Archives for posts with tag: ecology

Sometimes the brilliance is tiny and hidden. If we look carefully and patiently beauty may surprise us, OOp….it’s everywhere.. (Milkweed Beetle, Lady Beetle, and Leafhopper on milkweed- Rebecca Arnoldi July 2020

Ants hang out around scale insects and other insects that suck plant juices. They feed on their sweet “honeydew” secretions.  They also sometimes feed on the insects themselves, helping the plant in this way. These are on Rosa Rugosa.

Horsechestnut flowers change color after being pollinated so that they are no longer attractive to their pollinators.

Last Sunday I hiked through a hemlock forest to a sunny hilltop. I looked at one oak tree and saw many inhabitants. There was a hole with mysterious scat, many lichens, some fungi, and inside a crevice there was a group of beetles sheltered from the cold. They appeared to be dark fireflies. Similar to light producing fireflies but with no light producing organs, these beetles live through the Winter. A tree is more than a tree. We are all more than ourselves.

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Photo by Rebecca Arnoldi

In frigid temperatures, sixteen Boston Mushroom Club members went out in search of winter fungi. Larry Millman, our leader, seemed impervious to the cold: his hands bare, while my mittened hands felt frost-bitten. We looked at all sorts of amazing organisms and learned about their lives. The Japanese Fan, pictured below lives all over the world. It grows on wood and after drying up in the freezing temperatures (it’s the dryness that is the real problem) it is able to rehydrate.

Japanese Fan detached from host log (not by me!)

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I left the slowly melting snow and spent a week traveling from Charleston South Carolina to Isle of Hope Georgia on the ICW (intercoastal waterway). Boat motor running, we traveled from island to island, mile marker to mile marker and saw a multitude of birds. We think of wilderness and wildlife as separate from human creations, but there is little of that type of wilderness left. Maybe we can explore wildlife and wilderness as it intertwines with our human cultural creations. AIMG_0226 IMG_0242 IMG_0213 DSCN4031 DSCN4047 DSCN4124 DSCN3977 DSCN4111 DSCN4093s we traveled down the meandering rivers, I began to see mile markers, docks, bridges and masts IMG_0001 as resting stops for the avian ICW travelers and inhabitants.

 

I lay under the Maple tree in a  yoga stretch my breath keeping rhythm. Suddenly a titmouse landed on the privet bush beside me. It began squawking loudly. I lay still, but watched and listened as the bird continued to squawk agitatedly. Another titmouse came over to check out the scene. Then three chickadees came in. Then a  White Breasted Nuthatch,flew to the Maple, walked down it toward me, came in close…they all called, seeming to support the riled up squawker. S/he came over to the Maple, just above my head. We looked at each other; I looked into eyes big, dark, beady. Are you telling me something? Or telling your companions about me? It seemed like  the birds were actually going to perch on me. I moved and they flew off … I wondered, what this bird’s message could be. Did it think I was dead? ;a potential source of insects to eat? Did it think I was in trouble and altruistically trying to notify others to help me? The message I took was this- this old Norway Maple, a tree we have considered cutting down , is old, considered a “weed tree” and could fall on our house. Yet it is full of life and possibility, especially for insect-eating birds like the chickadee, Nuthatch and Titmouse. I took the visit as a plea to leave the tree standing- let it die slowly- let life continue on inside and around it as long as possible… perhaps even after its death, (as dead trees actually have more biomass than live trees and provide great habitat for cavity nesters). And look at yards as habitat. They are home for urban and suburban dwelling wildlife. May we preserve green space in the city. Maybe this was not what the titmouse was saying, but it’s the message I took. Tufter TitmouseNatural history note: Titmice and Nuthatches live mostly off Acorns in Fall and Winter ( there is an oak in the yard) Titmice form long-term pair bonds ( so it could have been a couple). Titmice, nuthatches and chickadees  form mixed species flocks outside of breeding season for enhanced feeding purposes…

1Versatile Blogger Award

Dear Kitty. some blog https://dearkitty1.wordpress.com/has been so generous as to nominate rebeccaarnoldisblog for the Versatile Blogger Award.

Thank you so much, my dear blogger friend! You’ve got a great blog!

The rules of this award are:

1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you.

2. Nominate up to 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award and include a link to their site (and tell them that you have nominated them).

3. State 7 things about yourself.

SEVEN THINGS ABOUT ME:

1. I began this blog to encourage myself in a daily practice of art-making, nature observation and writing… I also was recovering from a broken heart and it was a great way to get out of my loneliness and feel that I was sharing something with the world.

2. I began this blog to encourage others to connect with life inside (emotion, breath, body, spirit) and life surrounding (nature).

3. Many of my photos are taken while walking my dog… she teaches me a lot, and maybe some day I will have a blog about her.

4. I’m not a photographer. I’m a painter, never studied photography, and have a point and shoot camera, but strangely enough I post mostly photos. Maybe some day I will study photography, and/or get a digital SLR!

5. I have a meet up group called, yoganatureart adventures. come along!

6. I lead workshops that focus on yoga/body awareness, art-making and nature study,through arnold arboretum,  mass audubon at wellfleet bay, quiet mind yoga studio, yoga east, musketaquid and through the brookline art center, come along! If you know a place that might want to host this type of workshop, please let me know.

7. I love underdog animals. For instance, one that has been bombed and poisoned and still is today, the common crow. I find crows beautiful and fascinating… and they count to 7.

 

 

 

 

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