Hey you get off of my tree! The squirrels seem to employ the strategy of annoying the hawks until they go away. Hawkeye Laura Goggin got some great video of the action, below.
This past Sunday I was in Tompkins Square Park trying to finalize the tree and lamp post positions on my map of the park. The Red Admiral butterflies migrating through the city at the moment seemed attracted to the colors. I took that as a good sign.
My Tompkins Square Park Tree Identification Project is steadily progressing, though the process is slow as I alone am the project. My latest work in getting the map right is to print out the latest version and take it out to the park to verify that it makes sense from various locations. That is, sitting on benches in this lovely spring weather and drawing corrections on the map until it does makes sense.
Though I haven’t put much up on the blog, I’ve been taking terabytes of photos of the trees this Spring, gathering panoramas around the park as well as grabbing details of the buds, flowers and leaves as they appear on individual trees. Keeping track of what is flowering when, has really helped in my quest to identify all the trees in the park, but you should understand that I was coming from almost total ignorance in tree identification when I started this project last Summer. So at the moment I’m more confident of where the trees are than what species they are. I will probably have a version of the map that I’m willing to put online soon.
I’ve scouted the skies and tree limbs over Tompkins Square Park for years hoping to find a hawk. Finally, I was sitting on a bench today with Laura Goggins and her friend Ed and Ed pointer this one out, right above us. Laura, who is a font of information about the park and the neighborhood in general said she thinks this particular hawk is named the Dominatrix because of its dominating nature.
They were making a tremendous clamor until they noticed me pointing my camera at them.
The Hare Krishna Tree, an American Elm (Ulmus americana) as identified by the Parks Department.
Update: The work of identifying the major trees of Tompkins Square Park has already been tackled. Flickrite Lucky-Dog sent me a link to this map from The East Village Parks Concervancy. But I still intend to continue taking photos of the trees and create a web interface.
Inspired by the project described in the Youtube video below, where basically one guy made a species map of every tree in Central Park. I’m starting a slightly less insane web-based project for the much smaller Tompkins Square Park. I’ll take the photos, and you interested botanists out there can help with the identifications. I’ll continue doing this as long as I’m having fun and there seems to be interest for it in the communities, local and web.
A good map of the park’s pathways would be very helpful to me. I’ve found none online. I need to design how to best display all this information on the blog. But I have thoughts of a clickable map and guided walks through the paths, who knows maybe an app. For the moment I’ll be tagging the photos with TSPTIP and inputting approximate coordinates to the location map on Flickr. Various tree enthusiasts in Flickr and Reddit are helping me with the identifications. It is probably best that I leave the photos tagged TSPTIP on my Flickr stream until the tree is identified to avoid confusion here. I’ve been photo-documenting this neighborhood for years but I am a novice in tree identificatiion. Any help with terminology etc. is more than welcome.
I was intrigued by the unusual mixture of large and small leaf bundles. I guessed elm from the shape of the leaves but I knew the bark was smoother than photos I’ve seen of elms. Consensus now seems to be Hornbeam (Carpinus sp.) This tree is halfway between 7th and 8th streets on the east side of the park.