Rutgers Gardens

8 09 2010

Mere minutes from the hustle and bustle of downtown New Brunswick, you can find Rutgers Gardens, owned and operated by Rutgers University. The grounds include a recently expanded flower and herb garden, as well as a log cabin used for various events. They are joined by Helyar Woods, a wonderful tract of mature forest which houses a leisurely trail system and plenty of wildlife.

Mating Skippers

The many flowers of the gardens bring spectacular numbers of insects and birds. Countless numbers of butterflies and moths fill the blooms as they spread pollen and gather sustenance for their long migrations to warmer climates. It’s not difficult to spot these species engaging in a variety of ecologically interesting acts. Each insect even mates different, with Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) and Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) performing very disparate acts – at least as they appear to us.

Mating Monarchs

From the tiny butterflies and moths that flit just above the ground, to the relatively massive dragonflies and swallowtails that cruise above your head, there’s never a dull moment. Giant predatory Hymenoptera (bees and wasps) attack and eat other insects. Skippers bounce from flower to flower in a constant game of musical chairs.

Blue Dasher

Eastern Tailed Blue

Dragonfly with personality

American Goldfinch with supplies

This American Goldfinch is bringing supplies back to its nest, seen below:

American Goldfinch nest

American Goldfinch

Snacking Goldfinch

The Gardens are home to a variety of bird species, including the pair of House Finches seen below. During migration you can find quite a few different birds flitting about the gardens and Helyar Woods: Scarlet Tanager, Black-and-White Warbler, Baltimore Oriole, and Ruby-Throated Hummingbird, among many others.

Female House Finch

Male House Finch

Check out the Rutgers Gardens web-page here and visit on Fridays during the weekly Farmers Market!

All photos were taken at Rutgers Gardens by Bill Lynch, (c) 2010.

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