Notes and changes since last report
- It was partly cloudy, 37°F and windy at 11:00 PM on April 3, 2013.
- The main kiosks have been stocked with information; others are still being refurbished.
- The eastern phoebe has returned.
- Not too much else has obviously changed sinced last week with the low temps we've been having.
- The main kiosk at Gifford House was open for business; the one at the trail head has brochures, but will be repainted before posters go up.
- Behind the Carriage House, Japanese cornelian cherry was turning yellow. I think that's the first flower I've seen besides skunk cabbage.
- Its little blossoms were just beginning to open.
- In the Fern Glen, spring beauty was quietly putting up leaves and lo, even flower buds.
- Islands of hepatica leaves were freshening up.
- In the limestone cobble, bare rock was exposed where the heart of the walking fern colony had been removed around the time of hurrican Sandy last year. This exemplifies the Federal and State Endangered Species Acts' classification of "Exploitably Vulnerable", which following Endangered and Threatened, often raises a questioning eyebrow.
- Another interesting ecological topic this incident raises is "disturbance and recovery". It will be much more interesting to watch the natural recovery process than to intervene and "fix" the disturbance.
- On the Cary Pines Trail, I stopped to better hear a bird call; it was a brown creeper.
- On the Wappinger Creek Trail, I was nose to beak with another. This one was just giving its trill.
- A surprise in the back Old Hayfield was the dogbane pods. Last week they were still dangling intact after hanging throughout the winter. Today only a few remained, the others having finally opened to disperse their seeds.
- Another surprise awaited me in the parking lot. This disturbance I chose to fix, and in 20 minutes recovery was sufficient for me to be on my way.