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Monday, April 22, 2024

Week 16 - Green-Wood Cemetery

Changes are coming fast and furious. The most profound changes are happening with the botanics. It is difficult to keep up with, but I'll do my best to summarize here. We're seeing more new migrant bird arrivals, but the biggest changes are yet to come.

The status and abundance of warblers have started to shift. In addition we saw our first Baltimore Oriole and Indigo Bunting over the past week. Pine Warblers have begun dispersing, but Yellow-rumped Warblers and Palm Warbler have dramatically increased in numbers. The first Black-and-white Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Northern Parula and Black-throated Green Warbler arrived last week, although mostly just single individuals.

Black-and-white Warbler

Northern Parula

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Palm Warbler

Other species of birds have begun showing up, some temporarily, other to look for a mate and nest in the cemetery. Green Herons, one of our smallest wading birds, regularly nests around the ponds. Hopefully they'll be successful this year. American Goldfinches, now in their brilliant spring plumage, can be heard chattering in the tops of the tallest trees. They also nest locally. The first of the House Wrens have also started arriving and looking for a nice hole in a tree in which to raise a family. Shorebirds are also on the move. A pair of Killdeer at Sylvan Water seem to be considering nesting here. A Solitary Sandpiper is also a new arrival, with Spotted Sandpiper and yellowlegs soon to join in. Belted Kingfishers have arrived just in time to take advantage of, not just goldfish fries, but also scores of young bullfrogs.

Green Heron

American Goldfinch

House Wren

Eastern Kingbird

Solitary Sandpiper

Belted Kingfisher and frog

Most of the early blooming cherries and magnolias have dropped their flowers. The kanzan cherries, however, are now in peak bloom. Crabapple and apple flowers have started opening up. Also, one of my favorites, the Eastern Redbud in now in full bloom.

Cherry petals and elm keys

Kanzan cherry


"Morse" Apple

Eastern Redbud

Some other, more subtle, flowering trees observed last week were European Ash, Flowering Dogwood, Norway Maple and Sassafras.

European Ash

Flowering Dogwood

Norway Maple


Tulips are really conspicuous now, but I'll cover that more next time. Two yellow wildflowers I noticed over the past week were Golden Alexander and Tuolumne dog's tooth violet. The Golden Alexanders are the dominant species on the wildflower meadow right now with tiny pansies beginning to emerge.

Tuolumne dog's tooth violet

Golden Alexander

Butterflies have taken flight with a large number of Painted Lady butterflies seen flitting about low to the ground. A much smaller number to Red Admirals have also been around.

Painted Lady

Finally, the Ladybug has many different symbolic associations across several cultures. They all seem to be connected to positive meanings. If true, then I guess it will continue to be a good Spring at Green-Wood Cemetery. Until next week, enjoy a walk in nature.


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