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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, partly cloudy and breezy at 1:00 PM on June 28, 2017.
  • Today I had company on the trails and our route was just a little different.
  • This week's trail report covers the Wappinger Creek Trail and some of the Cary Pines Trail.
  • There were no new butterflies today, but old favorites entertained us.

The Trails

  • We started on the Cary Pines Trail from the Fern Glen end and spotted a male ebony jewelwing from the damselfly side of the dragonflies.
  • A small moth was resting in the hay-scented fern.
  • For demonstration purposes, a dog tick came out from a walk earlier today.
  • The confused eusarca was a good example of a typical inchworm moth.
  • One of our largest butterflies, the eastern tiger swallowtail gave us sufficient, if not great, views behind the Carriage House.
  • The Stewartia back there had lots of buds just beginning to open.
  • It's a fair sized tree with bark very much like sycamore.
  • In the front Old Hayfield, a male common whitetail was soaking up some sun.
  • Cool air and warm sun was good for viewing both sides of butterflies - a red admiral would close its wings when it was warm enough...
  • ... and open them to the sun when it got cool.
  • A nice find in the back of the field was a monarch caterpillar feeding on common milkweed.
  • The squeek of basket ball sneeker told us a rose-breasted grosbeak was above.
  • On the Sedge Meadow Trail, an Appalachian brown gave us views from below....
  • ... and from above.
  • On the Wappinger Creek Trail, a gypsy moth caterpillar looked mighty big, but it was dead. We would encounter quite a few like that.
  • In the back Old Hayfield, a deer let us almost walk right by before it bolted into the woods.
  • As the matching bookend to our walk today, another ebony jewelwing paused for us - this time there was a white spot at the apex of the forewing: it was a female.
  • Next week: just the Cary Pines Trail side of the trail system.
Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Sightings

Birds
  • 1 Turkey Vulture
  • 3 Chimney Swift
  • 1 Northern Flicker
  • 1 Eastern Kingbird
  • 2 Red-eyed Vireo
  • 2 Blue Jay
  • 3 American Crow
  • 1 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
  • 1 Eastern Bluebird
  • 1 Veery
  • 1 Wood Thrush
  • 5 American Robin
  • 1 Gray Catbird
  • 2 Prairie Warbler
  • 1 Ovenbird
  • 1 Common Yellowthroat
  • 3 Eastern Towhee
  • 1 Chipping Sparrow
  • 2 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
  • 1 Indigo Bunting
Butterflies
  • 1 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
  • 1 Spicebush Swallowtail
  • 9 Cabbage White
  • 11 Great Spangled Fritillary
  • 1 Red Admiral
  • 7 Little Wood-Satyr
  • 9 Silver-spotted Skipper
Caterpillars
  • 1 Gypsy Moth
Plants
  • 1 Fringed loosestrife
  • 1 Spiked lobelia
  • 1 Stewartia
Moth
  • 1 Confused eusarca

Notes and Changes since last report

  • It was 74°F, partly cloudy and breezy at 11:00 AM on June 21, 2017.
  • This week's trail report covers the Cary Pines Trail side of the trail system.
  • Eastern tailed-blue, Appalachian brown and least skipper made their first appearances today.
  • This was the first report of Summer

The Trails

  • The road to the Carriage House was providing minerals for a brand new eastern tailed-blue.
  • Patience eventually provided a nice view from below.
  • Something large flew in the distance behind the chipping sparrows in the Scots Pine Alleé - a red-tailed hawk.
  • In the Old Gravel Pit, a sweet smell was in the air as the elderberry came into view.
  • Pressing a nose in the inflorescence indicated this was not the source...
  • Farther along the path was blooming white avens to compare with the snakeroot species under study the last two weeks.
  • Right at the top of the Fern Glen, common wood sorrel almost went unnoticed in the shade.
  • Along the edge of the limestone cobble, was Valeriana alliariaefolia, only identified last year as a introduction from Russia during the Cary Arboretum days.
  • Honewort was easy to miss.
  • So too the little spider in the impossibly tiny flowers.
  • A felt tip pen could have been fun with the pods of twinleaf.
  • Fruit of goldenseal was still green.
  • That of red baneberry was indeed red.
  • Red trillium was getting there too.
  • In the poor fen, sheep laurel seemed late to bloom.
  • Bittersweet nightshade was dangling from the taller shrubs.
  • In a number of places, partridgeberry's fuzzy white flowers were nice to find.
  • Peculiar sweetflag was "blooming" at the front of the pond.
  • The aptly named least skipper had returned.
  • The amount of black on the upper surfaces is quite variable.
  • Deeper back was larger blue flag in standard blue as opposed to the white sport as reported earlier.
  • Along the sunny side of the pond, carrion flower was producing its fruit.
  • Several red-spotted newts were lazing just under the surface of the pond.
  • Green-headed coneflower was nowhere near flowering, but still had some color in the form of red, acrobatic aphids performing head stands along the stem.
  • Fruiting false Solomon's seal could be found around the Glen.
  • On the way out of the Glen, winterberry by the parking lot was in flower.
  • The walk along Cary Pines Trail ended at the bench at the "Appendix" (trail marker 10) where a tiger beetle posed with its Jurassic Park worthy mandibles.
  • Next week: the Wappinger Creek Trail side of the trail system.
Tiger Beetle

Sightings

Birds
  • 1 Red-tailed Hawk
  • 3 Chimney Swift
  • 1 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
  • 1 Northern Flicker
  • 4 Eastern Phoebe
  • 1 Warbling Vireo
  • 2 Red-eyed Vireo
  • 1 Blue Jay
  • 1 American Crow
  • 2 Veery
  • 3 American Robin
  • 1 Gray Catbird
  • 1 Pine Warbler
  • 1 Ovenbird
  • 1 Scarlet Tanager
  • 1 Eastern Towhee
  • 2 Chipping Sparrow
  • 3 Field Sparrow
  • 1 Northern Cardinal
  • 1 Baltimore Oriole
Butterflies
  • 1 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
  • 6 Cabbage White
  • 1 Eastern Tailed-Blue
  • 1 Red Admiral
  • 3 Least Skipper
Herp
  • Red-spotted newt
Insects
  • Tiger beetle
Plants
  • 1 Bittersweet nightshade
  • 1 Common wood sorrel
  • 1 Elderberry
  • 1 Great chickweed
  • 1 Honewort
  • 1 Partridgeberry
  • 1 Sheep laurel
  • 1 Sweetflag
  • 1 Valeriana alliariaefolia
  • 1 White avens
  • 1 Winterberry

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