I have often likened New York City to a jungle and am certainly not the first to do so. But this overused metaphor typically refers to the concrete jungle of man's creations. However, at certain times in certain places, there are small pieces of the natural world to be discovered for urban explorers.
In many of the New York City parks and gardens, surprises abound in the world of flora and fauna. In 2009, there was even a New York City Cricket Crawl, described as an aural expedition and a celebration of life in the leafy jungles of urban and suburban NYC and surrounding area.
I've been listening to the sounds of summer for years, never knowing my cicadas from my katydids. But at least I know crickets. Some New Yorkers appear to be so out of touch with the natural world that they can not even hear the natural sounds around them, or perhaps have tuned them out. One evening I pointed out the incredible din of crickets in Washington Square Park to a friend. Surprisingly, they could actually not hear what I was talking about. Perhaps inured to the sound or perhaps unable to isolate from the city's ambient hum.
Last night, as a number of us watched the amazing magic of Constantin, a katydid came jettisoning through the Washington Square arch. I followed it, not expecting to see it at rest, but it did light nearby on the cobblestone. I signaled to others to come observe this rare event. The katydid appeared to be stunned, perhaps lost from the foliated areas of the park. One of our group was able to produce a flashlight and illuminate our subject. I captured this photo, and we then moved the katydid to a garden area of the park and he (or she) flew off.
For a few moments with a katydid on granite, we saw well illuminated by spotlight the ultimate juxtaposition when jungles collide :)