Soon after I first saw them, the monarch caterpillars disappeared off the milkweed in my yard. Oleander aphids (Aphis nerii) soon took their place.
Tag Archives: jamaica plain
Boston’s Dominican Parade
We watched the tail end of Boston’s Dominican Parade Sunday afternoon on Centre Street in Jamaica Plain. Loud and festive, the parading groups brought a lot of energy to the neighborhood. Dominican flags flew everywhere.
Drivers seemed to compete as to who could stack the most speakers on their car or van. At times, the loud music was nice, especially when dancers followed. But I didn’t understand why five cars in a row each blared a different song; all we heard was noise. Is it about the music or your speaker set-up?
Eastern White Pine vs Silver Maple
Two of the fastest-growing native trees in the Northeast are duking it out on Paul Gore Street in Jamaica Plain. An eastern white pine and a silver maple arch over the street, meeting in the middle.
Update on June 2, 2016: The white pine has won the battle. The silver maple was cut down today. It had dropped some large limbs during recent storms and was probably deemed a public hazard. Still, it’s sad to see an urban giant go.
Western Conifer Seed Bug
I opened my window yesterday evening and a bug came flying in. With the loud drone of its wings, I initially thought it was a wasp and backed away. But it turned out to be a western conifer seed bug (Leptoglossus occidentalis).
This bug started out in the West (hence its name), but has since spread to the eastern U.S. and even Europe. They love to find their way into homes in the spring and fall. Apparently this bug didn’t get the memo: it’s still summer!
Ward’s Pond: Robins and Robber flies
On my walk around Ward’s Pond last week, I saw a pair of hungry baby robins eagerly awaiting food from their parents.
The Pond’s boardwalk, which had been shut down for years, has been re-opened. According to the July 22 edition of Boston’s City Record, the 250-foot boardwalk was damaged by storms in 2010. Its restoration by the Boston Parks and Recreation Department, to the tune of $111,000, was funded through FEMA’s Disaster Recovery Assistance Fund and the Mayor’s Capital Plan.
Baby Mourning Doves
I hear the cooing of mourning doves almost every morning at my place in Jamaica Plain. The birds, often in a pair, can be found within a hundred feet of the house. That pair has had babies! Yesterday, we saw the two young mourning doves in a Norway maple.
Jamaica Pond: Dashers and More
We attended the Landmark Orchestra performance at Pinebank Promontory Sunday evening. Quite a number of people came out. It didn’t take long, however, for my three-year-old nephew to get restless. So, off we went searching for bugs. Turns out he is excellent at spotting dragonflies.
Giant Black Beetles at Jamaica Pond
We came across two large black beetles yesterday just off the path around Jamaica Pond. The beetles were possibly engaged in the act of mating. If so, the female beetle was much larger than the male and her orange belly was showing.
Bats at Jamaica Pond
Last week, we headed to Jamaica Pond at dusk to see if we could find any bats. Two friends with a bat detector joined us. This device picks up the echolocation calls that bats use to create an image of their surroundings in the dark.
We started detecting the bats around 9:30pm on the north side of the Pond near the old Pinebank mansion. The calls got louder as the bats approached us. We even managed to see a few, although it was too dark to take photos.
We climbed the stairs and proceeded to the baseball field. More bats!
Most of the bats called at around 30 kHz which, according to this chart, makes them big brown bats. This squares with Mass Audubon, which says that big brown bats prefer urban areas.
Thanks to Kieran and Sandy for teaching us how to detect bats.
Toadflax and Spindletrees
On our Friday walk around Jamaica Pond, we came across both a plant and a tree in flower. The plant, yellow toadfloax (Linaria vulgaris), has a spike of yellow flowers with orange centers.