May, 2016 - Trail Report Archive

Notes and Changes since last report

  • It was 47°F and misting with light breezes at 11:30 PM on May 4, 2016.
  • The cool, damp weather of late had kept typically short lived spring flowers in bloom.
  • Black-and-white warbler and ovenbird were back.
  • No butterflies were seen at all.

The Trails

  • The forecast was not much better for any day this week, so I headed out into the mist and crossed Gifford House's front Old Hayfield.
  • On the Sedge Meadow Trail, honeysuckle was fully leafed out with swelling flower buds while native gray dogwood in the background was barely opening its leaves.
  • From a distance shaggy orange balls could be seen decorating the cedars ahead.
  • They were the bizarre fungal cedar rust galls.
  • Off the side of the boardwalk was a clump of violets.
  • The zoom lens got us in close and personal.
  • Across the back Old Hayfield, the flowering dogwood didn't look much more advanced than last week.
  • Again, zooming in showed that there had been some progress.
  • The recent rains, though mostly light, have been enough to fill up the Wappinger Creek.
  • At the bottom of the hill, a lighter color in the leaves caught my attention.
  • Big wood chips like this I've seen before...
  • Directly above was the work site of a pileated woodpecker.
  • Down along the creek, I heard the Louisiana waterthrush and noticed a white bump on a stump at the water's edge.
  • It was a young shelf fungus. Last year's got pretty big...
  • Cut-leaved toothwort was just a few steps ahead. The cool, damp weather has helped keep this flower around for a nice while.
  • On the slope up to the sugarbush, a glint of purple was from the first gaywings to bloom.
  • Down in the floodplain, invasive narrow-leaved bittercress was beginning to send up its flower stalk.
  • The Canada mayflower made quite the ground cover on the Cary Pines Trail.
  • Mixed in, here and there, was starflower, just budding up.
  • In the Fern Glen, Jack-in-the-pulpit had errupted since the last time.
  • Another strange flower like skunk cabbage composed of spathe and spadix.
  • Back in the fen, rhodora was starting to bloom.
  • Closer to the soil, leatherleaf had already started.
  • Little bog rosemary was already with the program.
  • Highbush blueberry was ready to burst, in fact just a few had.
  • In another corner, tiny goldthread was well on the way.
  • Way in the back, the long awaited yellow lady's-slipper was beginning to unroll leaves.
  • By the deck over the Creek, toothwort was again having a great season.
  • A surprise along the road was golden ragwort; interestingly there was no such advanced stages in sunnier locations elsewhere.
  • Another surprise was finding a beaver at work last week. Felling a tree was one thing to watch... dragging it away was another. All that remained was a stump
  • On the way out of the 'Glen stood another dogwood.
  • Something was a little odd about its form - after the first branch, almost everything was gone.
  • In the Old Gravel Pit, honeysuckle was even further along.
  • At the Carriage House end of the Scots Pine Alleé, American goldfinch were overhead.
  • Behind the Carriage House, fothergilla had barely begun to bloom.
  • With wet feet and my car in sight, it was hard to stop for the Bradford pear, but I wanted to verify it was the source of that punky fragrance in the air.
Cedar Rust Gall


  • 2 Mourning Dove
  • 2 Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • 1 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
  • 1 Downy Woodpecker
  • 1 Pileated Woodpecker
  • 3 Eastern Phoebe
  • 2 Blue Jay
  • 3 American Crow
  • 4 Common Raven
  • 1 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 2 Tufted Titmouse
  • 1 Eastern Bluebird
  • 6 American Robin
  • 2 European Starling
  • 1 Pine Warbler
  • 1 Black-and-white Warbler
  • 5 Ovenbird
  • 2 Louisiana Waterthrush
  • 1 Common Yellowthroat
  • 4 Eastern Towhee
  • 3 Chipping Sparrow
  • 1 Field Sparrow
  • 2 Red-winged Blackbird
  • 1 House Finch
  • 5 American Goldfinch
  • 1 Bog rosemary
  • 1 Bradford pear
  • 1 Fothergilla
  • 1 Gaywings
  • 1 Golden ragwort
  • 1 Goldthread
  • 1 High bush blueberry
  • 1 Honeysuckle
  • 1 Jack-in-the-pulpit
  • 1 Leatherleaf
  • 1 Rhodora


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

Privacy Policy Copyright © 2016