It was still dark out by the time I got to Central Park. It was eerie walking through an otherwise empty park at 5:30 in the morning — but eventually I bumped into a few other Macaulay students and we walked to the North Meadow Recreation Center together.
I didn’t sleep a wink the night before, and the wonderful people at Macaulay must have anticipated that because they had coffee and doughnuts waiting for us.
I was placed into a large group, and we split up to study plants around the park. I volunteered to take pictures and upload them to iNaturalist. You can see all of the plants we found under my profile here.
Honestly, I wanted to study turtles but at least I wasn’t stuck collecting insects at the crack of dawn.
Overall, BioBlitz was a fairly fun experience. I really enjoyed learning about the different types of plants and trees growing in Central Park. At one point we even found a squash plant — our guide mused that the seed probably came from someone’s lunch! That’s certainly an interesting addition to the park’s botanical makeup.
I never actively seek out the green pastures of Central Park; I’ve always considered it to be a tourist trap. And even if that holds true, it’s still an important institution.
It’s easy to feel suffocated within the walls of this concrete jungle. Central Park offers a kind of opposition to that — especially considering the sheer magnitude/variety of living organisms in the park.
Also, it’s obscenely pretty. See below.