trail map

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

  • This week's trail report covers the whole trail system.
  • It was 70°F, clear and calm at 2:15 PM on October 7, 2015.
  • The birding hot spot today was the Old Gravel Pit.
  • Foliage colors were brightening, but katydids and peepers were still calling.

The Trails

  • Last week there was promise of Fall color to come; this week it had arrived in the front Old Hayfield's Acer triflorum, one of the legacy trees of the Arboretum days.
  • In the back of that field, sight seeing was limited by black walnuts, which could really twist an ankle.
  • It was safer to look up on the Sedge Meadow Trail, where a kettle of turkey vultures was stirring.
  • Off to the side, the Gifford Tenent House Barn might have made the subject of a jigsaw puzzle - well, maybe in another week...
  • Soon enough the boardwalk across the swamp will be completely covered by leaves.
  • In the back Old Hayfield, invasive burning bush was showing off.
  • Its little berries are enjoyed by (and the seeds within are spread by) birds.
  • Finally a butterfly! A clouded sulphur came by and dropped into a hollow in the grass to soak up the sun. It is amazing how they can disappear right in front of you.
  • On the Wappinger Creek Trail, mushrooms could still be found hiding in the leaves.
  • Down in the floodplain, innocent looking wood nettle had shed almost all of its seeds.
  • The feathery structure holds the black seeds in little cups.
  • What appeared to be a couple lingering seeds turned out to be a couple bugs seeking those same seeds.
  • Up ahead, another invasive was showing off: Japanese barberry. Again, both leaves and berries are attractive to people and birds.
  • Japanese stilt grass is another matter. Brought over as packaging for porcelain, it came with tiny seeds. And they move along road sides and waterways.
  • Behind me, a couple caterpillars of a Haploa tiger moth species were feeding on clearweed and stinging nettle.
  • There was a faint scent in the air in the Fern... witch hazel was just beginning to bloom.
  • Back in the shrub swamp, some of the winterberry was getting pale, ghostly leaves. Some does, some doesn't... I wonder why.
  • In the fen, swamp milkweed seed pods were just beginning to open.
  • Looking up at a chickadee in the Old Gravel Pit was rewarding: in its company were blue-headed vireo, northern parula, prairy warbler and ruby-crowned kinglet.
  • Nice day.
Witch Hazel

Sightings

Birds
  • 1 Great Blue Heron
  • 5 Turkey Vulture
  • 2 Mourning Dove
  • 3 Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • 2 Downy Woodpecker
  • 1 Blue-headed Vireo
  • 9 Blue Jay
  • 1 American Crow
  • 12 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 3 Tufted Titmouse
  • 4 White-breasted Nuthatch
  • 1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  • 1 American Robin
  • 1 Gray Catbird
  • 1 Northern Parula
  • 3 Yellow-rumped Warbler
  • 1 Prairie Warbler
  • 1 Eastern Towhee
  • 1 Northern Cardinal
  • 1 American Goldfinch
Butterflies
  • 3 Cabbage White
  • 2 Clouded Sulphur
  • 1 Eastern Comma
Caterpillars
  • 1 Haploa species
Plants
  • 1 Witch hazel

Notes and Changes since last report

  • This week's trail report covers the Cary Pines Trail side of the trail system.
  • It was 56°F, breezy and misting at 2:00 PM on September 30, 2015.
  • This was the middle of a cool, rainy week; suddenly it was Fall.
  • Mushrooms have been waiting for this...

The Trails

  • Mist hanging in the air behind the Gifford Carriage House was a good indicator of how the walk would be today.
  • Something was in the road coming towards me.
  • Not a skunk, but a cat - a healthy looking one. It snuck off at my approach.
  • Virginia creeper was lighting up on the Scots Pine Alleé.
  • Colors really come out on a gray day. The Little Bluestem Meadow's namesake grass was glowing.
  • That muted red might have been oak starting up.
  • The promise of bright yellow to come was clearly maple.
  • Dogbanes in the adjacent field were a bright, pale yellow.
  • The first of the expected bounty of mushrooms was in the Old Gravel Pit.
  • Little parasols were not much farther along the way.
  • A big downed maple had quite the colony of a shelf fungus.
  • The margin of each "ear" had a glowing violet edge.
  • Something else was well past its prime, reminding me of how I *don't* like my eggs.
  • In the Fern Glen's fen, poison sumac was putting on a nice display with cinnamon fern helping in the foreground and spicebush in the background.
  • In spite of 3-1/2 inches of rain overnight, the creek under the bridge was not the torrent one might have expected.
  • Nearby, Indian cucumber root had an interesting way of making its fruit obvious.
  • A large mushroom was hidden behind the kiosk.
  • Not so hidden in the pond were several red-spotted newts.
  • On the Cary Pines Trail, a dead hemlock had come down.
  • By the big snag farther ahead, red maple seedlings made a colorful carpet.
  • At the approach to the "Appendix", tiny mushrooms were like scattered popcorn on the ground.
  • Inspected down and close, they turned out to be quite interesting.
  • Next week: the Wappinger Creek Trail side of the trail system.
Tiny mushrooms

Sightings

Birds
  • 1 Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • 2 Downy Woodpecker
  • 4 Blue Jay
  • 5 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 2 White-breasted Nuthatch
  • 2 American Robin
  • 40 European Starling
Butterflies
  • 1 Cabbage White

Pages

Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies | Millbrook, New York 12545 | Tel (845) 677-5343

Privacy Policy Copyright © 2017