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Trail Reports

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

BarryMeet Barry, the author of our trail reports >>

Notes and Changes since last report

  • It was 70°F, and mostly clear with light winds at 11:30 AM on June 30, 2013.
  • I had the pleasure of company on the trails today.
  • Skippers were challenging in the Old Hayfields.
  • Early bloomers were now beginning to produce their fruit.
  • One 17 year cicada was calling in front of Gifford House.

The Trails

  • I was surprised to see all the color on the Carriage House drive.
  • Beauty bush, kolkwitzia, of course - I must have missed its budding last week.
  • And just past it was sweet shrub. This has been flowering for several weeks.
  • At the end of the line was rhododendron.
  • Behind these shrubs was a sunny pocket with several zabulon skippers.
  • At the end of the Scotch Pine Alleé was a spittle bug on a young Scotch pine.
  • Just past the end was a small stand of arrow-wood in bloom.
  • Leaf damage from the viburnum leaf beetle, that has been invading the area, reminded me that arrow-wood is a viburnum: Viburnum dentatum.
  • Resting in the patch of hay-scented fern in the Old Gravel Pit was a red-headed inchworm moth.
  • In the Norway Spruce Glade - the little meadow above the Fern Glen - a pair of damselflies was on an oak leaf. Possibly the aurora damsel?
  • Beardtongue had been blooming and was wrapping up.
  • Along the Roeller Bed, bishop's cap was forming interesting little cups of seeds.
  • Blooming at the top of the bed, was a lone bunchberry - our smallest dogwood.
  • By the bench facing the cobble, one of our mystery plants was forming its peculiar, rectangular flower heads.
  • Finally, white and red baneberries were becoming distinct with thin and thick flower/seed stems.
  • In the Limestone Cobble a little beetle seemed to be contemplating a leap from the tip of a fern.
  • Ostrich fern often have a ball of leaflets pulled together.
  • We found that a caterpillar was the responsible party.
  • Another viburnum, maple-leaved viburnum was in bloom.
  • Beetles, and wasps were some of the pollinators visiting.
  • Pitcher plants are strange - I'm not sure I ever looked inside the flower.
  • In the back of the 'Glen, wild sasparilla seemed to be having a good year for seed making .
  • Just in from the kiosk, bowman's root took me by surprise.
  • I hadn't noticed this one getting ready to flower either.
  • One can't help but notice the angelica by the pond.
  • That flower should open any day now.
  • On the way out of the 'Glen I noticed those screaming red leaves on the river birch, produced by the velvet erineum gall mite, as I learned last year.
  • Out on the Wappinger Creek Trail was a rather placid garter snake.
  • I was surprized I could get so close.
  • It was in the Old Pasture when unusual skippers started to show up. The only photo I could get was a great blue dragonfly.
  • Hawkweed was blooming along the Sedge Meadow Trail as well as other sunny locations.
  • The front Old Hayfield had a well placed blue-eyed grass - a tiny lily, actually.
  • Several more odd skippers were in the two Old Hayfields. They may all have been the Indian skipper - males and females. Maybe this weekend I can look again.
Beauty bush at the Carriage House
Beauty bush
Sweet shrub
Rhododendron
Zabulon skipper
Spittle bug on pine
Arrow-wood
Viburnum leaf beetle damage on Arrow-wood
Red-headed inchworm moth
Damselflies
Beardtongue
Bishop's cap
Bunchberry
Mystery plants
White baneberry
A beetle
Leaf rolling caterpillar on ostrich fern
Rolled leaf of ostrich fern
Maple-leaved viburnum
Beetles on maple-leaved viburnum
Pitcher plants
Pitcher plant flower
Wild sarsaparilla seed
Red baneberry
Bowman's root
Bowman's root
Angelica
Angelica
Effects of velvet erineum gall mite on river birch
Garter snake
Garter snake
Dragonfly
Hawkweed
Blue-eyed grass

Sightings

Birds
  • 1 Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • 1 Downy Woodpecker
  • 1 Eastern Wood-Pewee
  • 3 Eastern Phoebe
  • 1 Yellow-throated Vireo
  • 3 Red-eyed Vireo
  • 4 Blue Jay
  • 4 American Crow
  • 4 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 2 Tufted Titmouse
  • 1 Red-breasted Nuthatch
  • 1 Brown Creeper
  • 2 House Wren
  • 1 Golden-crowned Kinglet
  • 1 Eastern Bluebird
  • 3 Veery
  • 1 Wood Thrush
  • 3 American Robin
  • 3 Gray Catbird
  • 3 Cedar Waxwing
  • 2 Prairie Warbler
  • 5 Ovenbird
  • 3 Louisiana Waterthrush
  • 3 Eastern Towhee
  • 4 Chipping Sparrow
  • 1 Indigo Bunting
  • 1 Red-winged Blackbird
  • 2 American Goldfinch
Butterflies
  • 2 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
  • 2 Cabbage White
  • 1 American Copper
  • 1 Spring Azure
  • 14 Pearl Crescent
  • 55 Little Wood-Satyr
  • 11 Common Ringlet
  • 1 Silver-spotted Skipper
  • 4 Juvenal's Duskywing
  • 3 Indian Skipper
  • 6 Hobomok Skipper
  • 5 Zabulon Skipper
Plants
  • 1 Arrow-wood
  • 1 Beardtongue
  • 1 Beauty bush
  • 1 Blue-eyed grass
  • 1 Bowman's-root
  • 1 Bunchberry
  • 1 Diervilla
  • 1 Hawkweed
  • 1 Maple-leaved viburnum
  • 1 Pitcher plant
  • 1 Rhododendron
Moth
  • 1 Red-headed inchworm moth
  • 1 Snowberry Clearwing
  • 2 White-striped Black

Notes and Changes since last report

  • It was 88°F, and partly cloudy with light winds at 2:00 PM on May 30, 2013.
  • The first heat of the season is taxing on me.
  • But it brings out the butterflies; little wood-satyre, common ringlet and zabulon skipper were back.
  • For those interested in other orders, the ebony jewel-wing was back too.

The Trails

  • The first thing to catch my eye today was a caterpillar in the front Old Hayfield. The second thing was that it was dead. The eggs (or maybe cocoons) by its head may explain why.
  • On the Sedge Meadow Trail, gray dogwood was budding up.
  • Overhead was a barn swallow - a nice change from the usual tree swallows.
  • Behind the old Pump House, Angelica had started blooming.
  • Way in the back Old Hayfield, ironwood fruits were forming.
  • Approaching the Old Pasture, I noticed dewberry and wondered if I would find the hobomok skipper today - they seem to appear together.
  • Checking sunny leaves for hairstreaks on the Wappinger Creek Trail, I found instead a very dark mayfly.
  • Farther along is a sunny section of creek bank. On the way was the first ebony jewelwing - that black winged damsel fly. Several zabulon skippers were basking in that sunny patch when I got there. Nice.
  • I'd heard stonecrop was blooming near the watershed kiosk, and there it was.
  • Nearby was false hellebore. Big leaves, little flower.
  • Flicking sticks downed by the wind and rain the day before, I had my eyes down a lot today and was delighted to find a red eft.
  • A stick bigger than I cared to handle was down in the Old Gravel Pit.
  • A shrub was flowering along the edge of the Little Bluestem Meadow - a cherry?.
  • Of course not, it was here last year too. The flower and leaves look familiar?... It's nannyberry again - we figured that out last week.
  • Along the Scotch Pine Alleé a hornet-like nessus sphinx was moving around tirelessly. It was a she and she would alight for only a moment... to lay an egg on virginia creeper.
  • At the Fern Glen pond, blue flag was blooming with a scent that takes me back to childhood and the secret patch I discovered when I sought the answer to the question, "Why did the butterfly cross the road?"
  • Along the pond, carrion flower was blooming with its own special perfume.
  • That and its unusual rather than showy flower make it an acquired taste amongst gardeners.
  • Gin and tonic may be an acquired taste too. And like butterflies, it gives purpose to hot days like this one. I headed home to seek purpose.
Dead caterpillar
Gray dogwood
Angelica
Ironwood fruits
Dewberry
Black mayfly
Stonecrop
False hellebore
False hellebore
Red eft
Big stick in the Old Gravel Pit
Nannyberry
Nannyberry
Nessus sphinx
Blue flag
Carrion flower
Carrion flower

Sightings

Birds
  • 2 Chimney Swift
  • 2 Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • 1 Eastern Wood-Pewee
  • 1 Eastern Phoebe
  • 6 Red-eyed Vireo
  • 2 American Crow
  • 2 Tree Swallow
  • 1 Barn Swallow
  • 5 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 1 House Wren
  • 1 Golden-crowned Kinglet
  • 1 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
  • 1 Eastern Bluebird
  • 2 Veery
  • 4 Wood Thrush
  • 3 American Robin
  • 5 Gray Catbird
  • 3 Cedar Waxwing
  • 1 Blue-winged Warbler
  • 1 Black-throated Green Warbler
  • 4 Ovenbird
  • 4 Louisiana Waterthrush
  • 1 Common Yellowthroat
  • 3 Scarlet Tanager
  • 2 Eastern Towhee
  • 2 Chipping Sparrow
  • 1 Field Sparrow
  • 2 Song Sparrow
  • 1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
  • 4 Brown-headed Cowbird
  • 2 American Goldfinch
Butterflies
  • 2 Cabbage White
  • 1 Clouded Sulphur
  • 15 Pearl Crescent
  • 33 Little Wood-Satyr
  • 15 Common Ringlet
  • 3 Zabulon Skipper
Herp
  • 1 Red eft
Plants
  • 1 Blue flag
  • 1 Carrion flower
  • 1 Dewberry
  • 1 False hellebore
  • 1 Stonecrop
Moth
  • 2 Dogbane Tiger Moth
  • 1 Nessus Sphinx

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