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Below are the 19 most recent journal entries recorded in Inwood Hill Park's LiveJournal:

Saturday, November 11th, 2006
1:21 pm
Dragonflies, and late flowers
When cattitude and I went for a walk this morning, we were looking at ducks, and for violets. We saw both: ducks on the rocks, plenty of geese, and violets along the far edge of the soccer field, at the base of a hill most of whose trees have gone to orange, or brown, or dropped their leaves entirely.

We were also looking for late jewelweed, not quite expecting any, and saw two or three flowers.

What we weren't expecting was dragonflies. Cattitude said "Is that a dragonfly?" and pointed. A vague motion in the air resolved into a dragonfly. And two more. And we stood and watched, three, four, a dozen or more, floating and darting over the lawn, and against the clear blue sky. We watched until Cattitude got cold, and then wandered back towards home.

Dragonflies and jewelweed aren't November; they're high summer. The jewelweed has hung on because we haven't had a frost yet; the dragonflies are completely out of context.

A bit of late chicory, and some fine dandelions and clover, near the bridges that lead to the nature center, were pleasant but unsurprising. Most of the goldenrod has gone to seed, huge cream-colored puffs along the stems, but there's some still yellow, and some visibly going to seed, a blend of yellow and cream, the cream with fuzzier edges.

[crossposting from redbird]

Current Mood: pleased
Sunday, September 10th, 2006
10:22 pm
We've been seeing little tiny crabs (a centimeter or less across) lurking in holes, or scuttling short distances away from them, on the salt marsh at the north end of the park for the last few years. They're only visible at low tide: mud-colored bodies, with bits of yellow on their claws.

Rarely and more recently, we'd seen larger crab shells, on the mud or, as today, on the grass.

This afternoon, with the tide partway out, we saw two larger crabs in the water, swimming and crawling (depending on depth and whether there were rocks in the way). I'd guess the larger was two or three inches across (5-8 cm, for my metric friends), the larger about two-thirds that size. One was moving toward the shore, the other away, parallel to the first; cattitude suggested that they didn't like each other, an easy guess because any two random crabs tend not to like each other.

[cross-posting to my personal journal]
Thursday, June 29th, 2006
5:34 pm
Reminder/invitation: berry-picking!

WHO: You!

WHEN: July 4th! sinboy and I both have the day off work, so we can go at whatever time works best for everyone else. If you'd like to join us, tell us when you'd prefer to go. I want to avoid the hottest parts of the day, so late morning and mid-afternoon are the most likely times.

WHERE: Inwood Hill Park's secret trove of wineberry bushes. We'll meet at the Crab Nebula (a.k.a. our place) and then head over to the park.

WHAT: Wear clothing that completely covers your legs to protect from poison ivy and brambles, and a hat and lots of sunscreen to ward off the July sun. Bring bottled water, and hard plastic containers for the berries. Depending on the time we pick, we may suggest bringing picnic lunch as well.

WHY: Because berries are tasty!

Care to join us?

Current Mood: bouncy
Monday, June 19th, 2006
6:08 pm
"A berry bonanza!"
Today sinboy and I went wineberry-scouting in Inwood Hill Park. Most of the berries aren't ripe yet, though we did get a few; so we intend to go back on July 4th. Anyone want to join us? We made note of all the good patches, so we can head right to them when we return. We figure we'll go in the afternoon, say around 4 or 5, since sinboy is likely to be working that day; afterwards we can head over to the 207th Street bridge and see whether we can see fireworks from there.

Current Mood: hot
Sunday, December 4th, 2005
11:34 pm
"Now there's nothing unexpected about the water running out"
Tide table CGI! For the Inwood Hill Park marsh, go to "Hudson River" and select "Spuyten Duyvil Creek ent.". Then scroll to the bottom and tell it how many days you want to calculate for. Very useful if you want to catch the high or low tides for photography, or just want to have a picnic looking at water rather than mud.

Current Mood: helpful
Friday, October 28th, 2005
9:34 pm
"Bird. Bird. Bird."
Tonight we saw a strange bird on a rock near the marsh. sinboy said it looked a bit like a kiwi. It was about 18" standing up, and had a longish sharp beak, a round head, and almost no neck; the feathers seemed greyish and fairly short. When it saw us, it flew off very low over the water. Its wingspan was maybe three feet. I would say it looked owlish except the beak seemed too long. It was dark, though, so hard to say. Any ideas what it could be?

Current Mood: curious
Thursday, September 1st, 2005
10:44 pm
On our way through Inwood Hill Park this morning, cattitude and I saw a bald eagle, lazily riding the thermals. Probably over the ridge between the Hudson River and the baseball fields around Isham Street when Cattitude first spotted him, he drifted slowly eastward, across Seaman Avenue. Just floating on the morning thermals.

I wasn't exactly surprised--I'd seen this bird, or one of its nestmates, hopping and flying short distances around the hacking box a couple of weeks ago--but I was delighted.

[cross-posted to inwood

Current Mood: glad
Tuesday, June 7th, 2005
1:33 pm
Walking home today, I saw two women sitting at a table, just inside the Isham Street park entrance, and wearing nametags identifying them as "Park Greeters."

I walked over and asked if the eagle reintroduction project is continuing. Yes, it is, and some kind of presentation is planned on June 20th.
Saturday, June 4th, 2005
7:16 pm
Rock 1, 4-wheel drive 0
Someone forgot that even with a fancy 4WD vehicle, the brakes only work if you use them. 218th Street and Indian Road, this afternoon: http://www.livejournal.com/users/cattitude/35591.html?style=mine#cutid1
Saturday, May 7th, 2005
12:47 pm
You encounter a pack of wild dogs!
So, is it just me, or has anyone else seen what looks like a pack of wild dogs living in Inwood Hill Park near the salt marsh?
Sunday, April 17th, 2005
12:45 pm
Falconer suspended
Thomas Cullen, the falconer in charge of the program of reintroducing bald eagles to New York City and specifically Inwood Hill Park, has been suspended without pay while the Parks Department investigates a federal indictment for smuggling rare birds. He's also been accused of carelessness in the deaths of two bald eagles, including one of our introduced Wisconsin eagle chicks, and has an old misdemeanor conviction for international bird smuggling.

Overall, the reintroduction has a good record: 10 of the 12 eagle chicks raised in Inwood Hill Park have survived, and are somewhere out there in eastern North America. (It'll be another year or two before they're old enough to breed--then we'll see if any come back to nest where they fledged.) That's aside from the delight of watching young bald eagles circle overhead, or fly at each other.

This year's eaglets should be getting here soon, but the article doesn't say anything about how, or whether, Cullen's suspension will affect that.
Saturday, January 31st, 2004
9:57 pm
Here are some fine photos of Inwood Hill Park.
Wednesday, December 17th, 2003
4:29 pm
I just went into the park, and there are canvasback ducks on the inlet. Two males definitely, and one bird that was either a female canvasback or a mallard--it's raining and near sunset, and I wasn't sure. We generally get more males than females wintering over, and the males arrive first.

This may just be a stop on their migration, but they're the first of the season, a sign of winter we usually see before it snows, not after two noticeable snowfalls.

Current Mood: damp
Tuesday, September 9th, 2003
12:09 pm
Waterbirds and late wildflowers
I took a nice stroll in the park this morning. On the way in, we saw a great blue heron, just standing on the shore near the Columbia boathouse and waiting for the tide to go out. On the way back, he was standing in a slightly different spot, and there were heron footprints on the newly exposed mud.

That bit where the tide had retreated also had a flock of peeps--I stopped counting at 16--darting around, stabbing at the mud, investigating the wet bits, the usual peep activities.

We saw a young cormorant land, and as we walked toward it, spotted a second. They stood there in the shallow water, and then spread their wings to dry in the sunlight. They were still there when we came back around. (We think "young" because their fronts were light-colored.)

A night heron (too far away to tell what kind) was perched on the upright in the middle of the inlet.

Also the usual mallards, swan, and herring gulls.

The air is feeling autumnal, and the jewelweed is almost done, but there were lots of bright blue dayflowers, and a wonderful blue sky.

Current Mood: glad
Tuesday, August 19th, 2003
2:23 pm
Three eagles circling over the ridge yesterday morning. We watched a nice long time.

One this afternoon, flying around enough that we lost track of her (?) a couple of times. Bald eagles are big enough that when she was flying low over the hills, I could see her shadow moving across the trees.
Tuesday, August 12th, 2003
3:06 pm
eagle, mallow, crabs
I haven't done much lately but take my usual short routes from home through park to subway. Today we did a little more walking, though still only in the low areas.

Several mallow plants are blooming, bright pink, at the edge of the salt marsh. It's a good healthy stand, and I hope they spread, but I've been hoping that for years: there never seems to be mallow in more than one place, though it's not always the same place.

There's a fine colony of crabs in the marshgrass at the base of the footbridge to the small peninsula where the ecology center is; there've been crabs on the other side of the bridge for years, but these are spending a lot more time above ground. They have yellow-and-dark-brown shells.

Then, on the peninsula, we saw one of this year's eagles soaring over the hill. (At least two have fledged--I haven't gotten a detailed update--and one was chasing, and being chased by, a hawk a week or two ago.) This time it was soaring alone, a large dark shape on the sky.
Tuesday, July 29th, 2003
2:00 pm
Memo to self: do not use this community for weird testing stuff, it has other real members. (I can always create a test community if I want.)
Tuesday, June 17th, 2003
6:02 pm
birds, current and promised
Walking along past the baseball fields at the north end of the park (next to 214th Street) this morning, we saw swallows flying over the field. They were swooping and diving, near the ground; I got a clear look at the yellow underside of a couple of them.

Also, cattitude's mother reports that her local paper reports that we're getting more eaglets soon.

Current Mood: glad
Saturday, May 31st, 2003
11:37 am
The honey locusts are in bloom, scenting the air for blocks around.

Hawthorns are competing, both with scent and a different shade of white flower. Pawlonia is almost done. Sumer is icumen in.
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