These Yucca plants are now in bloom. I thought of them as desert plants but they are doing well here in gardening Zone 6. My Tompkins Sq. Park Tree Identification Project is shifting focus to the gardens. Of course keeping track of everything that is blooming here is beyond me. But I shoot whatever catches my interest, on a near daily basis. Organizing the upwards of 300 photos I may take on a visit is an endless time suck.
These freaky looking central stalks grow out of the spiky perennial fronds. This shot is from a week ago.
I’m pretty sure of my identification of this as a Monarch Butterfly. In the Don Roberts garden in Tompkins Square Park. These flowers seem to be popular with a wide range of insects.
Monarchs were a pretty common butterfly when I was a kid, but this might be the first one I’ve spotted in NYC in several years.
Update, 6 8 13:
Same location, several more Monarchs.
I was really happy to see some honeybees over the past couple of days. Prior to this I had only seen a few bumblebees out pollinating the flowers in Tompkins Square Park. And I’ve been keeping a pretty close watch on the trees and plants there this Spring. I saw few pollinating insects on this year’s apple, pear and cherry blossoms. Nationwide it is reported that one third of all hives died off over this past Winter. To my mind NYC is probably a sanctuary against the bee die-off, as it is not likely that local bees are fed high-fructose corn syrup, and I think that the neonicotinoid pesticides (banned in Europe) are mostly used on crops.
This is a hawthorn tree at the southeast entrance to the park. Last year it attracted numerous Red Admiral butterflies.
I knew that the National Wether Service was predicting a thunderstorm, but I wanted to get out for a bit to my usual haunts, Tompkins Square Park. The light was lovely, so I opted to get soaked (I knew my camera would be safe in its bag when the rain came) and get some shots as the storm approached. I headed down B below the park before it actually started raining, announced by a great clap of thunder. I looked west on 5th Street and saw a great wall of rain approaching. I warned someone carrying bags of groceries, that the rain was half a block away. I don’t think he believed me until the rain hit him a few seconds later. I made it home wringing wet, it felt great.
The leaning elm in the center of the park has been braced by an additional cable. It should be safe.
Another illustration for my tree map. The Hornbeam tree on the east side of the park was one of the first trees in the park that caught my attention at the start of this project. What struck me is the inflorescence, the green leafy flowery thing on the right in the illustration. It stays with the leaves throughout the entire season. I don’t yet know its function.
Update: I’m currently thinking that the cable is not frayed. It is an illusion from the restricted point of view. See below.
I’ve called 311 about this. What do you think. Does this cable look damaged to you. The elm tree next to the Krishna Elm has been drastically leaning for a long while. At one point two cables attached the two trees, supporting the leaning one on the east. Right now there is only one cable, and it looks frayed to me. The tree if it fell could possibly injure people sitting on the benches.
Taking a close look at a photo I took of the other side of the cable, the side attached to the Krishna Tree, I’m thinking that the cable is not frayed. I think what looks like fraying in the other photo is actually wire lashing on the cable. You can see it in this photo. The cable must be threaded through the eye, bent back and lashed back to itself with this wire. It’s the end of the lashing that looks like fraying in the first photo. But it still seems precarious to only have one cable supporting the great weight of this tree leaning over often occupied benches.
Another leafy icon for my map. Drawn from the just emerged leaves of the Dawn Redwood dedicated to Steve Jobs in Tompkins Square Park’s central lawn. tsptip.org/ This is mostly rendered in Inkscape, a vector based drawing program similar to Illustrator. It’s labor saving for drawings like this in that I can create one element of it and duplicate and warp it into shape, as opposed to drawing them over and over again. Also you can do things like change the colors globally or individually. It’s a very deep program, you could spend years learning all that it can do. And it is free.