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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, mostly clear and breezy at 2:30 PM on September 16, 2015.
  • It was another quiet, but pleasant late summer day.

The Trails

  • A few low lying plants survived the recent mowing of the front Old Hayfield. A female eastern tailed-blue was finding them.
  • In the back Old Hayfield, invasive burning bush was starting to show how it got to this country.
  • Japanese barberry was doing likewise.
  • Our native Virginia creeper was keeping up with the competition.
  • At the field's exit, I paused to remove some pointy grass seeds from my socks and enjoyed the peace of a late summer afternoon.
  • As I rose to me feet, something flew across in front of me to land on a sunny leaf. It was a species of net-winged beetle, sometimes mistaken for a moth.
  • If it were not for the interesting shadow, a bug-chewed leaf would never have been noticed.
  • The Old Pasture is a reliable place to find American copper.
  • Another came by and both went up together in a spiral, one returning to the ground, the other to a goldenrod.
  • On the way out of the Old Pasture, a lone winterberry was glowing in the low light.
  • Along the Wappinger Creek Trail, invasive Japanese stilt grass was starting to flower.
  • The tall, late season flower stalks make good "red flags" to announce its presence.
  • And the shiny midrib of the leaf clinches the ID.
  • The stilt-like roots allow one's fingers to slide under and lift sometimes the whole plant out for a satisfying pull!
  • A steely-nerved American green frog almost got burried by a wad of soon-to-be compost.
  • Note: I'm trusting the seeds were not yet pollinated, otherwise disposal rather than compost would be safer.
  • I sighed and gazed down the Creek.
  • Next week: the Cary Pines Trail side of the trail system.
Net-winged Beetle

Sightings

Birds
  • 2 Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • 2 Northern Flicker
  • 1 Eastern Phoebe
  • 3 Blue Jay
  • 8 Gray Catbird
  • 2 Eastern Towhee
  • 1 American Goldfinch
Butterflies
  • 23 Cabbage White
  • 9 Clouded Sulphur
  • 3 Orange Sulphur
  • 3 American Copper
  • 3 Eastern Tailed-Blue
  • 3 Great Spangled Fritillary
  • 5 Pearl Crescent
  • 1 Monarch
Insects
  • 1 Net-winged beetle
Plants
  • 1 Japanese stilt grass

Notes and Changes since last report

  • This week's trail report covers the Cary Pines Trail side of the trail system.
  • It was 87°F, partly cloudy and breezy at 2:00 PM on September 9, 2015.
  • Hot and dry again. The birds were very quiet... At least there was a breeze.
  • Some leaves were taking on color; some were down on the ground.

The Trails

  • The technique was to stay in the shade, don't over exert, drink water.
  • From a shady spot along the Scots Pine Alleé, one could see that the Little Bluestem Meadow had a little green oasis in the center.
  • And in that green oasis was a purple oasis.
  • And in that purple oasis were half a dozen great spangled fritillaries.
  • Along the parched edges of the Scots Pine Alleé, silverrod, a white goldenrod, was beginning to bloom.
  • Around the bend, common milkweed pods were releasing seeds to the wind.
  • The front of the Fern Glen Pond had been opened up to expose the turtle logs and the frog and bug mud.
  • The bull frogs appeared to be keeping up with the bugs...
  • Back in the fen, a surprise was a little witch hazel wrapped up like Halloween.
  • It was the work of the fall webworm.
  • All around below, bur marigold and swamp beggar ticks were blooming.
  • Deeper in the shrub swamp, skunk cabbage was already preparing fresh shoots for next spring.
  • In spite of the dry weather, a mushroom could be found here and there.
  • Back at the front of the pond, calico aster was thriving this year.
  • The blossoms change from yellow to red to guide pollinators to fresh flowers.
  • On the way out of the 'Glen, the late blooming black cohosh was blooming.
  • Lurking on the dry hill side along the road above the Fern Glen was the other aster.
  • It was very nice in a closer view.
  • Out on the Cary Pines Trail was an unfortunately uncommon sight: a monarch passing through.
  • The bench at the "Appendix" is a great place rest and watch. It was a caddisfly that took the spot light today.
  • Next week: the Wappinger Creek Trail side of the trail system.
Aster

Sightings

Birds
  • 1 Blue Jay
  • 4 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 1 American Robin
  • 6 Cedar Waxwing
Butterflies
  • 4 Cabbage White
  • 6 Clouded Sulphur
  • 1 American Copper
  • 6 Great Spangled Fritillary
  • 1 Pearl Crescent
  • 1 Monarch
Caterpillars
  • 1 Fall webworm
Plants
  • 1 Aster
  • 1 Black cohosh
  • 1 Bur marigold
  • 1 Calico aster
  • 1 Silverrod
  • 1 Swamp beggar ticks

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