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Trail Reports

Insights on trail conditions and the plants and animals you can expect to encounter throughout the seasons.

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Notes and Changes since last report

  • It was 70°F, clear and breezy at 2:03 PM on October 12, 2016.
  • This week's trail report covers the Wappinger Creek Trail side of the trail system.
  • Fall foliage had continued to advance since last week.
  • Note: the grounds close the end of this month. They open again April 1.

The Trails

  • The Old Hayfield by Gifford House was under warm sun this day.
  • To one familiar with the trails, a dark spot at the crossroads immediately drew attention.
  • It was an abandoned stroller, conjuring images of the works of Edward Gorey.
  • There was still some blooming yarrow seeming to lean and stare in disbelief.
  • In the back of the field, black walnuts threatened to twist hikers' ankles.
  • A grasshopper flew across my path and landed.
  • It was at the edge of an aster.
  • This was throbbing with the activity of bumble bees...
  • honey bees...
  • and less familiar little bees.
  • Burning bush was bright where the trail drops into the woods.
  • There the boardwalk was disappearing under fallen leaves.
  • A bird rose into the bushes along the edge of the back Old Hayfield - a palm warbler.
  • Across the field, a speck flew above the tree line.
  • It was a turkey vulture.
  • A golden-crowned kinglet was secretive in the Old Pasture; I left without a photo through the creek-side exit.
  • From up on the bluff, the creek looked mighty low.
  • The path along the creek was thick with fallen leaves.
  • Something flew across and landed as I took in a view of the creek.
  • It was an interesting wasp with white patches on its antennae.
  • Farther along the creek widened and became quite shallow.
  • Upstream it narrowed and deepened.
  • On the bank above the creek, the fungus stump had been busy producing yet another big one.
  • Off the other side of the trail was a another fungus.
  • This one was also a good size and clearly different.
  • Next week: the Cary Pines Trail side of the trail system.
Palm Warbler

Sightings

Birds
  • 1 Turkey Vulture
  • 1 Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • 2 Pileated Woodpecker
  • 1 Eastern Phoebe
  • 4 Blue Jay
  • 5 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 1 Tufted Titmouse
  • 2 Golden-crowned Kinglet
  • 1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  • 2 Yellow-rumped Warbler
  • 3 Palm Warbler
  • 3 Field Sparrow
  • 3 White-throated Sparrow
  • 2 Northern Cardinal
Butterflies
  • 2 Cabbage White
  • 1 Clouded Sulphur
  • 2 Orange Sulphur

Notes and Changes since last report

  • It was 65°F, clear and windy at 1:15 PM on October 5, 2016.
  • This week's trail report covers the Cary Pines Trail side of the trail system.
  • Fall foliage had progressed considerably since last week.
  • Warmer and sunnier than last week, this day offered some butterflies.

The Trails

  • There's nowhere to hide in a clear blue sky. How can a hawk disappear in the time it takes to pull out a camera? It did reappear - a red-tailed hawk.
  • Scanning around lower to the ground, I noticed dark lumps at the edge of the field beyond Gifford House - a dozen wild turkeys moving across in stealth mode.
  • One stood up for a look about and made a nice portrait.
  • It had been damp for a week, but today the now dry leaves behind the Carriage House sounded like fall under foot.
  • And since last week, the view down the Scots Pine Alleé was looking more like Fall.
  • Bird activity along there was high with white-breasted nuthatches and kinglets above, and sparrows and bluebirds below.
  • The view across the Little Bluestem Meadow had the best color in photos, but it was all good - and better in person.
  • Compare the burning bush where the path comes out at the top of the Fern Glen to two weeks ago.
  • The walking fern in the limestone cobble had just about recovered since the theft in November 2012. Actually there was still a point of bare rock the moss had not yet covered in the 4 years. "Disturbance and recovery" is an interesting subject.
  • Blister beetles were still in the hepatica since Monday. The smaller male appeared to be whispering into the female's ear while an even smaller male tried to get between them. The female was interested only in the hepatica.
  • A fourth was resting near by, offering much less confusing views.
  • Oops, almost forgot: a visitor remarked on a purple mushroom and I actually found it.
  • Next week: the Wappinger Creek Trail side of the trail system.
Blister Beetle

Sightings

Birds
  • 12 Wild Turkey
  • 1 Turkey Vulture
  • 2 Red-tailed Hawk
  • 1 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
  • 1 Hairy Woodpecker
  • 5 Eastern Phoebe
  • 2 Blue Jay
  • 4 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 5 White-breasted Nuthatch
  • 4 Golden-crowned Kinglet
  • 2 Eastern Bluebird
  • 1 Yellow-rumped Warbler
  • 1 Common Yellowthroat
  • 1 Chipping Sparrow
  • 2 Field Sparrow
  • 4 White-throated Sparrow
  • 1 Dark-eyed Junco
  • 1 American Goldfinch
Butterflies
  • 9 Cabbage White
  • 9 Clouded Sulphur
  • 3 Orange Sulphur
Insects
  • 1 Blister beetle

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