October 17, 2012

Notes and changes since last report:

  • It was clear, 55° and calm at 2:30 PM on October 17, 2012.
  • The sun was warmer than the air was cool.
  • There was still a butterfly lurking along a sunny edge.
  • At the end of the month, the grounds close for the season.

The Trails

  • A goldenrod had survived the annual mowing of the Little Bluestem Meadow.
  • Two maples across the meadow from the new bench were bare already.
  • Low sun was illuminating foliage in the Old Gravel Pit.
  • I'd decided to leave my sweatshirt in the parking lot. Standing in warm pockets of sun, surrounded by layers of color, I did not miss it.
  • One corner of the pond has been catching the last rays of sun in the Fern Glen.
  • Trees were begging to have photos of their reflections flipped upside down.
  • Leaves floating on the tannin blackened water recalled the early works of M. C. Escher.
  • At the back of the pond, sweet pepperbush was glowing against the black waters below.
  • A long, quiet walk along the Cary Pines Trail was punctuated by a patch of sun coming through the canopy to ignite a little maple.
  • The flood plain section of the Wappinger Creek Trail had just a few new mushrooms today.
  • The edge of the back Old Hayfield promised to hold a butterfly or two.
  • It wasn't until the front Field however, that I found one... Actually it found me first, darting out from the same tree as did last week's red admiral.
  • I could just get enough of a peek at the underside and top side to call it an eastern comma - question marks had been more common this year.
  • With my quest for a butterfly fulfilled, I took a last look across the field at Gifford House and made my way home.
Little Bluestem Meadow mowed
Bare maples
Foliage in the Old Gravel Pit
Foliage in the Old Gravel Pit
Fern Glen pond
Fern Glen pond
Fern Glen pond
Sweet pepperbush
Sun on a maple
The back Old Hayfield
Eastern comma
Eastern comma
Eastern comma
Gifford House


  • 1 Turkey Vulture
  • 1 Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • 6 Downy Woodpecker
  • 1 Hairy Woodpecker
  • 2 Eastern Phoebe
  • 3 Blue Jay
  • 6 American Crow
  • 22 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 8 Tufted Titmouse
  • 6 Red-breasted Nuthatch
  • 5 White-breasted Nuthatch
  • 1 Carolina Wren
  • 3 Golden-crowned Kinglet
  • 7 Eastern Bluebird
  • 2 American Robin
  • 1 Palm Warbler
  • 2 Field Sparrow
  • 6 Fox Sparrow
  • 6 White-throated Sparrow
  • 19 Dark-eyed Junco
  • 4 American Goldfinch
  • 1 Eastern Comma

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