Journal archives for August 2023

August 01, 2023

Visiting Governor's Island after the cold front came through

Ed and David Ringer and I decided to visit Governor's Island this Sunday, July 30th, the first cool day after an extended span of very hot weather.

We planned to catch the 11 am ferry. David found us already sitting inside the ferryboat as he had been running a bit late thanks to erratic subway timing on the weekends.

Once on the island, we walked up towards Fort Jay, looking at the wildflower plantings, and then climbed up onto the glacis -- the grassy slopes surrounding the Fort. This is where I have often found day-flying moths during some of my previous visits. We flushed out a few cool moths and then decided to descend the stone steps into the moat, where I could see that, in one section of the moat, the groundskeepers had left a fairly wide central strip of weeds unmown.

In the moat we found some campion leafminers, a number of different new-to-us good species of moths, as well as a couple of large black/blue wasps and a 3-lined beetle.

After climbing out of the moat we walked over to Castle Williams, where we ate lunch at a picnic table. David and I looked, but we could find no large clumps of Big-Bract Vervain, or any Slender Snake Cotton just south of the Castle, where I had found those unusual species of plants a few years ago.

We then walked over to Blazing Saddles. We had to rent a large surrey, as they were out of small ones. We peddled over to the Harbor School garden, where we found a lot of beautiful Harlequin Stink Bugs living on some sort of Kale. The cherry tomatoes were not being harvested there even though they were superbly sweet and delicious. I also found a climbing milkweed.

Then we peddled across the island and south to the Lavender Field. There were no butterflies, but there were a huge number of mixed dragonflies hunting over the strip of grass by the big ancient wall at the back.

Then we went to the Urban Farm. Ed stayed sitting in the surrey while David and I walked around the farm. We found galls, and some nice flying insects too, but no butterflies.

After that we peddled back to Blazing Saddles to return the surrey, and then walked over to the ferry terminal.

One of the ferries was out of service, so we had to wait for the other one.

Governors Island was the busiest I have ever seen it.

Posted on August 01, 2023 01:57 PM by susanhewitt susanhewitt | 24 observations | 2 comments | Leave a comment

August 12, 2023

An iNat meet-up and outing in Southern California this November

Hello everyone,

Some of you will probably remember a similar message from me about an outing last year, a message which I sent out a few weeks earlier than this.
Here is last year's message and a thread of replies:

I (@susanhewitt) who normally lives in NYC, will again be staying at the Moonlight Beach Motel in Encinitas, San Diego North County, for 16 nights, this time from the evening of Sunday October 29th to the early afternoon of Tuesday November 14th.

I would love to be part of an iNat meetup and nature walk on at least one day during that time span, so some planning will be necessary. I am familiar with some of the more obvious aspects of the wild flora and fauna of coastal San Diego North County fairly well after many visits, and after having lived in La Jolla and Pacific Beach in 1970/71. My taxon of special expertise is mollusks -- I know the Southern California shelled marine mollusks quite well.

I am assuming that a Saturday or a Sunday would be the best day for most people to do a meet-up? There is the weekend of the 4th and 5th November, and the weekend of the 11th and 12th November. As for a destination, I was thinking maybe of the San Elijo Lagoon again, or maybe the Torrey Pines preserve, although I guess autumn is not the best season for iNatting at Torrey Pines.

For any other suggested destinations, I would be glad to listen to ideas from other people. I won't have a car, but I can get out somewhere using a taxi or a bus.

Last year the outing took place on Sunday Sept 18th 2022, starting at 9 am in the morning. It was at
the San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve and Nature Center, accessed at 2710 Manchester Ave, Cardiff, CA 92007. Parking is limited in their lot, but there is also a separate lot across the street. The iNatters who attended last year were the following folks:

@susanhewitt -- Susan
@u_phantasticus -- Elena
@arboretum_amy -- Amy and her husband Joe
@juliabohemian -- Julia
@anewmark -- Andrew

Last year Vasily Reinkymov suggested that I might ask:


And James (@silversea_starsong) suggested I might ask:

So please, if you get this message, and are interested in any way, let me know. Other iNatters that I have not listed here or just anyone who loves nature, would be welcome to come along too.

Of course if you yourself would like to meet up with me on another day, or you want me to look at some shells for you, that could be done separately. I will be in the Moonlight Beach Motel for some hours on every single day of my trip.

Happy iNatting to all, and best wishes,


Posted on August 12, 2023 03:00 PM by susanhewitt susanhewitt | 20 comments | Leave a comment