Sunday, June 28, 2015

Rainy Days

     Yesterday was a very rainy day, but I decided to get out before the heavy rains started. Prospect Park (and most places outdoors) are awesome to visit on grey days that threaten with rain because the crowds are few, the park is quiet, and with the lush green all around you, impending rain make the place feel all the more like a wild jungle in New York City.
     While nothing out of the ordinary was seen, the quiet of the park was most rewarding and a plus for getting out just before a heavy rain began to fall-- just in time for the Mets game I attended yesterday evening!
     Take advantage of the grey days, they are peaceful and a nice way to escape for a little while:
If you walk through the Ravine in Prospect Park you can ignore TLC and actually go chasing waterfalls. If you start from the upper pool at Fallkill Falls, then follow the watercourse down to the Neathermead Arches, you'll see a few smaller waterfalls, including this one- beyond the arches, still following the path of water, there is another popular waterfall that takes you to the boathouse pond, Lullwater, and lake.
Found this active paper wasp nest along the Ravine. It actually is made of paper- these wasps chew up plant matter and wood, mix it with some of their spit, and BA-BAM-- a paper nest! On the leaf to the lower right, you can see some bumps- those could be some galls- caused by other wasp species, insects, mites, and sometimes different bacteria or viruses. If caused by an insect, this is where their larvae can develop till they become adults.
A male cardinal brought some nice color to a rainy day. Lots of cardinals out with their fledged chicks, who still follow the parents around and still beg to be fed. Lots of whining young cardinals along the ravine too!
I'd like to think this little honeybee was seeking shelter before the rain under the broad, strong milkweed leaf.
My favorite train side plant, Jewelweed. I love their little orange flowers! I also love that during the heat of the day, they wilt, only to bounce back to normal at night. I also like that when extra saturated, they get rid of extra water and form little  waterbeds at every leaf blade. I also like that the leaves can be used as a natural anti-itch remedy for poison ivy relief. I also LOVE their seedpods- they are also called touch-me-nots, touch their seed pods and the seeds JUMP out Closer examination will reveal a spring-like structure that when triggered by touch, like a curious me, or an animal walking by, cause the seeds to pop out-- a great way to disperse your next generation!
I don't know what these are, but they sure are pretty, eden post-boom.
A great egret perched above the Lullwater, duckweed on its face reveals someone has been fishing.