June 26, 2013

Notes and Changes since last report

  • It was 75°F, overcast and calm at 1:00 PM on June 26, 2013.
  • Banded hairstreak, great spangled fritillary and little glassywing were back.
  • Fruits were ripening.
  • In spite of some sprinkles, it was a good butterfly day.

The Trails

  • The Gifford House milkweed promised to be blooming well and attracting early summer butterflies this week. The first rain drops fell as I arrived...
  • No butterflies, but a "regular fly" was there, calm enough to allow another portrait.
  • Not quite so calm was a wild turkey hen. She, a bunch of chicks and another hen scooted away in the tall grass at the side of the first Old Hayfield.
  • Wild basil was blooming along the edge.
  • A milkweed relative, spreading dogbane was blooming in places.
  • Its sap is milky and the leaf is similar in shape if not size.
  • One nice thing about cloudy days is that skippers, like this little glassywing, alternate between feeding with wings up and sunning with wings down.
  • A spot of color caused a detour in my path. It was a rose, but not the ordinary multiflora rose, rather one I'll have to come back to visit with the book.
  • Right next to it was an interesting spider web. And now I see that it was inhabited.
  • Great spangled fritillaries were back, and even on this gray day I would see over a dozen.
  • As I stood up a flutter in the tops of the nearby weeds was not a field sparrow but a kingbird - nice!
  • On the Sedge Meadow Trail, a spring azure took a break from ovapositing on gray dogwood to take nectar from the same.
  • Honeysuckle berries were profuse and ripening.
  • The alien Deptford pink was scattered along the side of the trail.
  • The bench in the back Old Hayfield was popular with the dragonflies.
  • It was a male and female common whitetail.
  • In the back of the field, that tall, whispy loblia was up and blooming.
  • No white center in the flower and a regular sort of leaf... it must be spiked lobelia.
  • Ooo! A small battered skipper! Was this a 2nd chance at the one that got away a couple weeks ago? Unfortunately that's the best of 4 photos. And it looks more like a cobweb than the Indian I thought it would be. Oh well.
  • Sitting on the bench, hoping for more skippers in the Old Pasture, I felt something on my leg. It wasn't a tick but the tiniest caterpiller imaginable - so tiny it was scaling the hairs on the back of my hand like trees to get a better view of its location.
  • On the way down from the bluff of the Wappinger Creek trail, banded hairstreaks finally made an appearance, but not one I could capture; they were landing just a little too high. Then I noticed movement above them; it was a red-spotted purple even higher, almost in the tree tops. And something was disturbing it: more hairstreaks. I'd never seen them that high before.
  • I knew another spot where you could look down on them, but it was empty... I went down for a more thorough look. Nothing... except for narrow-leaved bittercress - an unbelievably prolific invasive. As I reached for the 3rd victim, I stopped and stared at my hand in amazement. I'd very carefully reached around the nettles, but the flame across my thumb was going off the scale. A small bumble bee-like thing came by, perhaps to see if I had gotten the message. Repetition was not necessary. I did notice over my shoulder as I fled, a gray paper ball in the weeds. Interesting - no yellow, not yellow jackets, too small for bald-faced hornets... maybe another time.
  • Farther along was a more pleasant surprise - an ebony jewelwing that sat still for me. And then a female, too.
  • Out along the Cary Pines Trail, in the crotch of a tree was miniature landscape with mountain slopes of bark and alpine meadows of moss.
  • Back on our local trails, Canada mayflower was forming berries.
  • I'd forgotten to check the trumpet creeper last week. Funny, it looks more like a tree than a vine. And these little barbs could mean this is prickley ash! This is something that giant swallowtails use for baby food up here in the North!
  • In the Fern Glen, lizard's tail would soon be blooming.
  • In the background was a damselfly dining on perhaps a fruitfly.
  • I remembered to look behind the Carriage House today and was surprised at the payoff: Stewartia was blooming.
  • Its "exfoliating" bark resembles that of sycamore and it has a striking flower.
  • One last pass around Gifford's milkweeds was productive with more great spangleds and (finally) a banded hairstreak.
Fly on milkweed
Fly on milkweed
Wild turkey hen
Wild basil
Spreading dogbane
Spreading dogbane with metallic fly
Little glassywing
A wild rose
Spider web
Great spangled fritillary
Spring azure
Honeysuckle berries
Deptford pink
Dragonfly bench
Common whitetails, male and female
Spiked loblia
Spiked loblia
A tattered skipper
Tiny looper
Ebony jewelwing male
Ebony jewelwing female
Miniature landscape
Canada mayflower with fruit
Trumpet creeper... not
Prickley ash
Lizard's tail and...
Damselfly
Red baneberry
White baneberry
Stewartia
Stewartia
Banded hairstreak
Great spangled fritillary

Sightings

Birds
  • 6 Wild Turkey
  • 1 Mourning Dove
  • 3 Chimney Swift
  • 2 Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • 3 Downy Woodpecker
  • 2 Eastern Wood-Pewee
  • 4 Eastern Phoebe
  • 1 Eastern Kingbird
  • 1 Yellow-throated Vireo
  • 1 Warbling Vireo
  • 6 Red-eyed Vireo
  • 2 Blue Jay
  • 2 American Crow
  • 7 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 1 Tufted Titmouse
  • 3 White-breasted Nuthatch
  • 2 House Wren
  • 5 Veery
  • 2 Wood Thrush
  • 2 American Robin
  • 3 Gray Catbird
  • 5 Cedar Waxwing
  • 1 Blue-winged Warbler
  • 2 Prairie Warbler
  • 3 Ovenbird
  • 1 Louisiana Waterthrush
  • 1 Common Yellowthroat
  • 1 Scarlet Tanager
  • 5 Eastern Towhee
  • 3 Chipping Sparrow
  • 2 Field Sparrow
  • 1 Song Sparrow
  • 4 Northern Cardinal
  • 1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
  • 3 Indigo Bunting
  • 1 Red-winged Blackbird
  • 3 American Goldfinch
Butterflies
  • 10 Cabbage White
  • 9 Banded Hairstreak
  • 4 Spring Azure
  • 14 Great Spangled Fritillary
  • 1 Pearl Crescent
  • 1 Red-spotted Purple
  • 7 Little Wood-Satyr
  • 2 Silver-spotted Skipper
  • 2 Least Skipper
  • 3 European Skipper
  • 1 Cobweb Skipper
  • 12 Little Glassywing
Plants
  • 1 Deptford pink
  • 1 Spiked Lobelia
  • 1 Spreading dogbane
  • 1 Stewartia
  • 1 Wild basil

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