A Note From Ranger Vinny

During the pandemic the park is open from 8am to sunset each day and you are welcome to enjoy the beautiful outdoor space. Please follow all town and local health department guidelines related to mask-wearing and social distancing while in the park.

You CAN visit the barnyard, take a hike on the newly blazed trails, bird watch, practice your photography skills and even access the canal line for biking, walking or running.

But, the park is closed to group use. NO permits are being issued for use of the pavilion, group picnics, etc. at this time.

Thank-you for being a good friend to the park!

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Cicada Wasps

Cicada Wasps Have Arrived

My daughter sent me this photo last night while she and her family were visiting the park. “What does this mean she asked?” I figured since you and many others were probably asking the same thing I’d explain.

FIRST OFF – Don’t panic. The Cicada Killer Wasps are NOT after humans. And, they are not the killer bees/wasps/aliens that have been in the news as of late. Do an online search and you can learn all sorts of things that will lessen the fright-factor!

Ranger Vin told me the wasps nest in that same area each year and keep down the cicada population. They are non-aggressive towards humans but do make burrows into the ground which is where if accidently stepped upon, they will sting in defense. The wasp kills the cicada, drags it into his hole and lays their eggs on it. Pretty neat huh?

So, just walk another way to the pond or trails and soon they’ll be gone as the cicadas will have emerged and if not become dinner for a wasp, will hop from plant to plant eating, mating and laying eggs for the 14-60 days they live. By the way, I was told they have wings but don’t actually “fly” away, rather they kind of hop and often are confused with Locusts. An entirely different pest!

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Is it a Raven?

Raven

Is it a Crow or is it a Raven is a question I was asked the other day. I found out in this instance it was indeed a Raven and that was quite exciting! Did you know Ravens can imitate sounds just like parrots? The Raven I was able to identify was at a feeder with a partner in crime. They are often in pairs where CROWs are CROWded together. See how I was taught to remember that by a 4th grade Science teacher? A group of Ravens is called a Conspiracy. There used to be a group who played minor league baseball in New Haven but that was a different species all together! Adolescent Ravens form gangs but eventually as adults they pair off. Well, you get the picture. Ravens are larger than Crows and they have a longer middle tail feather so when they fly it sort of forms a wedge. The neat thing if you can get close enough to notice? They have a bit of feather or “tuft” on top of their beaks whereas Crows don’t. And when the sun hits their feathers they shine bright. Crows are much duller in appearance. I’m no expert so please, go online and search for yourself. If you’re not into learning about birds you can always read The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe but I’ll warn you, watching Ravens fly is much more uplifting!

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