trail map

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 75°F, calm, and mostly clear at 2:00 PM on September 13, 2017.
  • This week's trail report covers the Cary Pines Trail side of the trail system.
  • It was a quiet day for butterflies and birds both.
  • Caterpillars were on the move.

The Trails

  • It was a beautiful late summer afternoon on the way to the Carriage House behind Gifford House.
  • Dark red leaves in the shrubs were calling attention to the blue-black berries of Virginia creeper.
  • Just a little farther along was an empty nest of perhaps fall webworm.
  • Along the Scots Pine Allée, a banded tussock moth caterpillar was climbing one of the pines.
  • Out in the Little Bluestem Meadow white fluff was rising and drifting in the air.
  • A closer look ruled out milkweed.
  • Thistle was the next thought but that didn't seem right either... maybe a lettuce?
  • No doubt about silverrod. There's always a patch at the end of the pines.
  • Something flew by that wasn't a wasp: an American copper.
  • There was a blue glow around the body, seemingly from dense hairs. Interesting...
  • Around the corner milkweed tussock moth caterpillars could be found on a number of milkweeds.
  • A scan of the meadow back towards Gifford House turned up little more than a few cabbage whites and orange sulphurs, but it's always a favorite view.
  • In the Fern Glen, a woolly bear was eating swamp milkweed.
  • In the back of the 'Glen, spikenard berries were ripening.
  • Even burried in the wetland, Jack-in-the-pulpit was hard to miss.
  • Back above the deck, the usual colony of whorled aster was in bloom.
  • Closer to the deck, tall white lettuce was flowering.
  • It's a strange little flower that the lettuces have.
  • Ah, there was a whole Jack-in-the-pulpit, leaves and all still intact.
  • Speckled alder was in the shrub swamp and already looking forward to spring.
  • Its female cones...
  • and male catkins were formed and ready for win... I won't say it.
  • Next week: the Wappinger Creek Trail side of the trail system.
American Copper

Sightings

Birds
  • 1 Red-tailed Hawk
  • 1 Eastern Phoebe
  • 5 Blue Jay
  • 6 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 4 American Robin
  • 1 Ovenbird
Butterflies
  • 3 Cabbage White
  • 1 Clouded Sulphur
  • 2 Orange Sulphur
  • 1 American Copper
Caterpillars
  • 1 Banded Tussock Moth
  • 1 Milkweed tussock moth
  • 1 Woolly bear
Plants
  • 1 Tall white lettuce
  • 1 Whorled aster

Notes and Changes since last report

  • It was 68°F, mostly cloudy, and breezy at 2:00 PM on September 7, 2017.
  • This week's trail report covers the Wappinger Creek Trail side of the trail system.
  • Wednesday's several inches of rain delayed this walk until today.
  • Some fields have been mowed.

The Trails

  • Birds were active at Gifford House parking lot with young eastern bluebirds going back and forth between the drive and kiosk and trees.
  • It took a while to notice that the front Old Hayfield had been mowed...
  • ...then, that hints of Fall had crept in too.
  • At the head of the Sedge Meadow Trail, a stink bug played hide and seek on the leaves of a white ash.
  • Around the corner, goldenrods, unsupported, were leaning towards the middle of the path.
  • They were another center of activity, this time for bees and other insects.
  • At the top of the hill, American goldfinch were working between the junipers and the tall weeds.
  • The back Old Hayfield was left unmowed as refuge.
  • Several spiders had webs among the wild bergamot and goldenrods.
  • In the Old Pasture, coral fungus was errupting along the side of the path.
  • Towards creek end of the trail, rose hips were forming on that non-multiflora rose.
  • Almost into the woods was a cluster of puffballs - will they survive the mowers?
  • The view from the bluff promised a full Wappinger Creek.
  • Along the descending trail, wreath goldenrod, another "easy" woodland goldenrod, was starting to bloom.
  • Just below, our only white goldenrod, silverrod was beginning to bloom, too.
  • Around the "Appendix" was a familiar shelf fungus.
  • A field of tiny mushrooms spread before me.
  • What appeared to be a darker version of the previous shelf fungus was on a mossy log.
  • Not much farther along was now what seemed to be a lighter version.
  • Next week: the Cary Pines Trail side of the trail system.
Spider

Sightings

Birds
  • 1 Turkey Vulture
  • 1 Red-tailed Hawk
  • 1 Mourning Dove
  • 1 Belted Kingfisher
  • 3 Eastern Phoebe
  • 5 Red-eyed Vireo
  • 1 Blue Jay
  • 1 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 3 White-breasted Nuthatch
  • 6 Eastern Bluebird
  • 1 Cedar Waxwing
  • 1 Scarlet Tanager
  • 1 Eastern Towhee
  • 4 Chipping Sparrow
  • 8 American Goldfinch
Butterflies
  • 14 Cabbage White
  • 2 Clouded Sulphur
  • 8 Orange Sulphur
  • 6 Great Spangled Fritillary
  • 2 Pearl Crescent
  • 1 Monarch
  • 16 Silver-spotted Skipper
Plants
  • 1 Silverrod
  • 1 Wreath goldenrod

Pages

Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies | Millbrook, New York 12545 | Tel (845) 677-5343

Privacy Policy Copyright © 2017