September 19, 2012

Notes and changes since last report

  • It was partly cloudy, 65°, and breezy at 2:15 PM on September 19, 2012.
  • The previous day's high winds and heavy rains made for plenty of sticks and leaves down.
  • The back Old Hayfield had been mown.
  • Another quiet day for birds and insects.

The Trails

  • The only thing moving in the Gifford House parking lot was a milkweed bug.
  • The skys were dramatic today.
  • Along the driveway to the Carriage House, pokeweed was ripening.
  • Birds enjoy these berries and it was hard to find an intact cluster.
  • Near by, magnolia was forming velvet bud-like thingees that would have to really be seeds.
  • Buckeye, on the other side, was forming its own somewhat peculiar fruit.
  • At the head of the Scotch Pine Alleé was the first of what I would continuously encounter today: branches.
  • The Fern Glen pond had been looking low lately; not so now.
  • I could hear the water rushing under the stone bridge and went over for a look.
  • Nothing like the spring flood, but three inches of rain made for a lively flow today.
  • Turning to leave, I paused to admire maidenhair spleenwort eking out an existance in a crack in the wall.
  • On the way up the hill, asters were putting on a good show.
  • Note the simple, narrow petals for future reference...
  • I looked forward to the Wappinger Creek Trail and comparing the views downstream and upstream to those of last week.
  • The little bluestem grass in the Old Pasture was glowing when backlit.
  • A smaller aster was abundant in the Sedge Meadow.
  • I knew it was coming, but the back Old Hayfield "missing" stopped me in my tracks. And I reflected that it would be a good time to mow my own: the birds were done with their broods and some young shrubs and trees were taking hold.
  • In consideration of the wildlife, the front Old Hayfield's mowing alternates years with the back. And here spotted knapweed was still flowering.
  • Similar in size and color, it looks a lot like an aster or like a thistle but these petals are different.
  • Continuing my lap around the last field of the day, I contemplated the 60 some species of goldenrod here in the Northeast.
  • I came across a locust borer beetle and thoughts drifted to the goldenrod gall insects. Some use only a particular species and produce distinctive galls that make identifying the host plant trivial.
  • There was no problem identifying the last blossoms of wild bergamot on their own merit.
  • On the way home I reflected on asters: they too come in some 60 species - but I don't recall any getting galls.
Milkweed bug
Dramatic skies
Magnolia winter floral buds
Buckeye fruit
Branches down
Fern Glen pond edge
Rain swollen Wappinger Creek
Maidenhair spleenwort
Stone bridge
Wappinger Creek downstream
Wappinger Creek upstream
Bench in little bluestem
Mowed field
Spotted knappweed
Spotted knappweed
Spotted knappweed
Wild bergamot
Locust borer


  • 1 Red-tailed Hawk
  • 1 Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • 7 Eastern Phoebe
  • 1 Blue Jay
  • 4 American Crow
  • 8 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 4 Red-breasted Nuthatch
  • 2 White-breasted Nuthatch
  • 1 Brown Creeper
  • 1 Gray Catbird
  • 1 Black-and-white Warbler
  • 1 Eastern Towhee
  • 4 American Goldfinch
  • 10 Cabbage White
  • 1 Pearl Crescent

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