May 10, 2013

Notes and Changes since last report

  • It was 70°F, cloudy and calm at 5:00 PM on May 10, 2013.
  • A very late start - not great for butterflies, but birds were singing evening songs.
  • The low light too was not great for photography but...
  • The warm, humid air held the spring time scents of flowering plants, the woods, the earth.

The Trails

  • The lilacs at Gifford House parking lot had opened. The air carried their scent from the parking lot out over the Old Hayfield.
  • By now the grass on the paths was tall enough to cut.
  • In the back of the front Old Hayfield, an apple was in its glory.
  • All around the edge, honeysuckle bushes were budding up.
  • Along the high side of the Sedge Meadow Trail, the bizzare gall of cedar-apple rust - a fungus - was dangling from several branches.
  • The path was strewn with common strawberry and dwarf cinquefoil.
  • Way in the back Old Hayfield, shagbark hickory was in bloom.
  • So too as ironwood.
  • Pretty, but invasive burning bush would soon follow.
  • Flowering dogwood had started last week and was now in profusion.
  • Tucked in the dark side of the Sedge Meadow Trail was another apple with a different looking blossom.
  • Even this late in the day, fresh leaves were glowing green in the view from the bluff over the Wappinger Creek.
  • In the path through the flood plane, cut-leaved toothwort had been blooming.
  • So too were a mustard as well as hooked- and small-flowered crowfoot, obscure members of the buttercup family.
  • Near by, trout-lily was forming its fruit now.
  • On the Cary Pines Trail gaywings were about to bloom!
  • In the Fern Glen along the road, hobblebush was nearly done blooming. A week seems to be about all you get.
  • Dainty oak fern was up in a number of patches in the Glen.
  • Not so dainty Solomon's seal threatened to engulf the bench. Hummingbirds and deer both enjoy this plant.
  • Star-flowered Solomon's seal was in one little patch.
  • Ostrich fern was all over the place.
  • Maidenhair fern was leafing out in the limestone cobble.
  • Large-flowered trillium, brilliant white when new, was gracefully aging to pink.
  • The air was filled with a heavy sweet fragrance; the lilacs couldn't have followed me here... It was wild blue phlox.
  • In the fen, cinnamon fern fiddleheads were errupting.
  • The swamp shrubs did not do well this past winter, but a few rhodora were making a valiant effort.
  • Highbush blueberry seemed to be an exception.
  • Lo, the gaywings were in full bloom here! So strange a flower.
  • Equally strange, large yellow lady's-slipper was budding up. Our other patch has made no appearance whatsoever this year. Apparently from time to time, they simply don't come up for a year.
  • Red baneberry was flowering in many places.
  • Right along the road near the bridge was interrupted fern, so called because the fertile spore producing, leaflets are right in the middle of an otherwise regular, sterile frond.
  • On the way out of the Glen, choke cherry was now blooming along the trail.
  • The big patch of hay-scented fern took me by surprise as I rounded a bend on the way to the Old Gravel Pit. There is a dizzying quality to the sight of them.
  • A last surprise for the day was a fallen branch or trunk, really, of a large white pine. I imagined the noise traveled quite a distance.
Apple blossoms
Honeysuckle buds
Cedar rust fungus
Flower strewn path
Common strawberry
Dwarf cinquefoil
Shagbark hickory
Burning bush
Flowering dogwood
Flowering dogwood
Apple blossoms
Trees getting green
Cut-leaved toothwort
Hooked crowfoot
Hooked crowfoot
A mustard
Small-flowered crowfoot
Trout-lily fruit
Oak fern
Star-flowered Solomon's seal
Ostrich fern
Maidenhair fern
Large-flowered trillium
Wild blue phlox
Cinnamon fern fiddleheads
Highbush blueberry
Large yellow lady's-slipper
Red baneberry
Interrupted fern
Interrupted fern
Choke cherry
Hay-scented fern
Fallen white pine trunk


  • 2 Mourning Dove
  • 1 Chimney Swift
  • 2 Eastern Phoebe
  • 1 Great Crested Flycatcher
  • 3 Blue Jay
  • 1 American Crow
  • 7 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 1 Brown Creeper
  • 2 House Wren
  • 2 Veery
  • 5 Wood Thrush
  • 7 American Robin
  • 2 Gray Catbird
  • 2 Blue-winged Warbler
  • 1 Prairie Warbler
  • 5 Ovenbird
  • 2 Louisiana Waterthrush
  • 6 Eastern Towhee
  • 2 Chipping Sparrow
  • 1 Field Sparrow
  • 1 Song Sparrow
  • 1 Northern Cardinal
  • 2 Red-winged Blackbird
  • 2 American Goldfinch
  • 1 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
  • Cedar-apple rust
  • 1 A Crowfoot
  • 1 A Mustard
  • 1 Common strawberry
  • 1 Gaywings
  • 1 High bush blueberry
  • 1 Jacob's ladder
  • 1 Lilac
  • 1 Red baneberry
  • 1 Rhodora
  • 1 Small-flowered crowfoot
  • 1 Starry false Soloman's-seal
  • 1 Wild blue phlox

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