Thursday, July 9, 2009

Wildlife Increasing On The Jordan Pond...(Summer Visitation 2009)

Photo By John Hoff

Around the time of the Fourth of July "party on the pond" in the Jordan Neighborhood, one of the "pond people" who lives nearby told me how wildlife has been increasing every year since the pond was created. One notable piece of wildlife is a fox which has been spotted frequently. In the middle of an intensely urban environment, local children find the Jordan pond a resource to spot wildlife and learn about nature.

(Some folks call the pond "Lake Jordan" but you can't really say that and have a serious face, not in Minnesota)

Naturally, there are a lot of interesting bugs around the pond--like fireflies flashing at night--but not as many as you might think, because other pond creatures feast on the insects. Bats are seen nightly, eating their weight in buts. Yay, bats. Don't even get me going about bats, and how great they are. Instead of spraying insecticide everywhere, we should just create giant urban bat habitats.

But anyway...

In the photo above, (published with permission of the child's mother) young "CC" (a resident of NoMi) shows off her insect collection container, which holds some stinging wasps...

I personally captured three wasps for "CC" after one wasp stung me while I was minding my own business, chatting with a friend and CC's mother.

My forearm swelled up and the sting looked like a FRIGGING TRACK MARK, but oh well. Better me than my son or one of the other kids. I can't help but note that--from the fall of 1990 until last year, I had managed to avoid wasp stings. However, in the past year in North Minneapolis, I've been stung by two wasps. Go figure.

I believe the sunlit exteriors of so many empty houses have created a perfect wasp environment, so there are suddenly just a WHOLE LOT OF WASPS present in North Minneapolis.

Anyway, "CC" is only afraid of insects to a sensible degree, acting quite prudent when she tries to--for crying out loud--capture a wasp on her own with help from my son, Alex, with a little bitty net made out of delicate mesh.

Later that night, "CC" asked some adults to help her mercifully let the wasps go, and the wasps were set free. But "CC" learned one very interesting piece of info from capturing the bugs: a wasp will eat a spider. Who knew? You'd think it'd be the other way around, but that's not the case.

Such is life on the Jordan Pond. We not only have the amenities of the city, but we also have nature. Could life be more perfect?

Well, yes, it could.

But we're working on that stuff.


Anonymous said...

I see Swing Vote is taking a nap!

Anonymous said...

Watch out for those W.A.S.P.s. If "Gentrification Johnny" and his secret "pro-city" allies get their way, we'll have a lot more W.A.S.P.s in NoMi. Vacant (and therefore cheap) houses are a perfect environment, as you say.

Anonymous said...

What I do not understand if people of color are concentrated in a high crime, high poverty area. (which I believe is a bad thing) people rightly complain but when people of anglo people move in and people of color move out and into less poverty stricken areas of mixed race or larger population of anglo. People complain of gentrification. We cannot have it both ways.

crazy white lady said...

don't be crazy. If it makes sense than it is so wrong. (please read this with sarcasm.)