Weeding Cortelyou, Saturday, July 5, 2008

Update 7/7: See Cortelyou Weeded (Partly)Update 7/1: Please fill out the survey at the top of the sidebar to let us know if you're able to help weed this Saturday. Several folks have indicated that Saturday's not good for them, so if another date would work, please let us know that, too.
A tree pit on Cortelyou Road needin' weedin'. Note that the weeds are as high as the parking meter.Major WeedsNext Saturday morning, July 5th, starting at 9am, join Flatbush residents, gardening and non-gardening alike, to help weed and clean up the tree pits along Cortelyou Road between Coney Island Avenue and East 16th Street.
Tired of looking at all the weeds in our beautiful new tree pits? Come and help us weed Cortelyou! Meet at the Cortelyou Library at the corner of Argyle Road on Cortelyou, on Saturday, July 5th at 9am. We will be there all morning. No gardening experience necessary! We will show you what to do.Bring your own drinking water, sunscreen, and gloves and be ready to get dirty.
Thanks to Flatbush Development Corporation for buying mulch for the tree pits! And many thanks to my neighbor, Tracey Hohman, for jump-starting this cleanup!Neighbor Stacey Bell planting Daffodils in Fall of 2007.Tree Pit PlantingIf you have any questions, you can contact Tracey by email at thohman [at] verizon {dot} net, or contact me through the email in my profile, available in the sidebar.

Related Posts

Cortelyou Weeded, July 6, 2008Cortelyou Road


Flatbush Development CorporationInvasive and Noxious Weeds of the Northeast, USDA PLANTS Database


Summer Nights

Update 2010.01.03: Corrected all links to the old Gowanus Lounge domain to the new memorial domain.

Flatbush Raccoon

I know it's summer when the fireflies are out in force. As are the raccoons (Procyon lotor).

Both made their first appearance in the backyard about two weeks ago: just two fireflies, and just one raccoon. Tonight, multiple fireflies in everyone's yards, front and back. And a family of raccoons, as we get every year. I saw three little ones at once. I saw the adult separately.

Here are, I think, two of the young'uns, one in a tree, and one on the ground. It could also be the same young raccoon. The one in the tree climbed down, shortly after which the "other" appeared on the ground.

Flatbush RaccoonFlatbush Raccoon

The groundling was very curious about my camera, and came within four feet of me before it realized the camera was attached to a person.

Flatbush Raccoon

Gowanus Lounge recently reported on raccoons sighted in Carroll Gardens. Some folks raised concerns about rabies. I left the following comment:

We love our Brooklyn raccoons!

They are annual visitors to our backyard. And our kitchen on the second floor. They climbed my neighbor’s apple tree to get there. They don’t scale building walls, they climb trees and other structures.

They’re scavengers, looking for easy grub. Don’t leave pet food outside. Don’t feed stray and feral cats and dogs. Keep garbage cans and compost bins and piles covered.

As for rabies, Brooklyn is the best off of all the five boroughs, with only 5 animal cases detected in the past 15 years; the most recent, in 2005, was a bat. Rabies is endemic in the Bronx and Staten Island.

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Old news



Brooklyn Blogade, June 2008

The Brooklyn Blogade at Root Hill Cafe
Brooklyn Blogade

The June 2008 Brooklyn Blogade was hosted by Adrian Kinloch, Brit in Brooklyn, at Root Hill Cafe on 4th Avenue. The theme was photo-blogging, and several Brooklyn photo-bloggers - including myself I suppose! - turned out for the afternoon. About 20 people attended, most of whom of visible in the photo above.

Related Posts

Flickr photo set
Kensington Blogade, March 10, 2008



[where: Root Hill Cafe, 262 4th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215]


Albemarle Road in Prospect Park South featured in the Times

Albemarle Road, just east of Coney Island Avenue, April 2008
Albemarle Road, Prospect Park South

Tomorrow's New York Times Real Estate section provides a brief history and profile of Albemarle Road in Prospect Park South, a block from my home:
Grandest of all the streets in Prospect Park South is Albemarle Road, a broad, esplanaded boulevard of stately neo-Classical, Queen Anne and Colonial style mansions. In fact, for the three blocks from Argyle to Buckingham Roads, Albemarle is one of the grandest residential streets in the whole city, even with some dings and dents.
- Streetscapes | Albemarle Road: Brooklyn’s Stately Esplanade , Christopher Gray, New York Times, June 22, 2008
I'll say. Prospect Park South is the most photogenic neighborhood I know in Brooklyn. I've got over 100 photos of Albemarle Road alone on my Flickr site.

The greenscape is as impressive as the architecture:
Mr. Alvord created Albemarle Road as his main boulevard, with a planted strip down the middle and a dozen imposing houses east of Argyle Road, most built from 1899 to 1910. They created a most unusual place and were made grander by his main requirement — that no fences, hedges or plantings extend beyond the house lines, so the front yards combine into a unified majestic sweep.
Albemarle Road, looking west from Rugby Road, Prospect Park South, November 2007
Albemarle Road, looking east from Rugby Road, Prospect Park South

The Times fails to credit the man responsible for designing and planting these grand grounds, John Aitkin (or Aiken, I've seen both spellings):
Thousands of Shrubs, Plants and Trees to Be Set Out in Flatbush

Dean Alvord, owner, and John Aitkin, landscape gardener of Prospect Park South, the new residence park of Flatbush, have just returned from a tour of the nurseries [of several cities], where selections were made of over five thousand five hundred [5,500] ornamental shrubs, plants and trees for planting this fall. The list comprises rare evergreens and deciduous varieties chosen with reference to symmetry of form, color of foliage and beauty of flower. A foreign order has also been placed for 10,000 Holland bulbs of early spring blooming flowers, tulips, hyacinths, crocus and narcissus [Daffodils].

The form of street decoration carried out in Marlborough, Rugby and other north and south roads in Prospect Park South, will be varied in Albemarle road, where the unusual width will admit of a parkway through the center, with an asphalt driveway on either side. The more dwarf growing ornamentals will be planted in the parkway, and rows of shade trees will line the inside of the sidewalks.

Altogether, this fine residence section will contain the widest variety of hardy ornamentals and herbaceous plants to be found outside of city parks.

- Suburban Ornamentation, The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, September 17, 1899, page 10 [Note: The same item, with slight variations, appeared with the title "Beautifying the Suburbs" on September 4.]
The Flatbush Malls sit within the area known as Victorian Flatbush, named because of the dominant architectural style. In the early 1900s, private developers constructed malls like this one to make the neighborhoods they built more attractive. Malls are common in New York’s outer boroughs. Dean Alvord bought 50 acres of farmland in 1898 to develop Albermarle and Kenmore Terraces. He hired the Scottish landscape architect John Aiken to create a rustic suburban neighborhood within the constraints of the Brooklyn street grid, and the result was largely achieved through the creation of these malls. Extending down the center of Albemarle Road, the Flatbush Malls run from Coney Island Avenue to Buckingham Road, then round the corner and continue one block north on Buckingham Road.

Aiken looked to Commonwealth Avenue in Boston, Massachusetts for inspiration. His mall on Albemarle Road is narrower than the malls on Commonwealth Avenue, as it does not include a central promenade like the one along the Boston street. The original landscaping of the malls featured shrubs and flowers, but did not include trees. The malls are now lined with a mixture of pine and oak trees, holly bushes, and other trees and shrubs, as well as seasonal flowers that grace the intersections. As part of the streets, the malls are owned by the New York Department of Transportation while Parks is charged with the planting design and maintenance.
- Flatbush Malls, Historical Sign, Parks Department

1305 Albemarle Road, Prospect Park South
1305 Albemarle Road

The Times article highlights a handful of individual homes, including 1305 Albemarle Road, the house I picked out as a good place for a haunting last Halloween:
The most unusual of these dwellings is the one built in 1905 for George E. Gale at 1305 Albemarle, at the northeast corner of Argyle Road, in white clapboard with a colossal two-story Ionic portico. Designed by an architect known only as H. B. Moore, the Gale house has a striking assortment of windows, among them roof dormers with a kind of webbed sash, topped by ebullient broken pediments. On the second floor, there are spider-web-type windows with Gothic-style sashes, and on the rear are leaded glass windows.

Related Content

Good Place for a Haunting #2, October 30, 2007
Fall Color along Albemarle Road in Prospect Park South, November 21, 2006
Conservatory Envy, September 10, 2006
Albemarle Road, Prospect Park South (Flickr photo collection)


Streetscapes | Albemarle Road: Brooklyn’s Stately Esplanade , Christopher Gray, New York Times, June 22, 2008
Flatbush Malls, Historical Sign, Parks Department
Suburban Ornamentation, The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, September 17, 1899, page 10


Happy Solstice

Illumination of Earth by Sun at the northern solstice.

The solstice is at 23:59 UTC June 20, or 7:59 Eastern Daylight Time, my local time. Barring thunderstorm, I'll be sitting with friends in Prospect Park waiting for the opera to begin.

Related Posts

Solstice (The Sun stands still), December 22, 2007


Solstice, Wikipedia

Times City Room defends its treatment of "South Brooklyn"

Several of us bloggers in Flatbush, at least, feel at best bemusement when the Times casts its gimlet eye upon our fair neighborhood. They sometimes seem to view us as some quaint suburban enclave, linking to a post about, say, raccoons, while ignoring local coverage of a rezoning proposal that will shape development for decades to come.

At least one reader of the New York Times City Room seems to feel the same:
Question: ... There is no doubt, that when The New York Times writes about Brooklyn, one would think that Brooklyn is Park Slope, the Heights, Cobble Hill, Dumbo, and those environments basically north of Prospect Park. When areas such as Bensonhurst, Borough Park, Bay Ridge, Flatbush, and Sheepshead Bay are ever mentioned in your publication, they are usually treated in a condescending, disparaging, misinformed manner ... Why the obvious slant, and why the ignorance from a publication that claims to be a bastion of serious and knowledgeable discourse?
- Answers About City Room, Part 3, Sewell Chan, New York Times, June 19, 2008
The Times responds:
Answer: I’m not sure I agree with your rather harsh assessment. ... The Times has devoted a lot of coverage of neighborhoods like Greenpoint and Williamsburg [still north of Prospect Park!], where young college graduates have spurred a housing boom over the last decade, and projects like Atlantic Yards, which has provoked fierce discussion about the future of economic development in Brooklyn and the preservation of small-scale neighborhoods. But I don’t think that coverage has meant that other neighborhoods receive “condescending, disparaging, misinformed” coverage. In recent months, The Times has written about a kosher soup kitchen in Borough Park, the history of Victorian Flatbush and access to the Sheepshead Bay waterfront. We’re always open to suggestions for news and feature stories in the city’s diverse neighborhoods, and The City section, published each Sunday, is filled with local updates on community news.

Related Posts

The Times discovers Kensington, May 24, 2008
Times admits past errors: We are not all Ditmas Park, March 15, 2008
Where is Flatbush, anyway?, December 1, 2007


Brooklyn Blogade this Sunday, June 22

The next Brooklyn Blogade is this Sunday, June 22, 12noon at Root Hill Cafe, 262 4th Ave, at the corner of Carroll Street. The closest subway stop is Union Street on the M/R.


Adrian, Brit in Brooklyn, is our host this Sunday:
BIB is hosting this month's blogade so naturally the emphasis will be on photoblogging. Anyone who regularly uses images, photobloggers or bloggers, will find it useful.

If you are thinking of starting a blog you'll be in great company as there'll be bloggers around who'll be happy to chat with you about setting something up. We'll also talk about copyright, fair use and backing up your work.
There will be the regular 'shout out' where eveyone gets to talk a bit about their blog and the chance afterwards to share your blogging experiences, gripes, groans and news. With or without a blog *everyone* is welcome, and we're especially keen to meet new bloggers in less-blogged turfs!

The Brooklyn Blogades are a monthly meet and greet for bloggers, blog readers, and people who are thinking about becoming bloggers. It's a great opportunity to network and to learn a thing or two about
blogging. It's also a great way to learn about new blogs.

Look forward to seeing you there. If you are going to pop in drop me a line so I can get an idea of numbers.

Rosa Redux: BBG's latest time-lapse video

Cranford Rose Garden Timelapse at Brooklyn Botanic Garden from Brooklyn Botanic Garden on Vimeo.

Also check out BBG's latest Flickr group, June is Rose Month, for hundreds of views of the Cranford Rose Garden from its visitors.

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Sakura Matsuri this weekend (includes Cherry time-lapse), May 1, 2008
Members Reception in BBG's Cranford Rose Garden, June 9, 2007


Cranford Rose Garden Timelapse, Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Vimeo (HD)


A Night at the Opera

This Friday I'll be attending the first public concert in Prospect Park: the Metropolitan Opera, Live in Prospect Park:
Two of opera’s biggest stars, soprano Angela Gheorghiu and tenor Roberto Alagna, will perform together on the Long Meadow Ballfields on June 20 at 8 p.m., together with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus. This year's Prospect Park concert is anticipated to be one of the Metropolitan Opera’s largest outdoor concerts in company history.
The Met's summertime tradition of free outdoor performances returns with a special one-night only event in Prospect Park. Celebrate the start of summer with two of opera's biggest stars - Angela Gheorghiu and Roberto Alagna- singing popular arias and duets. Ion Marin conducts the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus in the operatic event of the summer
- Met Summer Concert: Live in Prospect Park
They really do mean the start of summer. The Summer Solstice is this Friday, June 20, 23:59 UTC, 7:59pm Eastern Daylight Time, 1 minute before the official start of the concert.

It looks to be an impressive setup. Neighbor and fellow blogger and gardener Brenda caught the construction in progress:
On Monday morning, the Long Meadow was a hive of construction activity. Flat-bed trucks, tractors, and dozens of guys swarmed over the turf for an Opera Barn-Raising of sorts: Turns out this Friday's concert featuring husband-and-wife team Angela Gheorghiu and Roberto Alagna will be a real blowout, with jumbo video screens and a "larger than normal stage."
The performance will be broadcast live on WQXR-FM (96.3 FM), and streamed live on the Met’s website, www.metopera.org.

The married star couple of Gheorghiu and Alagna will sing popular arias and duets by Verdi, Puccini, Donizetti, Massenet, and others, conducted by Ion Marin. Gheorghiu and Alagna will perform on a larger-than-normal stage, surrounded by six jumbo video screens that will be strategically placed throughout the area to maximize the viewing experience.


Prospect Park
Metropolitan Opera


Brooklyn Pride, Tomorrow, June 14

Workin it, Brooklyn Pride 2006
Workin it, Brooklyn Pride 2006

Tomorrow, Saturday, June 14, the Brooklyn Pride Festival runs from 9am to 4pm along Prospect Park West from 15th Street (Bartel-Pritchard Circle) to 9th Street. The night march kicks off at 9pm from Bartel-Pritchard Circle, goes down 15th Street, then heads north on 7th Avenue through Park Slope.
Celebrate Brooklyn's Gay and Lesbian community at this fun, free, day-long festival. Join us for New York City’s second-largest Gay and Lesbian Pride event of the season. The Festival takes place at Bartel- Pritchard Circle and along Prospect Park West from 15th Street to 9th Street.

Brooklyn Pride: (718) 928-3320
Blog Widow, making new friends

Pride Balloons

Flatbush Rezoning Proposal will define the future of Victorian Flatbush

Update, 2009-07-29: Flatbush Rezoning Proposal approved by City Council
Update, 2009-03-02: DCP certified the proposal.

David Parish, DCP, describing the proposed rezoning for South Midwood
David Parish describing the proposed rezoning for South Midwood

Last night I attended Brooklyn Community Board 14's (CB14) preliminary public hearing on the NYC Department of City Planning's (DCP) rezoning proposal for the northern half of CB14, ie: Flatbush. I didn't take a head count, but roughly 100 people turned out to attend the hearing in Public School 249's uncooled auditorium. CB14 chair Alvin Berk informally explained the context and ground rules for the meeting, then officially called the hearing to order at 7:23. After the school guard kicked us out - gently, but firmly - after 9:30pm, conversations continued onto the school plaza and sidewalks. I didn't get home until well after 10pm last night.


First Fireflies

While walking through BBG last night, June 11, returning home from my Pest Management class, I saw my first fireflies of the year. This is right on schedule; I saw my first firefly last year on June 12.

Related Posts


Flatbush Rezoning Hearing Tonight

This is a reminder that CB14's preliminary public hearing of DCP's proposed zoning changes for the northern half of CB14, ie: Flatbush, is tonight at 7pm at Public School 249 at the corner of Caton Avenue and Marlborough Road.

Related Posts

Flatbush Rezoning Proposal, May 23, 2008
City Planning Commission Unanimously Approves Green Initiatives, April 2, 2008
Victorian Flatbush at risk from inappropriate zoning, October, 2007


BBG awarded by GWA, AHS

As both a supporter of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG), and a member of the Garden Writers Association (GWA), I'm proud to note that BBG received four GWA Media Awards earlier this year. Although GWA announced the awards back in April, the Brooklyn Eagle reported it today:
Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG) received four 2008 Silver Awards of Achievement from the Garden Writers Association (GWA) — the nonprofit association of professionals who communicate about horticulture, gardening, and the environment.

This national award recognizes individuals and companies who achieve the highest levels of talent and professionalism in garden publications. The awards aim to provide public recognition for excellence in gardening-related communications in all media.
- Brooklyn Botanic Garden Receives Awards From Garden Writers’ Group, Brooklyn Eagle, June 11, 2008
The four awards are:
In addition, the American Horticultural Society (AHS) awarded its first-ever Citation of Special Merit to BBG for the Garden’s All-Region Guide series. The Brooklyn Botanic Garden All-Region Guides are the only series of popular gardening books published by a botanic garden in North America.


Brooklyn Botanic Garden Receives Awards From Garden Writers’ Group, Brooklyn Eagle, June 11, 2008
BBG Press Release, June 6, 2008
2008 GWA Media Awards
2008 AHS Book Award Winners


Aphid control

Updated 2008.06.10: Expanded section on biological controls. Added more references.

An aphid viewed through a microscope, taken the first night of my IPM class at BBG
Aphid viewed through a microscope

Why are aphids so hard to control? Here's one answer:
Most species of aphids overwinter in the egg stage. The eggs hatch in the spring to produce a generation of females. These female aphids give birth to living young. Generally the first young aphids are wingless and when a colony becomes too crowded winged forms may be produced. The winged forms migrate to new host plants and begin colonies. Enormous populations are built up from these overlapping generations all summer long.
- Aphids Factsheet, Insect Diagnostic Laboratory, Cornell University
So, to sum up:
  • Overwintered eggs hatch females.
  • Females give birth to live young (first instar), up to 70 at once.
  • They have multiple generations during the year.
  • The population responds to overgrazing by flying to new locations. They can fly several miles on the wind.
  • They start all over again the next year.
To this I can add that, the earlier you catch and deal with them, the less effort it will be. A week can make a huge difference. But more on techniques below.

This post is actually a homework assignment for my Pest Management class at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. I had a choice of three insect pests - spider mites, aphids, and hard scale insects - to answer the question:
What makes [your pest here] so difficult to control?
I chose aphids because a neighbor wrote recently about her problem with aphids on her cilantro and an encounter with a vicious ladybug. She complained that her ladybugs always flew away. I suggested lacewings as an alternative predator, and additional plantings to attract, and keep, "beneficial" insects.

Managing Aphids

Understanding a pest's life cycle and monitoring for it are important aspects to managing it. I'll highlight a few categories of techniques for controlling aphids: horticultural, physical, biological, and chemical. I'll address biological controls last, and spend most of the time on that topic.

Since eggs overwinter, horticultural practices such as removing dead plant material before aphids hatch in the spring is a first step. Clearly, this will be most effective when it's done before the first aphids emerge. Another important horticultural strategy is to plan and plant diversity in the garden. More on this in the section about biological controls, below.

Physical controls can be effective, especially earlier in the spring when populations are still relatively small. This could include washing them off with a stream of water, removing infested parts of the plant, and, for the non-squeamish, squishing them and picking them off by hand. Some sources even suggest mulching with foil to repel aphids and other pests.

Chemical controls really are a last resort. Insecticides poison both the target and its predators. It's generally not a good strategy to poison the things that eat the things you're trying to control. For aphids, insecticidal soap can be used to target just the affected areas of the plant.

Biological controls

My preference is for biological controls. There are many naturally occurring predators and diseases of aphids, including:
  • lady beetles (lady "bugs" are really beetles, not bugs)
  • lacewings
  • predatory midges
  • flower fly larvae
  • pirate beetles
  • Braconid wasps
  • parasitic fungi
Given this list of natural enemies, it's no wonder aphids have evolved a strategy of rapid, massive reproduction. One can even see the value of having some aphids in the garden, since they're important food sources for so many other insects!

In the past, I've introduced both ladybugs and lacewings to my gardens. These days, I try instead to keep a balance of plants in my gardens, including plants that provide alternative food sources or refuge for insect predators. There are plenty of natural predators around, even in city gardens. There are also fungal diseases that occur naturally, but are not commercially available, which attack aphids.
Learn to recognize and conserve insects that prey on or parasitize pests. Small wasps, for example, parasitize aphids, leaving bloated gold to bronze "mummies." Immature lady beetles and lacewings, which look like tiny alligators, also frequent gardens. Other "beneficials" include spiders, predatory mites, predatory bugs, predatory flies, and ground beetles.
- Managing Insect Pests in Vegetable Gardens, Home Gardening Resources, Cornell Univers
Biological controls are not a panacea. For example, most of the commercially available ladybugs are species not native to North America. They are commercially available because they are amenable to raising in the large numbers needed for economic viability, not necessarily because they are the best choices. These can become pests in their own right when they swarm and overwinter in homes to emerge in the Spring.

In addition, native species have become scarce, even endangered. Two years ago, New York state changed its official insect from one ladybug species to another because the original species had become extinct in the state. This reduction in population coincides with the spread of non-native species in the wild.
The New York State insect is essentially no more. Once among the most common ladybugs in the eastern United States, the nine-spotted lady beetle has not been seen since 1984. This comely reddish-orange beetle with four spots on each wing and a shared one in the middle has been displaced by a voracious cousin with seven spots, imported by the millions from Europe in the 1970s as a biological control agent.

The idea made sense at the time. Entomologists had observed that lady beetles eat aphids, so thought that a more aggressive species would be only that much more effective in controlling these common crop pests. They were, so much so it turned out, that the imported beetles monopolized the food source and apparently starved the natives out.
- Invaasion of the Species Snatchers, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Cornell University
So how can we take advantage of naturally occurring species? Plant a diverse garden, and plant for beneficial insects. For example, clovers are attractive to several kinds of insects which prey on aphids, including, wasps, pirate bugs, aphid midges, and of course, ladybugs. Buckwheat attracts lacewings, in addition to wasps and ladybugs. Plants in the Apiaceae (Umbelliferae) and Asteraceae (Compositae) support a wide range of insect species.

A heavy outbreak of aphids on Swamp Milkweed, Asclepias incarnata, in my backyard in October of last year.
Aphids on Milkweed

Related Content


The Bug's No Lady, Brooklynonmetry, June 6, 2008

Aphids Factsheet (also available as a PDF), Insect Diagnostic Laboratory, Cornell University
Managing Insect Pests in Vegetable Gardens, Home Gardening Resources, Cornell University
Sucking insects: Aphids, Integrated Pest Management, University of Connecticut
Use of Cover Crops and Green Manures to Attract Beneficial Insects, IPM, UConn

Wikipedia: Aphid
The Lost Ladybug Project
The Decline of C-9 - New York's State Insect
Invaasion of the Species Snatchers, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Cornell University
New York's state insect, the nine-spotted lady beetle, rediscovered in eastern U.S. after 14 elusive years, April 17, 2007


Sunday, June 8: 2008 Victorian Flatbush House Tour

85 Westminster Road, Prospect Park South, Flatbush, Brooklyn, on last year's Victorian Flatbush House Tour
85 Westminster Road, Prospect Park South, Flatbush, Brooklyn

Competing for my attention Sunday with the Brownstone Brooklyn Garden Walk is the annual Victorian Flatbush House Tour, from 1pm to 6pm this Sunday, June 8. They fall on the same day, and nearly the same hours, this year. If I go to either, I'll only be able to make one or the other.
ADVANCE TICKET SALES END AT 3:00 PM, SATURDAY, JUNE 7TH. After that please purchase tickets, June 8th at the the start of the tour: Temple Beth Emeth, 83 Marlborough Road. [Google Map]

Please bring your PayPal Receipt with you to the house tour starting place - Temple Beth Emeth, 83 Marlborough Road at Church Avenue, where you will receive a map and ticket (required to enter homes), and further information on the tour.

Related content

2007 Victorian Flatbush House Tour


Victorian Flatbush House Tour, Flatbush Development Corporation

I feel so dirty just reading the headline


That's how the NY Post - renowned for its lurid, sensationalizing headlines - announced the anticipated emergence of Brood XIV.

The content of the article was considerably more sedate and on-point:
After living six inches underground since 1991, millions are about to come to the surface across the Northeast: The males will sing their distinctive song, the females will swoon, and then they will mate and die.
This particular brood stretches from Georgia to Massachusetts. Locally, they are concentrated on Long Island, although some might remain in Brooklyn and Queens.
There have been strong, localized emergences east of us on Long Island, in Suffolk County. Unfortunately, there's been no signs of Brood XIV in Brooklyn or Queens. The sole Brooklyn report, from Bay Ridge, has not been substantiated and is likely a false report. I'm afraid Brood XIV may be extirpated - locally extinct - from New York City.

Related Posts

(Magi)Cicada Watch


CITY'S GIANT INSECT ORGY, by Jeremy Olshan, NY Post, June 5, 2008

Sunday, June 8: Brownstone Brooklyn Garden Walk

Roses and Beam, 222 Washington Avenue, Clinton Hill on last year's Brownstone Brooklyn Garden Walk.
Roses and Beam, 222 Washington Avenue

Temperatures in the 90s will likely dissuade me from several hours of walking. Those of you with sturdier constitutions than mine will want to consider getting out this Sunday afternoon into the green spaces of Prospect Heights, Clinton Hill, and Fort Greene.
The Brownstone Brooklyn Garden District’s Garden Walk will feature at least a dozen private and eight community gardens, open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The highlight is a large triple-lot garden, reached through the owner’s pottery workshop, which has a huge variety of plantings, some dating back 35 years. This garden features a curved wooden fence, raised earth berms and a rock wall, and includes trifoliate orange trees, a “forest” of 40-foot bamboos, woodland azaleas, styrax, tree peonies, foxtail lilies, roses and a small meadow of Canadian anemones and columbines.
I attended last year's walk and it was terrific.

218 & 216 Washington Avenue, Clinton Hill
218 & 216 Washington Avenue
The Garden Walk also includes a double-wide garden at an 1839 farmhouse that is remarkable for its trees: blue Atlas cedar, maple, magnolia, dogwood, espaliered trellised crab apples, and a rare 50-year-old dawn redwood. Tickets, $20, at the Forest Floor, 659 Vanderbilt Avenue (Prospect Place) in Prospect Heights, and at Thirst, 187 DeKalb Avenue (Vanderbilt Avenue) in Fort Greene. Advance tickets, $15, and information: (718) 219-2137. (There is no Web site.)
Shady Beauties, 116 St. Mark's Avenue, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
Shady Beauties, 116 St. Mark's Avenue, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn

Related Posts

The 10th Annual Brownstone Brooklyn Garden Walk, June 10, 2007


Brownstone Brooklyn Garden District: 11th Sunday Garden Walk


Circus of the Spineless #33

Colletes thoracicus (Colletidae), Cellophane Bee
Colletes thoracicus (Colletidae), Cellophane Bee

Circus of the Spineless #33 (COTS 33) is up on Seeds Aside.

I submitted my post and photographs of Cellophane Bees from last weekend. This is only my second contribution to COTS. My first was two years ago, in COTS #10.

I thought of sending in my post about Magicicada, but since I haven't actually encountered any, it seemed premature.

The next edition, COTS #34, will be posted at Gossamer Tapestry. Send your submissions to Doug: dtaron(at)gmail.com before June, 29.

Related Posts

Colletes thoracicus (Colletidae), Cellophane Bees, May
Coleomegilla usurps Coccinella as New York State Insect, June 23, 2006


Circus of the Spineless #33, Seeds Aside
Circus of the Spineless