August 28, 2013

Notes and Changes since last report

  • It was 80°F, partly cloudy and calm at 1:30 PM on August 28, 2013.
  • Fruits were ripening.
  • Mosquitoes continued their decline with only a few thick spots.
  • A promethea moth was in the road on the way home. Does that count?

The Trails

  • Lifeless, in the vast expanse of the hot Gifford House parking lot was a galium sphinx caterpillar.
  • At the edge of a dried puddle behind the Carriage House was a lively group of 10 pearl crescents.
  • The sky from the Scotch Pine Alleé was dramatic this afternoon.
  • The nannyberry along the edge of the Little Bluestem Meadow that faked me out in May was now bearing fruit.
  • Right at its base, those of Japanese barberry were ripening.
  • Behind me was a view across the goldenrods of Gifford House.
  • Ahead was the bare oak against that sky.
  • And then it was into the Old Gravel Pit - mosquito haven... I was keeping ahead of them until something rose from the side of the path. A fresh red admiral.
  • There were a number in the Fern Glen pestering me as I examined newly opened groundnut.
  • I was careful about shooing them away as I observed how the saddleback caterpillars had gotten bigger.
  • Mixed in with the poison sumac and highbush blueberry was ripening bittersweet nightshade.
  • On the way out was a perfect maple-leaved viburnum with fruit.
  • Out on the Cary Pines Trail just before joining the Wappinger Creek Trail were some fine fungal fruiting bodies, otherwise known as mushrooms.
  • At the footbridge below the Appendix (Trail Marker 10 area) was a plant that I'd been avoiding. It looked like a nettle but wasn't either of the two I knew.
  • OK, leaves opposite and well toothed. Flowers dense and undistinguished in the leaf axils... False nettle said the book!
  • Something else kind of prickley looking flew by towards the upstream end of the Wappinger Creek Trail. Some kind of crane fly I would guess, judging by the legs .
  • Gray dogwood berries were no mystery in the Old Pasture. Dark clouds started calling, and a welcome cool wind picked up; I moved on.
  • From the back Old Hayfield, the clouds looked impressive, but benign.
  • A little gray ball hiding amongst the monarda caught my eye and provoked curiosity. Then the spider web in the neighboring hollow explained all.
  • A big gray ball had been getting bigger. I kept curiosity at a distance and made sure not to provoke the lone guard on duty.
  • My duty was done; I went home.
  • OK, it wasn't on the Trails, but it COULD have been... a male promethea moth. I don't see these often at all.
Galium sphinx caterpillar
Pearl crescents "mud puddling"
View from the Scotch Pine Alleé
Nannyberry
Nannyberry
Groundnut
Saddleback caterpillars
Poison sumac
Maple-leaved viburnum
Mushrooms
False nettle
False nettle
False nettle
Crane fly?
Gray dogwood berries
Male promethea moth

Sightings

Birds
  • 2 Wild Turkey
  • 2 Black Vulture
  • 2 Turkey Vulture
  • 1 Ruby-throated Hummingbird
  • 2 Downy Woodpecker
  • 1 Pileated Woodpecker
  • 4 Red-eyed Vireo
  • 3 Blue Jay
  • 1 American Crow
  • 9 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 1 White-breasted Nuthatch
  • 1 Carolina Wren
  • 1 House Wren
  • 1 American Robin
  • 4 Gray Catbird
  • 1 Cedar Waxwing
  • 1 Black-throated Green Warbler
  • 1 Common Yellowthroat
  • 2 Northern Cardinal
  • 1 House Finch
  • 5 American Goldfinch
Butterflies
  • 3 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
  • 1 Spicebush Swallowtail
  • 26 Cabbage White
  • 19 Clouded Sulphur
  • 4 Orange Sulphur
  • 1 American Copper
  • 2 Eastern Tailed-Blue
  • 7 Great Spangled Fritillary
  • 1 Meadow Fritillary
  • 17 Pearl Crescent
  • 1 Red Admiral
  • 1 Common Ringlet
  • 8 Common Wood-Nymph
  • 8 Silver-spotted Skipper
  • 6 Least Skipper
  • 1 Peck's Skipper
  • 8 Zabulon Skipper
Caterpillars
  • 1 Galium sphinx
Plants
  • 1 False nettle
  • 1 Groundnut

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