Tuesday 19 July 2016

New York by ocean liner - Central Park raccoons

Central Park raccoon, photo by Jennifer Alexander

We've just got back from three-and-a-half weeks on honeymoon - to New York and back by ocean liner. I stayed offline the whole time, and loved it.

Here's a first blog post, then to my emails...

Central Park night(wild)life

Raccoons in Central Park. This was one particular family that we got to know over several nights. Seriously cute. Extremely tame. Walk around at dusk and it's hard not to see any, especially near litter bins. Rats too - nice to see how many people watched with curiosity rather than fear or fury. And fireflies, hundreds of them, as darkness approaches gently rising and falling over the grasses, soft led bulbs glowing yellow. On... and fade, on... and fade.

Central Park

Central Park is a two-and-a-half mile long, half-a-mile wide, 843 acre greenspace in the middle of Manhattan Island. A haven for wildlife and for people. I could have spent the whole time just there.

A 2008 BioBlitz of Central Park identified and recorded 836 different species in 24 hours, including, "393 plants, 102 invertebrates, seventy-eight moths, ten spiders, nine dragonflies, seven mammals, three turtles, two frogs, and two tardigrades (a microscopic life form). They also identified 46 bird species (and) missed out on hundreds more because of the season."
- https://macaulay.cuny.edu/eportfolios/themanhattanproject/field-lab-8/biodiversity-in-central-park-virginia-milieris/

The total number of bird species ever recorded in Central Park is over 280 - www.nycaudubon.org/manhattan-birding/central-park

Central Park Conservancy - www.centralparknyc.org

Ocean Liner

We crossed the Atlantic on Cunard's Queen Mary 2 - www.cunard.co.uk/cruise-ships/queen-mary-2

Lots of info here - www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RMS_Queen_Mary_2

2012 Crossing

We made the same journey, one-way, in 2012. Blog post here

on Queen Mary 2, looking to the stern


  1. Raccoons may appear cute with their bandit mask, but they're anything but cute if you have to live with them. They can be very destructive to property, are vectors for rabies, and are a menace to other wildlife as they'll eat just about anything....including bird's eggs and nestlings. If you like we could ship you a few to join the Canada Geese, squirrels and other North American species that now call Britain home?
    No sense in our having all this cuteness to ourselves, eh.

    Ernest Somers
    Artist- Naturalist

  2. Haha, excellent Ernest! Post them over, I'm sure Scotland will take a few ;-)