Notes and changes since last report
- It was clear and 85° with a light breeze at 2:45 PM on July 11, 2012.
- We still hadn't had any real rain for weeks.
- Banded hairstreak, northern pearly-eye, Appalachian brown, and the "witches" were out in good numbers.
- Common milkweed was on the way out while wild bergamot was beginning to flower.
- It was a quiet walk to the Fern Glen via the Little Bluestem Meadow.
- Two of the "witches" were in the Norway Spruce Glade - the roadside meadow above the 'Glen.
- Back in the fen was something unfamiliar. The flower looked like a buttercup, but the leaves didn't. I'm leaning towards Canada St. John's wort, but I have to get out my swamp shoes for a closer look.
- On the other side of the boardwalk was purple-stemmed aster looking so much like New England aster, even up close.
- In the shrub swamp, horse-balm was beginning to blossom. Smell the blossom; smell the leaves.
- Again I was hearing an unfamiliar bird call along the Cary Pines Trail. I must return and linger.
- Indian pipe was not unfamiliar even if it was unfocused.
- The Wappinger Creek Trail was full of political strife today: banded hairstreaks were perching in the sun and darting out to engage any others passing by in spiraling arguments in the air.
- Northern pearly-eyes were, in contrast, perching on tree trunks in the shade and darting out to challenge ME passing by.
- On the Sedge Meadow Trail, yet another style of perching was encountered: that of the eastern comma. There seems to be a role reversal this year with the question mark being the more common of the two.
- Wild bergamot was just starting up in the back Old Hayfield.
- With the increasing cloud cover, butterfly activity was slowing down affording an uncommon opportunity to photo an orange sulphur at rest. That notch on the hind wing could well be from a bird's beak.
- As the sun returned, so did activity and I found there were quite a few "witches" on the remaining milkweed. These are three skippers notoriously difficult to distinguish among: the northern broken-dash, little glassywing, and dun skipper. All three were present, but the little glassywing was now on the decline as it emerges first.
- With the sun came the heat. I left.