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Trail Reports

Insights on trail conditions and the plants and animals you can expect to encounter throughout the seasons.

BarryMeet Barry, the author of our trail reports >>

Notes and Changes since last report

  • It was 60°F, cloudy and calm at 2:15 PM on October 25, 2017.
  • This week's trail report covers the Cary Pines Trail side of the trail system.
  • Leaves were down after yesterday's rain, but those remaining were looking good.
  • This is the last trail report of the season with the grounds closing Nov. 1 and reopening April 1, 2018, conditions permitting...

The Trails

  • The sky was constantly changing over the Old Hayfield by Gifford House.
  • A downy woodpecker landed in the tall dead branches.
  • Even after seeing a song sparrow drop into the dead walnut leaves, it was hard to spot.
  • Behind the Carriage House, Stewartia's rich, red leaves were hard to miss.
  • The view across the Little Bluestem Meadow had some color in it.
  • The sky over the meadow was boiling with occasional patches of blue.
  • Blue was somewhere, but not over Gifford House.
  • Zooming in for a last look of the season showed the oaks had a way to go yet.
  • In the Old Gravel Pit, a stick on the ground had several types of fungus including one of the strange jelly fungi.
  • From the locust ridge, yellow leaves of sumac were stark against a dark background.
  • And sugar maple had tinges of orange in its yellow.
  • For another brief moment, sun lit the path in front of me.
  • The Norway Spruce Glade above the Fern Glen had been brush hogged.
  • At the edge of the 'Glen, hobblebush leaves were taking on interesting color patterns.
  • Along side, striped maple was a solid pale yellow.
  • Across the street, pinxter azalea was indeed pink and sporting next year's buds.
  • Over the stone bridge, sassafras was an orange that was almost red.
  • A surprise near the deck was miterwort in bloom - it flowers normally in early spring.
  • The leaf shape was odd, but the color was recognizable in the maple-leaved viburnum near the limestone cobble.
  • Yet another distinct yellow was in the leaves of spicebush .
  • Then it was off on the Cary Pines Trail where a white speck stood out on a hemlock.
  • It was a false hemlock looper moth.
  • Movement on the ground drew my attention: it was a squirrel in a comical pose.
  • Next season: the Cary Pines Trail side of the trail system.
Gray Squirrel

Sightings

Birds
  • 1 Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • 1 Downy Woodpecker
  • 2 American Crow
  • 4 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 1 White-breasted Nuthatch
  • 1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  • 2 American Robin
  • 1 Song Sparrow
Butterflies
  • 1 Clouded Sulphur
  • 2 Orange Sulphur
Plants
  • 1 Miterwort
Moth
  • 1 False hemlock looper moth

Notes and Changes since last report

  • It was 65°F, clear and calm at 2:00 PM on October 18, 2017.
  • This week's trail report covers the Wappinger Creek Trail side of the trail system.
  • The air was cool, the sun was warm, fall colors were lacking.
  • Next week will be the last trail report of the season with the grounds closing the following week.

The Trails

  • It felt like fall, it smelled like fall, but it still didn't look much like fall at the front Old Hayfield by Gifford House.
  • One single spotted knappweed was at the head of the Sedge Meadow Trail and a bee had found it.
  • A mourning dove or two passed overhead.
  • A few puffballs were underfoot.
  • In between, juniper berries were abundant.
  • Where the path becomes a tunnel, the burning bush was getting some color.
  • The boardwalk below was now covered with fallen leaves.
  • Low, afternoon sun lit up a branch of another burning bush.
  • Although it was October, mayflies were rising and falling in clouds.
  • In the back Old Hayfield, a lone violet was blooming.
  • Across on the other side was about the best color around so far.
  • In the field itself, common milkweed was releasing its flying seeds.
  • Even if there wasn't much color, the view from the bluff over the Wappinger Creek was still nice.
  • Ironwood is known by several names including musclewood because of its rippling bark.
  • Its odd fruit was drying on the branches.
  • Down in the flood plain, Japanese barberry was taking on a little color.
  • A favorite view from the bench at the "Appendix" was muted. See how it looks next week.
  • Next week: the Cary Pines Trail side of the trail system.
Mayfly species

Sightings

Birds
  • 1 Mourning Dove
  • 2 Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • 1 Downy Woodpecker
  • 2 Blue-headed Vireo
  • 7 Blue Jay
  • 4 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 2 Tufted Titmouse
  • 1 White-breasted Nuthatch
  • 1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  • 1 American Robin
  • 1 European Starling
  • 6 Chipping Sparrow
  • 1 American Goldfinch
Butterflies
  • 1 Cabbage White
  • 1 Clouded Sulphur
  • 5 Orange Sulphur
  • 1 Eastern Comma
Insects
  • 1 Mayfly
Plants
  • 1 Violet

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