Notes and changes since last report:
- It was mostly cloudy and 83° with a light breeze at 1:30 PM on August 8.
- My first discovery of the day was that I'd left everything home: camera, binoculars, checklist, hat, water... I hate when I do that.
- With borrowed bins and a piece of scrap paper, I was off.
- The birds seemed especially quiet today, except, as usual, for goldfinch, which were heard on virtually every trail.
- The butterflies seemed to be out in normal numbers.
- That mossy dead tree on the Cary Pines Trail near the Fern Glen was lacking almost all of the fungi from last week - quite the opposite of what I'd expected...
- In the Glen, long legs with white joints were momentarily highlighted against a black background as a mysterious insect floated through a patch of sun. Maybe a cranefly, maybe not... I've seen it over the years, but never often, never well...
- I was surprised by a large dark "lep" (-idopteran) flying on the Cary Pines Trail. It was too large to write off as a gypsy moth, and when it abruptly clamped onto the trunk of a tree, I knew it was a northern pearly-eye. It showed little wear and tear for so late in the season.
- Deer flies and "ear flies" - those non-biting, but annoying things that fly in and around one's ears - were not so surprising nor welcome. I constantly flicked a switch about my head and had the occasional satisfaction of hearing it make a direct hit.
- On the Wappinger Creek Trail, I tried to adjust my attitude to one of scientific excitement as I observed how dense and tall the Japanese stilt grass was in this 2nd season since its appearance here. I am observing first hand an invasive plant just as it enters an area! For the record, as last year, it reaches from the foot bridge at the end of the flood plain upstream to the stone wall crossing the path. But it's much taller and thicker.
- Farther up the trail, I was observed by another northern pearly-eye as I entered its area. Again, it showed little wear and tear.
- The Sedge Meadow Trail - always a favorite - did not disappoint: a moderatly tattered Appalachian brown came out to investigate me.
- Some time was spent around the two Old Hayfields where big spicebush swallowtails and a number of zabulon skippers were among the notable.
- The female zabulon looks nothing like the male - black as opposed to orange. Very handsome. I must get a good photo...
- ... maybe next time.