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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

  • This week's trail report covers the Wappinger Creek Trail side of the trail system.
  • It was 75°F, partly cloudy and windy at 12:30 PM on July 22, 2015.
  • Today was one of those days... I started in the wrong direction, then everything I pointed the camera at ran away, flew away, or was blown away.
  • But, there may have been a new butterfly...
  • And northern broken-dash was ramping up in back Old Hayfield.

The Trails

  • The parking lot at Gifford House was mighty warm, but the view off the end towards the Tenent House was cooling.
  • The invasive bird feeder escapee, Canada thistle was going to seed.
  • A lot of chipping along the side of the front Old Hayfield turned out to be the young of a prairy warbler family.
  • In the Sedge Meadow, spotted jewelweed had started to bloom.
  • Appalachian browns are always along the edge in here.
  • But there were many out in the middle today, and one features below suggested these were the very closely related eyed brown. That would be new here and for me.
  • Blue vervain was blooming.
  • It can be attractive to smaller butterflies like the uncommon mulberry wing.
  • This butterfly has shown up in several locations on the trails this year. The side view was featured last week. Here is the female above; the male lacks the white spots.
  • Something stood out in the leaf litter on the Wappinger Creek trail: the interesting caterpillar of the obscure moth, wavy-lined herterocampa.
  • The green "X" in the middle on the top side along with the reddish head helps distinguish this one.
  • Next week: the Cary Pines Trail side of the trail system.
Immature Prairie Warbler

Sightings

Birds
  • 1 Chimney Swift
  • 2 Ruby-throated Hummingbird
  • 1 Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • 1 Downy Woodpecker
  • 1 Eastern Wood-Pewee
  • 6 Red-eyed Vireo
  • 1 Blue Jay
  • 3 American Crow
  • 2 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 1 White-breasted Nuthatch
  • 1 Veery
  • 1 Wood Thrush
  • 4 American Robin
  • 7 Gray Catbird
  • 2 Cedar Waxwing
  • 2 Prairie Warbler
  • 1 Common Yellowthroat
  • 3 Eastern Towhee
  • 2 Field Sparrow
  • 3 Song Sparrow
  • 1 Indigo Bunting
Butterflies
  • 2 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
  • 6 Cabbage White
  • 1 Clouded Sulphur
  • 1 American Copper
  • 1 Banded Hairstreak
  • 2 Eastern Tailed-Blue
  • 7 Great Spangled Fritillary
  • 11 Pearl Crescent
  • 4 Red Admiral
  • 3 Northern Pearly-eye
  • 7 Eyed Brown
  • 3 Appalachian Brown
  • 2 Common Ringlet
  • 16 Common Wood-Nymph
  • 13 Northern Broken-Dash
  • 6 Mulberry Wing
  • 13 Dun Skipper
Caterpillars
  • 1 Wavy-lined heterocampa
Plants
  • 1 Blue vervain
  • 1 Canada thistle
  • 1 Spotted jewelweed
Moth
  • 1 Snowberry Clearwing
  • 1 White-striped Black

Notes and Changes since last report

  • This week's trail report covers the Cary Pines Trail side of the trail system.
  • It was 70°F and mostly cloudy at 1:30 PM on July 15, 2015.
  • One new butterfly arrival today: mulberry wing, a less common skipper.
  • The first cicada of the season was singing.

The Trails

  • Across from the Carriage House, an old patch of bee balm was having a great year.
  • Not far was bad news called black swallowwort.
  • Black for the almost black flowers.
  • Swallow for the swallow's tail resemblence of seed pod pairs.
  • This is New York State's 2nd Annual Invasive Species Awareness Week and this is my favorite plant to hate...
  • It is self pollinating, its many seeds fly far and wide, they can produce twins when they sprout, the rhyzome (underground stem) remains when the vine is pulled, older rhyzome sections may break off and remain when it is dug out.
  • To control its spread, it is most important to destroy its pods (not compost: they will mature off of the plant). The plant can be dealt with another time.
  • Monarchs recognize that it is in the milkweed family and will lay eggs on it, but it is fatal to the caterpillars. Notice the flawless leaves - nothing can eat it. The Latin name translates to dog strangling vine.
  • That was only the 2nd monarch I've seen this season. Their troubles are another rant for another day.
  • At the back of the Little Bluestem Meadow, a few spreading dogbane blossoms were remaining in the shadiest places.
  • Down in the Fern Glen, an American copper was trying to get warm in the weak sun.
  • Dun skippers, male and female both, were alternately feeding and sunning.
  • Around the limestone cobble, great St. Johnswort was blooming.
  • Behind it, tall bellflower was opening its interesting blossoms.
  • All around, all kinds of berries were ripening including false Solomon's seal.
  • Red and white baneberry differences were finally at their most obvious.
  • Another success story was this year's abundant enchanter's nightshade with its minute flowers.
  • Back in the fen, swamp milkweed was coming into its own and was providing for this occasional visitor, a mulberry wing.
  • Not wanting the dragonflies to feel neglected, I snapped this damselfly that was basking in the afternoon sun.
  • Near the deck, spotted wintergreen was blooming.
  • From a distance it was clear that the Turk's cap lily was finally blooming.
  • What a fabulous flower.
  • Less conspicuous on the other side of the trail was Culver's root.
  • And at the pond's edge, wild mint and lizard's tail were sharing space nicely.
  • Wild mint doesn't seem too wild for a mint - it has not spread greatly over the years here.
  • Lizard's tail was the seemingly unlikely source of the sweet fragrance in the air.
  • Next week: the Wappinger Creek Trail side of the trail system.
Mulberry Wing

Sightings

Birds
  • 1 Mourning Dove
  • 6 Chimney Swift
  • 1 Ruby-throated Hummingbird
  • 1 Downy Woodpecker
  • 1 Eastern Wood-Pewee
  • 3 Eastern Phoebe
  • 1 Eastern Kingbird
  • 2 Red-eyed Vireo
  • 3 Blue Jay
  • 2 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 3 Tufted Titmouse
  • 1 White-breasted Nuthatch
  • 2 Veery
  • 1 American Robin
  • 2 Cedar Waxwing
  • 1 Pine Warbler
  • 1 Louisiana Waterthrush
  • 1 Scarlet Tanager
  • 1 Eastern Towhee
  • 2 Chipping Sparrow
  • 4 Field Sparrow
  • 1 Song Sparrow
  • 1 Northern Cardinal
  • 1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
  • 4 American Goldfinch
Butterflies
  • 2 Cabbage White
  • 3 Clouded Sulphur
  • 1 American Copper
  • 13 Great Spangled Fritillary
  • 2 Pearl Crescent
  • 4 Red Admiral
  • 1 Northern Pearly-eye
  • 1 Appalachian Brown
  • 6 Little Wood-Satyr
  • 18 Common Wood-Nymph
  • 1 Monarch
  • 1 Silver-spotted Skipper
  • 4 Northern Broken-Dash
  • 1 Little Glassywing
  • 1 Mulberry Wing
  • 3 Dun Skipper
Plants
  • 1 Culver's-root
  • 1 Enchanter's nightshade
  • 1 Great St. Johnswort
  • 1 Spotted wintergreen
  • 1 Tall bellflower
  • 1 Turk's-cap lily
Moth
  • 1 Snowberry Clearwing

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