Notes and Changes since last report
- It was 70°F and clear and calm at 1:00 PM on September 18, 2013.
- Warm sun and cool, dry air. I love this weather.
- Mosquitoes were almost non-existant. I love this too.
- Not a skipper in sight anywhere today. Others might love that.
- Right in front of me in the Gifford parking lot was a small milkweed with a colony of the introduced oleander aphids.
- I thought about looking for monarch caterpillars but didn't have to make a decision: one was already there. It's getting late in the season - I hope it makes it. Their numbers are way down with reports of a 60% drop to a 20 year low at their Mexican winter grounds last winter.
- Along the edge of the front Old Hayfield was fine example of a goldenrod bunch gall, caused by a midge's larva living inside. Its secretion stops the stem from growing taller, but the leaves keep coming out and so form a bunch, giving the larva a safe place to live. Bunch galls only happen on Canada goldenrod, making that goldenrod ID easier.
- The boardwalk across the end of the Sedge Meadow had been collecting falling leaves - something I'd been denying.
- Another goldenrod that I find relatively easy to ID is rough-leaved goldenrod. It likes wet soils and has pretty big basal leaves.
- The Old Pasture has been reliable for American coppers for a while now. Just sit at the bench and watch the path.
- Across the path, a white form female sulphur looked as if it were extra massive as it dangled from an already curved goldenrod.
- A view of the sun dappled Wappinger Creek exemplified the beautiful day it was.
- Just above the Fern Glen, a spotted apatelodes caterpillar was hanging out under a leaf.
- There was one a few weeks ago. This time the characteristic red abdominal prolegs were obvious.
- A dragonfly was perched nearby and I had to try for it.
- In the Old Gravel Pit, I thought I heard golden-crowned warbler and swung my gaze in that direction but found instead psychadelic spider webs up fairly high.
- The lighting, the smells in the air... it was spectacular today. The view down the Scotch Pine Alleé was another that will be recalled when this day is mentioned.
- Off to the side, I spotted my first common milkweed letting loose its seeds to seek new homes. And I returned to my own.