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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 75°F, partly cloudy and calm at 2:00 PM on May 21, 2014.
  • It would become cloudy and breezy.
  • More butterflies were back including red-spotted purple and silver-spotted skipper.
  • Returning moths included snowberry clearwing and white-banded toothed carpet.

The Trails

  • For some distance before reaching the Carriage House, one could see color in the tree ahead; it was the strange buckeye.
  • I finally spotted pink lady's-slipper leaves. I'd kept an eye out on the last several walks.
  • Canada mayflower was finally blooming - it seemed to take a while to get going this year.
  • A small, dark, fluttering form eventally settled in front of me: an eastern pine elfin... laying eggs!
  • And right by my feet was another pink lady's-slipper - yes, blooming.
  • In the Fern Glen, the deer left enough twigs of the poor striped maple that it could bloom.
  • And in several places, columbine was blooming. I didn't know if we'd see any this year.
  • By the bench in the limestone cobble, an Asian (I think) Solomon's seal was also blooming.
  • Small-flowered crowfoot indeed had small flowers.
  • Along the western edge of the pond, golden Alexanders was just barely starting to bloom. I like its Latin name: Zizia.
  • Foamflower was in just a few locations in the cobble.
  • Everywhere herb-robert was starting to bloom.
  • An (alien) marmorated stinkbug was running out of room on a grass blade.
  • Good thing I was looking overhead for the honeysuckle vine in the fen.
  • That odd dark blob was a little water snake.
  • The limber honesuckle was there, too. I almost forgot.
  • Way in the back of the Glen, wild sarsparilla was now blooming. I never realized it had two 'r's.
  • Above the deck, yellow lady's-slipper had opened.
  • Towards the kiosk, swamp azalea was indeed alive and should bloom soon.
  • Near the kiosk, choke cherry was perfuming the air. It was being tended by ants, as was the sarsparilla.
  • Wild geranium was blooming in a number of spots.
  • I'm always amazed at the little things I find while in the "dark room".
  • A stone's throw from the kiosk, mayapple seemed to be having a grand year.
  • On the pond side of the kiosk, false Solomon's seal was taking off.
  • A little farther along, the carrion flower was finding support in numbers in its efforts to get up in the world.
  • Today's buds should be soon filling the air with its namesake aroma.
  • Just behind, our native euonymous, wahoo was quietly budding.
  • Back in the cobble, twinleaf pods had been forming.
  • On the way out of the Glen across the road, the other azalea out in the sun was in bloom.
  • Out on the Cary Pines Trail, the Canada mayflower had caught up with the starflower already in bloom.
  • It was looking like maple-leaved viburnum was going to have a good year.
  • On the Wappinger Creek Trail, invasive narrow-leaved bittercress was budding. Interestingly I had recently visited a creekside area where last year it was knee-high and spreading in every direction. This year it is absent. Curious...
  • Invasive dame's rocket has been and will be around for some time. It is often mistaken for phlox, but has four petals rather thank 5.
  • Out in the Sedge Meadow, cinnamon fern was living up to its name.
  • In the back Old Hayfield, Russian olive, an invasive shrub, was getting ready. Somewhere it, or the similar Autumn olive, was actually blooming - I could smell the heavy, sweet scent.
  • In the back of that field, common barberry was filling the air with its funky blossoms.
  • Near the old Pumphouse, another or our viburnums was making itself obvious with its flower clusters.
  • One last sighting this day, along the front Old Hayfield, was the tiny lily, blue-eyed grass.
Northern water snake

Sightings

Birds
  • 3 Mallard
  • 1 Wild Turkey
  • 1 American Woodcock
  • 1 Mourning Dove
  • 3 Chimney Swift
  • 1 Pileated Woodpecker
  • 2 Eastern Phoebe
  • 1 Warbling Vireo
  • 6 Red-eyed Vireo
  • 2 Blue Jay
  • 1 American Crow
  • 3 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 1 Tufted Titmouse
  • 2 House Wren
  • 1 Veery
  • 4 Wood Thrush
  • 8 American Robin
  • 3 Gray Catbird
  • 1 Blue-winged Warbler
  • 1 Black-throated Green Warbler
  • 1 Pine Warbler
  • 1 Prairie Warbler
  • 1 Black-and-white Warbler
  • 6 Ovenbird
  • 2 Louisiana Waterthrush
  • 1 Common Yellowthroat
  • 2 Scarlet Tanager
  • 6 Eastern Towhee
  • 2 Chipping Sparrow
  • 2 Field Sparrow
  • 2 Northern Cardinal
  • 1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
  • 2 Indigo Bunting
  • 1 Red-winged Blackbird
  • 5 Baltimore Oriole
  • 6 American Goldfinch
Butterflies
  • 8 Cabbage White
  • 3 Clouded Sulphur
  • 2 Eastern Pine Elfin
  • 1 'Olive' Juniper Hairstreak
  • 4 Spring Azure
  • 1 Meadow Fritillary
  • 10 Pearl Crescent
  • 2 Red-spotted Purple
  • 1 Silver-spotted Skipper
Plants
  • 1 Blue-eyed grass
  • 1 Buckeye
  • 1 Canada mayflower
  • 1 Choke cherry
  • 1 Columbine
  • 1 Common barberry
  • 1 Dame's rocket
  • 1 False Soloman's-seal
  • 1 Foamflower
  • 1 Golden Alexanders
  • 1 Herb-Robert
  • 1 Limber honeysuckle
  • 1 May-apple
  • 1 Pink lady's-slipper
  • 1 Small-flowered crowfoot
  • 1 Solomon's-seal (asian?)
  • 1 Striped maple
  • 1 Swamp azalea
  • 1 Viburnum
  • 1 Wild geranium
  • 1 Wild sasparilla
  • 1 Yellow lady's-slipper
Moth
  • 1 Snowberry Clearwing
  • 1 White-banded toothed carpet

Notes and Changes since last report

  • It was 75°F, partly cloudy and calm at 2:00 PM on May 14, 2014.
  • It would cloud over but remain warm and calm.
  • First of the season butterflies included juniper hairstreak and meadow fritillary.
  • Birds have been coming back too - Canada warbler was a nice find.

The Trails

  • At Gifford House parking lot, lilacs were beginning to bloom.
  • A very few are of a much darker shade, which appeals more to me.
  • Along the edge of the first Old Hayfield, an old apple was blooming.
  • The high and dry section of the Sedge Meadow Trail was carpeted with dwarf cinquefoil in yellow and white.
  • Something dark was darting among them: a juniper hairstreak.
  • In the back Old Hayfield, the flowering dogwood along the edge could be seen across the field.
  • Zooming in showed some perfect fully open blossoms.
  • The benches were out on the trails again.
  • While taking advantage of the one in the Old Pasture, I noticed a nearby warbler call. A little patience and "pishing" produced a Canada warbler. Nice.
  • Gaywings surprise was at the Watershed kiosk on the Wappinger Creek Trail.
  • Farther along in the floodplain, a Juvinal's duskywing was patrolling the path.
  • Off the side, a large mushroom was growing out of a dead tree.
  • A sweet scent was in the air. It was the invasive Japanese barberry.
  • Out on the Cary Pines Trail, starflower had won the race to blossom with the Canada mayflower.
  • In the Fern Glen, one of the mystery perennials was blooming.
  • Some of the large-flowered trillium had been out long enough to take on a pink cast.
  • In the limestone cobble, wild blue phlox. had started to bloom.
  • Jacob's ladder was all about.
  • A favorite deer snack, Soloman's seal was ripening.
  • Along the pond, coming up like run away asparagas was carrion flower.
  • The tendrils make it pretty distinct.
  • At the front of the pond, golden Alexanders was budding up.
  • Hiding along the edge, a lone golden ragwort was starting to bloom.
  • Red baneberry was along the way to the fen.
  • On the wet side of the path, colt's foot was going to seed.
  • Color out in the poor fen caught my eye: some rhodora survived the winter's intense deer browse.
  • Right along the boardwalk, highbush blueberry was just starting to bloom.
  • Spreading globeflower appeared to be finishing.
  • Along the road to the stone bridge, interrupted fern was coming up.
  • The fertile interruptions in the otherwise sterile fronds were apparent.
  • Right by the kiosk, in spite of the overcast skies, a tiger swallowtail glided in.
  • Just in from the kiosk, mayapple was budding up.
  • So too, was everybody's favorite: large yellow lady's-slipper.
  • Way in the back of the Glen, looking a little like poison ivy with its shiny red leaves, was wild sarsaparilla.
  • The coming flower should remove any confusion between the two.
  • Heading towards the Old Gravel Pit, I found the big patch of hay-scented fern coming up.
  • Behind the Carriage House, fothergilla had really progressed since last week.
  • The blossoms seemed to have an alomst almond scent.
Lilacs

Sightings

Birds
  • 1 Turkey Vulture
  • 1 Mourning Dove
  • 3 Chimney Swift
  • 1 Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • 1 Downy Woodpecker
  • 1 Pileated Woodpecker
  • 2 Eastern Phoebe
  • 1 Warbling Vireo
  • 3 Red-eyed Vireo
  • 3 Blue Jay
  • 2 Tree Swallow
  • 5 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 1 White-breasted Nuthatch
  • 1 House Wren
  • 1 Eastern Bluebird
  • 2 Veery
  • 3 Wood Thrush
  • 3 American Robin
  • 5 Gray Catbird
  • 1 European Starling
  • 1 Black-throated Green Warbler
  • 2 Pine Warbler
  • 2 Prairie Warbler
  • 5 Ovenbird
  • 1 Canada Warbler
  • 1 Scarlet Tanager
  • 8 Eastern Towhee
  • 4 Chipping Sparrow
  • 2 Field Sparrow
  • 1 Song Sparrow
  • 2 Northern Cardinal
  • 1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
  • 1 Red-winged Blackbird
  • 1 Brown-headed Cowbird
  • 1 Baltimore Oriole
  • 2 American Goldfinch
Butterflies
  • 1 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
  • 6 Cabbage White
  • 3 'Olive' Juniper Hairstreak
  • 4 Spring Azure
  • 1 Meadow Fritillary
  • 3 Juvenal's Duskywing
Plants
  • 1 Dwarf cinquefoil
  • 1 Flowering dogwood
  • 1 Fothergilla
  • 1 Gaywings
  • 1 Golden ragwort
  • 1 High bush blueberry
  • 1 Jacob's ladder
  • 1 Japanese barberry
  • 1 Lilac
  • 1 Mystery plant
  • 1 Rhodora
  • 1 Solomon's-seal
  • 1 Spreading globeflower
  • 1 Starflower
  • 1 Wild blue phlox
Moth
  • 1 Bluish spring moth
  • 1 White-striped Black

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