Jennifer Forman Orth, an invasive plant ecologist with the UMass-Boston biology department, has a leaf to pick with Mitt Romney and Howie Carr over their snickering about proposed funding for a program to do something about winter moths:
You know how you can tell Mitt Romney no longer spends much time in Massachusetts? He doesn't seem to notice how badly defoliated our trees are.
Spatch reports that birds of the falcony ilk buzzed him last week by Fort Point Channel:
... Two of 'em there were, swooping out over the water. One swooped so close to me that I could hear the fwoosh as it went by. ...
Janet gets close enough to ask.
Bruce wonders why a window washer wound up in jail for defending himself against an attacking seagull:
... Oh, sweet smoking Jesus, people! It was a goddamn SEAGULL! What the hell, you slap a pair of wings on a friggin' rat, and suddenly it's an endangered species or something???
What's next, prosecuting the Orkin man? ...
Mass. Marrier used to enjoy seeing foxes and pheasants as he walked along the Centre Street side of the Arboretum. Then the state put a pedestrian path through the area. No more foxes.
The Urban Pantheist describes and photographs this delightful looking weed - which also happens to be poisonous.
Jennifer Garrett wonders what's up with the birds singing just before midnight:
Is this yet another sign of the apocalypse? Are they rabid?
Probably mockingbirds - warming up for their 3 a.m. show.
The other day the kidlet and I were out for a walk. We'd just turned the corner when she screamed that scream that can only mean one thing: She's just seen some hideous insect that she just knows is about to sting her repeatedly or suck all her blood or something. Or an ant. In any case there it was, up on a picket fence: A mosquito the size of a dinner plate (OK, more like the size of half-dollar, but you get the idea). I assured her it was a male, and they don't bite people; they only eat fruit. She didn't buy it for a second; when we came back, she made me check the fence first to make sure it was gone.
To get a drink at the Oasis in Dedham! This fine bird spent at least two hours in the bar's parking lot on Washington Street this afternoon; patrons speculate it came from a nearby cemetery. Unlike its evil, man-eating cousins up in Chestnut Hill, this turkey peacefully ignored people, preferring instead to groom itself and occasionally peck at the ground.
God, I hate stinging nettles, because they are stealthily taking over our backyard and because, well, they sting like the dickens. Die, stinging netttles, die! Anyway, the Urban Pantheist discusses this backyard pestilence:
... Stinging nettles is an aptly named herb, well-armed with thousands of tiny hypodermic syringes full of poison. Brush up against it, and several of these needles deploy their payload into your skin, resulting in tiny itchy tingly painful welts. ...
Amazingly, some lunatics actually try to eat the stuff, he reports.
David Weinberger takes us on a photo tour of the specimen room at Harvard's entomology department:
... One of the thousand cabinets housing Harvard's 7+ million specimens. About half are beetles. ...
Go for the pictures, but stay for his explanation of how this all ties together to help explain "knowledge."
The Urban Pantheist discusses garlic mustard, an edible - and non-native - weed that has started taking over our local woodlands:
... I have noticed that it has appeared in Olmsted Park and the Riverway within the past two or three years, and it is spreading fast. ...
Boston Gal'd been thinking there were too many chirping, warbling birds crowding her backyard birdfeeder. A neighborhood sparrow hawk had the same thought today. Now: No more crowding.
With photos showing why they call sparrow hawks sparrow hawks, in case you have a tender tumm.
In his series on Boston wildlife, the Urban Pantheist discusses (and offers up larger-than-life photos of) the eastern subterranean termite, which he calls "a relatively fragile creature." He adds he doesn't buy those Terminix commercials, at least not for New England:
... I have only found termites in Boston underneath damp rotten logs. ...
Neil McCabe wings it with photographs of one of the wild turkeys of North Cambridge - which apparently made it across Mass. Ave. without ruffling a feather:
... Here a turkey passes the evening in the parking lot and lawn of St. John the Evangelist Church.
Abby doesn't chicken out when she sees a turkey on Green Street in Jamaica Plain - she takes its photo.
OK, so they're not (yet) clawing at the backs of terrorized residents, like those fowl beasts over in Brookline (oh, wait, scratch that - they've all been eaten by the coyotes), but wild turkeys are flocking to North Cambridge and Somerville:
A turkey just walked down the side walk on Mass Ave. in front of my office. ...
Comments to that post also note their presence in Watertown, Forest Hills and Forsyth Street at Northeastern: