saw lots, all green frogs, but I'm not complaining, I love seeing them. Along the ponds you can hear them calling with their little "boing" call. Not too may birds active at midday, but we still had fun seeing what we did, making pickles, petting the fluffy-looking plants, and admiring the river.
I love the water strider photo bomb on the left....
Literally frogs in every pond crevice!
A red admiral gets a snack outside the family garden.
An adult Eastern cottontail... please take important note of that tongue! (C'mon, you know it's cute... )
One of my favorite plants to find (I don't think it's part of the collection either), the Indian Pipe. This is parasitic plant that feeds off of the root systems of trees. It contains no chlorophyl, that explains the lack of green, allowing it to grow in darker parts of the forest in the shade- since it doesn't need to sunlight to photosynthesize glucose.
A melanistic squirrel, melanism is when an individual has more melanin, the pigment in skin.

The Bronx River
An orb weaver near the river
Green frog along the Garden's wetland trail.
A very young eastern cotton tail- it still has the white marking on its forehead, also quite small. This bunny taught us that, yes, indeed there are ticks here. The one on its left ear was so engirded, it was weighing its ear down lower than its right.
Little nibbles!