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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 85°F, partly cloudy and windy at 1:00 PM on May 2, 2018.
  • This week's trail report covers the Cary Pines Trail side of the trail system.
  • Two suddenly summer-like days in a row brought out a couple butterflies: cabbage whites and spring azures.
  • The Fern Glen was racing to catch up, but was still a week behind last year. See the trail report archive.

The Trails

  • The view from the Gifford House trail head may have been just a little greener than last week.
  • But the view of the Carriage House was distinctly different.
  • The magnolia was now in full blossom.
  • With the cold we'd been having, it was risky but it worked out and flowers were abundant and largely undamaged.
  • Underneath, a pair of robins was oblivious to the recent drama above and only concerned with more immediate robin business.
  • As the trail through the Old Gravel Pit comes out above the Fern Glen, I was sure I had come about the closest yet to a bear.
  • Myrtle, attended by small bees, was blooming on the Norway Spruce Glade - that hillside above the 'Glen.
  • One of the first finds in the Fern Glen proper was wild ginger.
  • Always in the same spot above was that corydalis species.
  • I'm not sure I remember even buds on the twinleaf last week.
  • Large-flowered bellowort flowers last longer that twinleaf's.
  • Rue anemone! It took a while to remember the common name.
  • But then it's always a toss up between bishop's cap and miterwort.
  • Fen shrubs always need a refresher: leatherleaf would do for today.
  • Leatherwood is not easily confused. Its buds and blossoms are equally charming.
  • In the pond was my first bullfrog of the season.
  • Painted turtle has been around a few weeks now.
  • So too the red-spotted newt.
  • Behind the pond, wetland invader, Japanese primrose was bolting.
  • The attractive flower explains how it got here.
  • Large-flowered trillium seemed to be having a good year.
  • Red trillium was just starting to open.
  • There's one little patch of false rue-anemone.
  • On the way out, little, long-nosed fuzz balls seemed to be lapping the damp soil as some butterfies do for minerals. They were one of the bee flies.
  • Not far along the Cary Pines Trail, an insect was hovering about head high in the dappled light. A small subject floating in the air and never staying in one position too long, it was a photographic challenge. It looked like the bee fly again.
  • Out at the ":Appendix" (trail marker 10) was an easier subject: mallards preening in the sun.
  • Next week: the Wappinger Creek Trail side of the trail system.
Bee on Myrtle

Sightings

Birds
  • 1 Turkey Vulture
  • 1 Mourning Dove
  • 1 Tree Swallow
  • 2 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 6 American Robin
  • 6 European Starling
  • 1 Pine Warbler
  • 1 Ovenbird
  • 1 Louisiana Waterthrush
  • 5 Chipping Sparrow
  • 5 Field Sparrow
  • 4 Red-winged Blackbird
  • 2 American Goldfinch
Butterflies
  • 1 Cabbage White
  • 5 Spring Azure
Herp
  • 1 Bull frog
  • 1 Painted turtle
  • 1 Red-spotted newt
Insects
  • 1 Bee fly
Plants
  • 1 Corydalis
  • 1 False rue-anemone
  • 1 Japanese primrose
  • 1 Large-flowered bellwort
  • 1 Large-flowered trillium
  • 1 Leatherleaf
  • 1 Leatherwood
  • 1 Miterwort
  • 1 Red trillium
  • 1 Rue-anemone
  • 1 Shad bush
  • 1 Twinleaf
  • 1 Wild ginger
  • 1 Wood anemone

Notes and Changes since last report

  • It was 66°F, cloudy and breezy with an occasional light mist at 12:00 PM on April 25, 2018.
  • This week's trail report covers the Wappinger Creek Trail side of the trail system.
  • Spring arrivals in flora and fauna have been ramping up.
  • Even with the uninspiring weather, it was a grand day out.

The Trails

  • The view from the Gifford House trail head wasn't much different from the week before.
  • Closer inspection revealed that tree swallows had returned.
  • Closer to ground were eastern bluebirds.
  • A distantly familiar "Chick-a-per-weeoo-chick!" came from behind the crumbling Spring House at the back corner of the first Old Hayfield: white-eyed vireo.
  • With the call being about all that comes out of the thickets this bird prefers, a 2nd unobstructed view was above and beyond expectation.
  • Back around at the start of the Sedge Meadow Trail, invasive ground ivy (I like "creeping Charlie") was blooming.
  • Invasive honeysuckles were leafing out, giving them an early edge on other plants.
  • The trail seemed unusually open and bright as it cut into the woods.
  • Down below, the boardwalk across the swamp looked unchanged.
  • Skunk cabbage was advancing with leaves well under way.
  • Ah, there was the eastern towhee heard from the Old Hayfield on the other side.
  • Off the other side of the back Old Hayfield, marsh marigold was blooming in the little tributary.
  • Benches were out on the trails, the Old Pasture being a favorite location.
  • My favorite view of the Wappinger Creek had changed for ever when the little, pointy dead tree broke over the winter.
  • Another tree's life was changed for ever. Many hemlocks on the trails suffered over this winter.
  • A large scat had been neatly deposited on a hemlock bough along the trail's edge.
  • At the bottom of the hill, Pennsylvania sedge was about to flower.
  • Right behind it, trout lily actually was just one step ahead.
  • In the flood plain, invasive lesser celendine was immitating marsh marigold but its petals are narrower and more numerous.
  • A black dot was moving across a red trail marker.
  • It was a beetle that seemed to have red trail markers of its own.
  • Next week: the Cary Pines Trail side of the trail system.
White-eyed vireo

Sightings

Birds
  • 1 Ring-necked Pheasant
  • 1 Turkey Vulture
  • 1 Belted Kingfisher
  • 2 Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • 1 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
  • 1 Downy Woodpecker
  • 1 Eastern Phoebe
  • 1 White-eyed Vireo
  • 4 Blue Jay
  • 1 Tufted Titmouse
  • 1 White-breasted Nuthatch
  • 1 Eastern Bluebird
  • 7 American Robin
  • 2 European Starling
  • 3 Eastern Towhee
  • 1 Chipping Sparrow
  • 1 Field Sparrow
  • 2 Song Sparrow
  • 2 Northern Cardinal
  • 1 Brown-headed Cowbird
  • 1 House Finch
  • 1 American Goldfinch
Plants
  • 1 Ground Ivy
  • 1 Lesser celandine
  • 1 Marsh marigold
  • 1 Pennsylvania sedge
  • 1 Trout-lily

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