May 30, 2013

Notes and Changes since last report

  • It was 88°F, and partly cloudy with light winds at 2:00 PM on May 30, 2013.
  • The first heat of the season is taxing on me.
  • But it brings out the butterflies; little wood-satyre, common ringlet and zabulon skipper were back.
  • For those interested in other orders, the ebony jewel-wing was back too.

The Trails

  • The first thing to catch my eye today was a caterpillar in the front Old Hayfield. The second thing was that it was dead. The eggs (or maybe cocoons) by its head may explain why.
  • On the Sedge Meadow Trail, gray dogwood was budding up.
  • Overhead was a barn swallow - a nice change from the usual tree swallows.
  • Behind the old Pump House, Angelica had started blooming.
  • Way in the back Old Hayfield, ironwood fruits were forming.
  • Approaching the Old Pasture, I noticed dewberry and wondered if I would find the hobomok skipper today - they seem to appear together.
  • Checking sunny leaves for hairstreaks on the Wappinger Creek Trail, I found instead a very dark mayfly.
  • Farther along is a sunny section of creek bank. On the way was the first ebony jewelwing - that black winged damsel fly. Several zabulon skippers were basking in that sunny patch when I got there. Nice.
  • I'd heard stonecrop was blooming near the watershed kiosk, and there it was.
  • Nearby was false hellebore. Big leaves, little flower.
  • Flicking sticks downed by the wind and rain the day before, I had my eyes down a lot today and was delighted to find a red eft.
  • A stick bigger than I cared to handle was down in the Old Gravel Pit.
  • A shrub was flowering along the edge of the Little Bluestem Meadow - a cherry?.
  • Of course not, it was here last year too. The flower and leaves look familiar?... It's nannyberry again - we figured that out last week.
  • Along the Scotch Pine Alleé a hornet-like nessus sphinx was moving around tirelessly. It was a she and she would alight for only a moment... to lay an egg on virginia creeper.
  • At the Fern Glen pond, blue flag was blooming with a scent that takes me back to childhood and the secret patch I discovered when I sought the answer to the question, "Why did the butterfly cross the road?"
  • Along the pond, carrion flower was blooming with its own special perfume.
  • That and its unusual rather than showy flower make it an acquired taste amongst gardeners.
  • Gin and tonic may be an acquired taste too. And like butterflies, it gives purpose to hot days like this one. I headed home to seek purpose.
Dead caterpillar
Gray dogwood
Ironwood fruits
Black mayfly
False hellebore
False hellebore
Red eft
Big stick in the Old Gravel Pit
Nessus sphinx
Blue flag
Carrion flower
Carrion flower


  • 2 Chimney Swift
  • 2 Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • 1 Eastern Wood-Pewee
  • 1 Eastern Phoebe
  • 6 Red-eyed Vireo
  • 2 American Crow
  • 2 Tree Swallow
  • 1 Barn Swallow
  • 5 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 1 House Wren
  • 1 Golden-crowned Kinglet
  • 1 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
  • 1 Eastern Bluebird
  • 2 Veery
  • 4 Wood Thrush
  • 3 American Robin
  • 5 Gray Catbird
  • 3 Cedar Waxwing
  • 1 Blue-winged Warbler
  • 1 Black-throated Green Warbler
  • 4 Ovenbird
  • 4 Louisiana Waterthrush
  • 1 Common Yellowthroat
  • 3 Scarlet Tanager
  • 2 Eastern Towhee
  • 2 Chipping Sparrow
  • 1 Field Sparrow
  • 2 Song Sparrow
  • 1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
  • 4 Brown-headed Cowbird
  • 2 American Goldfinch
  • 2 Cabbage White
  • 1 Clouded Sulphur
  • 15 Pearl Crescent
  • 33 Little Wood-Satyr
  • 15 Common Ringlet
  • 3 Zabulon Skipper
  • 1 Red eft
  • 2 Dogbane Tiger Moth
  • 1 Nessus Sphinx
  • 1 Blue flag
  • 1 Carrion flower
  • 1 Dewberry
  • 1 False hellebore
  • 1 Stonecrop

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