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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

  • It was overcast, breezy and I doubt it was 60°F at 2:30 PM on May 13, 2015.
  • That was a far cry from the near 90° we'd been having.
  • Even when the sun came out, not a butterfly was seen.
  • That couldn't reverse the progress of the flowering plants; at least 30 new ones were blooming since last week.
  • Yellow-billed cuckoo was the bird of the day, though it was only heard, not seen.

The Trails

  • At Gifford House, the scent of lilacs brought back childhood memories.
  • The paler color may have the bolder fragrance.
  • From a distance buckeye could be seen behind the Carriage House.
  • Zooming in gets one a good look at the strange flower.
  • Fothergilla was just around the bend, speaking of strange.
  • The invasive bush honeysuckles edged the Little Bluestem Meadow.
  • An interesting view of nanny berry, a native viburnum, had this years flower buds next to last years fruit.
  • In the Old Gravel Pit, starflower could be found low to the ground.
  • Off the side at the bottom of the Old Gravel Pit, an old apple was blooming.
  • Invasive garlic mustard must have been blooming for a while: seed pods were forming.
  • What? Along the road to the Fern Glen, black swallowwort was up and with flower buds already! This sunny location must allow this invasive an earlier start than I'm used to.
  • In the Fern Glen, Solomon's seal had been spared by the deer so far this year.
  • I don't think anything touches red baneberry .
  • Originally white, large-flowered trillium was turning pink with age.
  • The elusive foamflower was again blooming in the limestone cobble.
  • So too were wild blue phlox, bellwort, and nodding trillium.
  • Jacob's ladder was in and out of the cobble.
  • Ferns were coming into their own: ostrich around the pond and maidenhair in the cobble.
  • At the back of the pond, golden seal had almost come and gone during a week's time.
  • Nearby, blue cohosh was quietly flowering.
  • I think Japanese barberry had been flowering for a while, but that I had missed it.
  • On the way to the fen, colt's foot was still looking dandelion-like even after flowering - but the scaly stem gives it away...
  • In the fen, the deer had missed some of the rhodora over the winter.
  • Leatherleaf, bog rosemary, and highbush blueberry all have bell shaped blossoms.
  • Cinnamon fern fiddleheads and goldthredwere coming up right along the path.
  • Way in the back of the 'Glen, wild sarsparilla was looking like ash seedlings... except for the flower.
  • Yellow lady's-slipper is a most anticipated arrival in the 'Glen.
  • Stonecrop was a surprize not far from a major patch of gaywings.
  • Not to be confused with leatherleaf, leatherwood seemed to be more fruitful this year than in the past.
  • Almost back out to the kiosk, clusters of choke cherry were adding to the smells in the air.
  • Blossoms were lurking under the parasols of mayapple.
  • Asking to be stepped on at the start of the path around the pond were tiny bluets. There is never more than a few.
  • Along said path were false Solomon's seal, golden ragwort, and that crazy carrion flower.
  • Across the road, azalea stood out.
  • Had to take the walk for a closer look at this.
  • Out on the Cary Pines Trail, I knew I'd find Canada mayflower in more advanced stages.
  • And in the Sedge Meadow, cinnamon fern was sending up it namesake fertile fronds.
  • In the back Old Hayfield, invasive Russian olive was ready to pop. In the Old Pasture it already had.
  • Flowering dogwood had just started last week and was looking fuller this week.
  • Until next week...
Azalea in the Fern Glen

Sightings

Birds
  • 1 Wild Turkey
  • 1 Great Blue Heron
  • 3 Turkey Vulture
  • 1 Mourning Dove
  • 1 Yellow-billed Cuckoo
  • 9 Chimney Swift
  • 2 Eastern Phoebe
  • 1 Yellow-throated Vireo
  • 5 Red-eyed Vireo
  • 3 Blue Jay
  • 2 American Crow
  • 1 Common Raven
  • 1 Tree Swallow
  • 3 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 1 Brown Creeper
  • 3 Veery
  • 2 Wood Thrush
  • 6 American Robin
  • 8 Gray Catbird
  • 1 European Starling
  • 1 Blue-winged Warbler
  • 1 Yellow Warbler
  • 1 Black-throated Green Warbler
  • 1 Pine Warbler
  • 2 Prairie Warbler
  • 1 Black-and-white Warbler
  • 2 Ovenbird
  • 3 Scarlet Tanager
  • 4 Eastern Towhee
  • 4 Chipping Sparrow
  • 1 Field Sparrow
  • 1 Song Sparrow
  • 2 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
  • 1 Red-winged Blackbird
  • 2 Baltimore Oriole
  • 1 House Finch
  • 2 American Goldfinch
Plants
  • 1 Apple
  • 1 Azalea
  • 1 Bellwort
  • 1 Blue cohosh
  • 1 Bluets
  • 1 Bog rosemary
  • 1 Buckeye
  • 1 Canada mayflower
  • 1 Choke cherry
  • 1 False Soloman's-seal
  • 1 Foamflower
  • 1 Fothergilla
  • 1 Garlic mustard
  • 1 Gaywings
  • 1 Golden ragwort
  • 1 Goldenseal
  • 1 High bush blueberry
  • 1 Honeysuckle
  • 1 Jacob's ladder
  • 1 Japanese barberry
  • 1 Lilac
  • 1 May-apple
  • 1 Nodding trillium
  • 1 Red baneberry
  • 1 Rhodora
  • 1 Russian olive
  • 1 Solomon's-seal
  • 1 Starflower
  • 1 Stonecrop
  • 1 Striped maple
  • 1 Wild blue phlox
  • 1 Wild sarsparilla
  • 1 Yellow lady's-slipper

Notes and Changes since last report

  • It was probably 70°F, mostly cloudy and calm at 2:00 PM on May 6, 2015.
  • Grass was getting close to needing mowing and trees were beginning to leaf out.
  • Spring ephemerals were racing along in the Fern Glen with new ones blooming every other day.
  • Plenty of spring azures and a few cabbage whites were out; a single meadow fritillary made an appearance.
  • Gray treefrogs were calling.

The Trails

  • The front Old Hayfield was considerably greener than the week before.
  • By the Old Pumphouse, a wing was all that was left of a duck that had fed something.
  • On the Sedge Meadow Trail a newly returned Prairie warbler allowed a photo.
  • In the Sedge Meadow itself, tussock sedge was flowering.
  • The back Old Hayfield was just one place to note the less eagerly awaited return of the eastern tent caterpillar.
  • Right at the bench was an eastern towhee out in the open.
  • On the northern edge, flowering dogwood was just beginning to open.
  • A rose-breasted grosbeak popped into view as I back tracked along the Sedge Meadow Trial. A few could be heard calling.
  • Wood anemone, Jack-in-the-pulpit, Cut-leaved toothwort, and Pennsylvania sedge had started to bloom along the Wappinger Creek Trail.
  • It was nicely birdy along Creek with yellow-throated vireo, common raven, wood thrush, black-throated green warbler and Baltimore oriole calling.
  • On the approach to the Fern Glen, crabapple was bloomin on the hillside.
  • At the top of the first bed, hobblebush was blooming where the deer hadn't browsed.
  • At the bottom of the same bed, starry false Solomon's seal was beginning to bloom.
  • All around the limestone cobble, early meadow rue was blooming.
  • On the uphill side, the presumably Asian Solomon's seal had joined the blooming frenzy.
  • Back in the fen, leatherleaf was sporting its little white bells.
  • By the main kiosk, regular toothwort had started.
  • On the way out, I stopped for a try at the absurdly tiny blossom of miterwort or bishop's cap, if you prefer.
  • Low flying things at the entrance to the trail system turned out to be beeflies. Don't worry: that pointy proboscis seems more for probing flowers than people.
  • One last observation of the day was the Bradford pear by the Carriage House.
Eastern Towhee

Sightings

Birds
  • 1 Wild Turkey
  • 1 Chimney Swift
  • 1 Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • 1 Downy Woodpecker
  • 2 Pileated Woodpecker
  • 1 Eastern Phoebe
  • 1 Eastern Kingbird
  • 1 Yellow-throated Vireo
  • 1 Red-eyed Vireo
  • 8 Blue Jay
  • 1 Common Raven
  • 6 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 1 White-breasted Nuthatch
  • 1 Eastern Bluebird
  • 4 Wood Thrush
  • 2 American Robin
  • 1 Gray Catbird
  • 2 Blue-winged Warbler
  • 1 Yellow Warbler
  • 1 Black-throated Green Warbler
  • 1 Pine Warbler
  • 2 Prairie Warbler
  • 3 Ovenbird
  • 1 Louisiana Waterthrush
  • 7 Eastern Towhee
  • 5 Chipping Sparrow
  • 2 Field Sparrow
  • 1 Song Sparrow
  • 1 White-throated Sparrow
  • 1 Northern Cardinal
  • 2 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
  • 1 Red-winged Blackbird
  • 1 Brown-headed Cowbird
  • 2 Baltimore Oriole
  • 5 American Goldfinch
Butterflies
  • 3 Cabbage White
  • 4 Spring Azure
  • 1 Meadow Fritillary
Caterpillars
  • 1 Eastern tent caterpillar
Plants
  • 1 Bradford pear
  • 1 Crabapple
  • 1 Cut-leaved toothwort
  • 1 Dwarf cinquefoil
  • 1 Early meadow-rue
  • 1 False rue-anemone
  • 1 Flowering dogwood
  • 1 Hobble-bush
  • 1 Jack-in-the-pulpit
  • 1 Leatherleaf
  • 1 Miterwort
  • 1 Pennsylvania sedge
  • 1 Solomon's-seal (asian?)
  • 1 Starry false Soloman's-seal
  • 1 Toothwort
  • 1 Tussock sedge
  • 1 Wood anemone

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