June 06, 2012

Notes and changes since last report

  • 63°F, cloudy and calm at 1:00 PM.
  • It cleared and warmed some, it clouded again, it showered... and repeated the cycle...
  • Bedstraws were in full bloom.
  • European skipper made it's appearance.

The Trails

  • Right in the Gifford House parking lot Common milkweed was budding up and would soon be opening. It's my favorite nectar source for butterflies.
  • The front Old Hayfield was full of bedstraws. That and the fresh mown path filled the air with a summery scent.
  • The familiar, if only by sight, rough-fruited cinquefoil was blooming.
  • An orange blur crossed my path: my first European skipper of the season.
  • Yarrow is an interesting plant. It doesn't seem to attract many butterflies, but the things it does attract are unusual.
  • The antennae told me immediately that this was probably a fly; the face confirmed it. My old text said thick-headed flies are ususually found on flowers and parasitize wasps and bumble bees.
  • Along the edge of the field, privet - a garden escapee - was proving very attractive to silver-spotted skippers.
  • Once would be one thing, but several times I noticed a bug perched on top of a grass stalk.
  • Gray dogwood was blooming everywhere filling the air with its punky odor.
  • By the Old Pumphouse angelica was making its annual appearance.
  • A passerby reminded me why I consider the Appendix special - that spot where the Cary Pines and Wappinger Creek Trails meet at the creek. I'd have missed dead man's fingers and coral fungus. And our discussion of the black-throated green and pine warblers was interrupted when a great blue heron glided in for a landing.
  • It was sprinkling when I eventually got to the Fern Glen.
  • Around the limestone cobble twinleaf pods would soon be popping.
  • Back in the acid shale columbine was forming seed pods.
  • Along the trail purple-flowering raspberry was getting ready to bloom.
  • In the fen elderberry was thinking about it (along the pond it had already started).
  • I thought blueberry had already blossomed. I turned around and found the berries of one I knew. Oh yes, maleberry. Closer inspection revealed the little brown capsule of last years seeds.
  • By the stone bridge the colony of Indian cucumber root was looking even better than last year. It's a tiny member of the lily family.
  • Near the kiosk Bowman's root was blooming in several locations.
  • I thought the patch of spreading dogbane used to be taller.
  • The knee high blossoms attract a lot of different insects.
  • It was clearing again as I gazed across the Little Bluestem Meadow towards Gifford House.
  • I figured it would stay that way: I was leaving now. It did.
Rough-fruited cinquefoil
European skipper on bedstraw
Old Hayfield full of bedstraw
Thick-headed fly on yarrow
Thick-headed fly on yarrow
Thick-headed fly on yarrow
Privet
Silver-spotted skipper
Bug
Gray dogwood
Angelica
Dead man's fingers
Coral fungus
Columbine seed pods
Purple-flowering raspberry
Elderberry
Maleberry
Blueberry berries
Indian cucumber root
Bowman's root
Twinleaf seed pod
Little Bluestem Meadow
Spreading dogbane
Spreading dogbane
Common milkweed
Indian cucumber root

Sightings

Birds
  • 1 Great Blue Heron
  • 1 Turkey Vulture
  • 1 Eastern Phoebe
  • 1 Yellow-throated Vireo
  • 1 Warbling Vireo
  • 3 Red-eyed Vireo
  • 4 Blue Jay
  • 1 American Crow
  • 4 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 1 Tufted Titmouse
  • 1 Brown Creeper
  • 1 Carolina Wren
  • 1 Golden-crowned Kinglet
  • 1 Eastern Bluebird
  • 5 Veery
  • 2 Wood Thrush
  • 4 American Robin
  • 7 Gray Catbird
  • 7 Cedar Waxwing
  • 1 Blue-winged Warbler
  • 2 Black-throated Green Warbler
  • 1 Pine Warbler
  • 2 Prairie Warbler
  • 3 Ovenbird
  • 2 Louisiana Waterthrush
  • 2 Scarlet Tanager
  • 1 Eastern Towhee
  • 1 Chipping Sparrow
  • 5 Field Sparrow
  • 1 Song Sparrow
  • 1 Northern Cardinal
  • 1 Red-winged Blackbird
  • 2 Common Grackle
  • 1 Brown-headed Cowbird
  • 2 Baltimore Oriole
  • 2 American Goldfinch
Butterflies
  • 5 Cabbage White
  • 1 Question Mark
  • 2 Red-spotted Purple
  • 13 Little Wood-Satyr
  • 7 Common Ringlet
  • 8 Silver-spotted Skipper
  • 5 European Skipper
Plants

<ul>
  <li>1 Bowman's-root</li>
  <li>1 Elderberry</li>
  <li>1 Gray dogwood</li>
  <li>1 Maleberry</li>
  <li>1 Privet</li>
  <li>1 Rough-fruited cinquefoil</li>
  <li>1 Spreading dogbane</li>
  <li>1 Yarrow</li>
</ul>

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