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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 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

Notes and Changes since last report

  • This week's trail report covers the Wappinger Creek Trail side of the trail system.
  • It was 85°F, partly cloudy and breezy at 12:00 PM on September 2, 2015.
  • Trails have been mown and brush trimmed back.
  • The front Old Hayfield was mowed.

The Trails

  • The front Old Field has been mowed to keep it a field free of shrubs and trees.
  • Along the unmown edge, invasive but pretty spotted knapweed attracted a Peck's skipper.
  • Something flew around my head and dove into a cedar along the dry side of the Sedge Meadow Trail.
  • Surprise, it was a red admiral. Strange place for a red admiral...
  • The low side of the trail was, as last week, throbbing with birds including red-eyed vireo.
  • In the back Old Hayfield, goldenrods were pulling in locust borers. We usually think of bees, but beetles are major pollinators as well.
  • Next year, the back field will be mown with the front remaining as refuge for late season wildlife and overwintering eggs, larvae and pupae.
  • The fungus by the watershed kiosk on the Wappinger Creek Trail was expanding. I've seen these grow 1-1/2" in diameter per day.
  • A little farther along was an interesting blue-green mushroom.
  • As I approached the "Appendix", something looked a little different up ahead... Actually it was arump.
  • She was aware of me sitting on the bench watching her browse the shrubs.
  • Eventually she wandered upstream, playing peek-a-boo along the way.
  • Wandering back towards the parking lot, I stepped back as something again flew around my head. It was the size and color of a pearl crescent, but the place and behavour were odd... It was a harvester, our only carnivorous butterfly: Its caterpillar eats woolly aphids, typically on alders. But by now we were in a dry conifer forest... Another mystery.
Peek-a-boo

Sightings

Birds
  • 2 Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • 1 Pileated Woodpecker
  • 1 Eastern Wood-Pewee
  • 4 Eastern Phoebe
  • 3 Red-eyed Vireo
  • 1 Blue Jay
  • 8 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 2 Tufted Titmouse
  • 1 White-breasted Nuthatch
  • 3 House Wren
  • 1 Veery
  • 1 Wood Thrush
  • 6 American Robin
  • 6 Gray Catbird
  • 4 Cedar Waxwing
  • 2 Common Yellowthroat
  • 3 Eastern Towhee
  • 5 American Goldfinch
Butterflies
  • 23 Cabbage White
  • 14 Clouded Sulphur
  • 7 Orange Sulphur
  • 1 Eastern Tailed-Blue
  • 1 Harvester
  • 14 Great Spangled Fritillary
  • 12 Pearl Crescent
  • 1 Red Admiral
  • 1 Common Wood-Nymph
  • 8 Silver-spotted Skipper
  • 1 Peck's Skipper
  • 4 Tawny-edged Skipper

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