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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:

  • 92°F, partly cloudy and breezy at 11:30 AM.
  • It's still been pretty warm with virtually no rain... that would change today.
  • The common ringlet's 2nd brood was coming out and the tawny-edged skipper was making an appearance.
  • In the Fern Glen, things were slowing down, but there were some new blooms and others were getting ready.

The Trails

  • Braving the noon day heat in the Gifford parking lot was not in vain and the chewed up milkweed leaves did not lie: at least three monarch caterpillars were on one plant.
  • The trail in the front Old Hayfield was getting crisp from the heat and lack of rain.
  • I was surprised to find several Delaware skippers out there today.
  • Another surprise was the large Argiope, or orb-weaver spider, that I almost walked into.
  • Though, heading for the shade, I had to examine some strange limpet-like objects on the dogbane.
  • At first glance, they seemed uninhabited. But at second glance, the walls appeared to be made of eggs.
  • The forecast was for thunder showers this afternoon; "was this a harbinger?" I wondered.
  • On the high section of the Sedge Meadow Trail, butter-and-eggs were just hanging on - in fact it was loosing blossoms as I watched.
  • An American copper was leading the way as I continued along.
  • In the back Old Hayfield, meadow fritillary presented a rare opportunity for a photo.
  • The sun was behind rumbling clouds as I back tracked onto the Sedge Meadow Trail. A silver-spotted skipper dove under a leaf for cover but was too skittish for a photo. Another sillouette did not flee before me; I stopped to examine it:
  • It was a painted lichen moth. Charming. For a moment I forgot about the changing weather.
  • The Old Pasture was active, but the sky above was increasingly so; I could no longer ignore it and had to leave with some uncertain IDs.
  • It was now quite dark and windy on the Wappinger Creek Trail, but there was no doubt it was northern pearly-eyes flying at me like leaves in the wind.
  • The eventual rain was pretty hard but it was the lightning overhead that sent me packing for the Carriage House.
  • It didn't last long and I continued to the Fern Glen pausing in the Norway Spruce Glade along the road to watch the return to life-as-usual. One of the skippers seemed a little small - it was a tawny-edged! I wasn't sure I'd seen one yet this year.
  • In the Glen proper, climbing hempweed was just barely beginning to bloom.
  • Back in the shrub swamp, horse-balm was coming into bloom.
  • At the front of the pond, boneset was getting ready to do the same.
  • Eloquent in any situation, a clymene moth was perching along the trail through the Old Gravel Pit.
  • Not much farther ahead was the more subtle, hemlock looper moth.
  • Skys were now blue, but my feet were wet and the car was in sight; none the less I had to examine the dark spots in the thistle by the Carriage House.
  • It was taking too long to get a good view of the painted lady caterpillars.
  • I settled for a fair one and headed off for dry socks.
Monarch caterpillars on common milkweed
Front Old Hayfield
Delaware skippers
Orb-weaver spider
Limpet-like objects?
Eggs?
Weather to come?
Butter-and-eggs
American copper
Meadow fritillary
Sillouette
Painted lichen moth
Climbing hempweed
Horse-balm
Boneset
Clymene tiger moth
Hemlock looper moth
Thistle
Painted lady caterpillar

Sightings

Birds
  • 1 Wild Turkey
  • 1 Mourning Dove
  • 1 Great Crested Flycatcher
  • 1 Red-eyed Vireo
  • 4 American Crow
  • 1 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 3 Tufted Titmouse
  • 1 American Robin
  • 2 Gray Catbird
  • 2 Cedar Waxwing
  • 2 Louisiana Waterthrush
  • 1 Common Yellowthroat
  • 3 Eastern Towhee
  • 2 Chipping Sparrow
  • 1 Field Sparrow
  • 3 Indigo Bunting
  • 4 American Goldfinch
Butterflies
  • 16 Cabbage White
  • 3 Clouded Sulphur
  • 7 Orange Sulphur
  • 3 American Copper
  • 4 Eastern Tailed-Blue
  • 8 Great Spangled Fritillary
  • 1 Meadow Fritillary
  • 42 Pearl Crescent
  • 1 American Lady
  • 3 Northern Pearly-eye
  • 8 Little Wood-Satyr
  • 5 Common Ringlet
  • 28 Common Wood-Nymph
  • 3 Monarch
  • 7 Silver-spotted Skipper
  • 1 Tawny-edged Skipper
  • 13 Northern Broken-Dash
  • 1 Little Glassywing
  • 3 Delaware Skipper
  • 2 Dun Skipper
Caterpillars
  • Painted lady
Plants
  • 1 Climbing hempweed
  • 1 Horse-balm
Moth
  • 1 Clymene tiger moth
  • 1 Hemlock looper moth
  • 1 Hummingbird Clearwing
  • 1 Painted lichen moth
  • 1 Snowberry Clearwing
  • 1 White-striped Black
  • 3 Yellow-collared scape moth

Notes and changes since last report

  • 85°F, partly cloudy and calm at 1:30 PM.
  • It's been pretty warm and we haven't had any rain to speak of for a while.
  • The Appalachian brown and dun skipper were back.
  • In the Fern Glen, Turk's-cap lily was having a good year.

The Trails

Dogbane beetle
Yellow-collared scape moth
Yellow-collared scape moth
Northern pearly-eye
Appalachian brown
Bittersweet nightshade
Northern broken-dash
Coral hairstreak
Hemp nettle
Hemp nettle
Tall bellflower
Tall bellflower
Tall bellflower
Dragonfly shadow
Monkey flower
Monkey flower
Swamp milkweed
Swamp milkweed
Elderberry
Horse-balm
Horse-balm
Green-headed coneflower
Green-headed coneflower
Spotted wintergreen
Spotted wintergreen
Culver's root
Turk's-cap lily
Lizard's-tail
Broad-leaved arrowhead
Large lace-border
Female northern broken-dash

Sightings

Birds
  • 3 Mourning Dove
  • 1 Chimney Swift
  • 1 Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • 1 Downy Woodpecker
  • 1 Eastern Phoebe
  • 1 Warbling Vireo
  • 6 Red-eyed Vireo
  • 2 Blue Jay
  • 3 American Crow
  • 3 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 1 Tufted Titmouse
  • 1 Red-breasted Nuthatch
  • 1 White-breasted Nuthatch
  • 1 Winter Wren
  • 7 Veery
  • 1 Wood Thrush
  • 4 American Robin
  • 6 Gray Catbird
  • 1 Black-throated Blue Warbler
  • 1 Pine Warbler
  • 1 Prairie Warbler
  • 3 Ovenbird
  • 1 Louisiana Waterthrush
  • 3 Common Yellowthroat
  • 2 Scarlet Tanager
  • 8 Eastern Towhee
  • 7 Field Sparrow
  • 2 Song Sparrow
  • 2 Indigo Bunting
  • 2 American Goldfinch
Butterflies
  • 1 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
  • 12 Cabbage White
  • 5 Orange Sulphur
  • 1 American Copper
  • 1 Coral Hairstreak
  • 6 Great Spangled Fritillary
  • 3 Question Mark
  • 1 Painted Lady
  • 10 Northern Pearly-eye
  • 5 Appalachian Brown
  • 3 Little Wood-Satyr
  • 53 Common Wood-Nymph
  • 5 Monarch
  • 12 Silver-spotted Skipper
  • 19 Northern Broken-Dash
  • 10 Little Glassywing
  • 1 Delaware Skipper
  • 18 Dun Skipper
Plants
  • 1 Broad-leaved arrowhead
  • 1 Culver's-root
  • 1 Lizard's-tail
  • 1 Skullcap
  • 1 Spotted wintergreen
  • 1 Square-stemmed monkey-flower
  • 1 Swamp milkweed
  • 1 Tall bellflower
  • 1 Turk's-cap lily
Moth
  • 1 Large Lace-border
  • 1 Yellow-collared scape moth

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