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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

  • It was 73°F, mostly cloudy and breezy at 3:00 PM on May 24, 2017.
  • This week's trail report covers the Cary Pines Trail side of the trail system.
  • Both pink and yellow lady's-slipper were blooming in the Fern Glen.
  • A late start was with hopes for maximum sunshine after a cloudy morning.

The Trails

  • Shadows were long through the Scots Pine Alleé.
  • Bare dirt at the base of a pine drew my attention.
  • Barely perceptable tracks and a single feather suggested it was maybe a dust bath for turkeys.
  • Just inside the Old Gravel Pit, the first dewberry blossom was open.
  • Above, masses of maple keys were swinging in the wind.
  • But it was the black locust blossoms that I was looking for - I had been smelling them for a while.
  • Hayscented fern is another pleasant smell that warm sun will bring out.
  • On the dry hillside above the Fern Glen, beardtongue was up and blooming.
  • In the Fern Glen, bluebead was blooming this year.
  • Across the way, false Solomon's-seal buds were finally opening.
  • Alumroot was near the back of the pond instead of its usual spot.
  • Invasive phlox look-alike, dame's rocket was appearing through out the 'Glen. Its 4 petals distinguish it from phlox with 5.
  • Wild geranium was thickest around the pond.
  • Back in the fen, Labrador tea was blooming.
  • Even one petal counts: pitcher plant was starting too.
  • Limber honeysuckle - a native to our region - had started last week.
  • Pink lady's-slipper had joined the yellow in blooming.
  • Behind the kiosk, mayapple had started last week.
  • This was the first week for the golden Alexanders by the pond.
  • Out on the Cary Pines Trail, a moth went by and hid its head. I'm leaning towards red-headed inchworm moth.
  • Another paused for a photo. Again as one of a group of similar suspects, white-ribboned carpet is only a strong maybe.
  • Next week: for sure the Wappinger Creek Trail side of the trail system.
Pink lady's-slipper

Sightings

Birds
  • 3 Eastern Phoebe
  • 1 Red-eyed Vireo
  • 1 House Wren
  • 2 Eastern Bluebird
  • 2 Veery
  • 1 American Robin
  • 1 Gray Catbird
  • 1 European Starling
  • 1 Prairie Warbler
  • 3 Ovenbird
  • 2 Scarlet Tanager
  • 2 Eastern Towhee
  • 3 Chipping Sparrow
  • 1 Field Sparrow
  • 1 Northern Cardinal
  • 1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
  • 2 Red-winged Blackbird
  • 3 Brown-headed Cowbird
  • 1 Baltimore Oriole
Butterflies
  • 1 Spicebush Swallowtail
  • 1 Cabbage White
Plants
  • 1 Alumroot
  • 1 Beardtongue
  • 1 Black locust
  • 1 Clintonia
  • 1 Dame's rocket
  • 1 Dewberry
  • 1 False Solomon's-seal
  • 1 Golden Alexanders
  • 1 Labrador tea
  • 2 Pink lady's-slipper
  • 1 Pitcher plant
  • 1 Wild geranium
Moth
  • 1 Red-headed inchworm moth
  • 1 Snowberry Clearwing
  • 1 White-ribboned Carpet
  • 1 White-striped Black

Notes and Changes since last report

  • It was 90°F, clear and breezy at 2:00 PM on May 17, 2017 - quite the change after all the cool.
  • This week's trail report covers the Wappinger Creek Trail side of the trail system.
  • The yellow lady's-slipper is blooming in the Fern Glen.
  • More butterflies are starting to show up.

The Trails

  • The oaks were starting to leaf out in the front Old Hayfield.
  • By the old Pump House, the viburnum, nannyberry, was in flower.
  • The flower is a flat cluster of white, 5-petaled flowers.
  • And the leaf has small sharp teeth and a long drawn out tip - remember this...
  • Cabbage whites and tiger swallowtails were expected, but a common ringlet.
  • The ususal patch of bird's-eye speedwell was up.
  • Mixed in were some wild strawberries.
  • Along the Sedge Meadow Trail, a prairy warbler eventually showed itself as it called.
  • The cool of the boardwalk was welcome after being under the sun.
  • Right at the door to the Sedge Meadow, several pearl crescents were cruising around.
  • Farther in, cinnamon fern was coming up.
  • It is the fertile fronds - spore producing fronds that give it its name.
  • At the entrance to the back Old Hayfield, invasive Russian olive could be smelled before being seen.
  • The fragrance is a little funky, but the flowers produce a lot of it.
  • From the comfort of the shady path, the flowering dogwood could be seen still going strong on the other side.
  • Another funky smell came from the side: common barberry.
  • It is invasive as well as Japanese barberry, which had finished flowering.
  • A dead leaf on a neighboring ironwood turned out to be somebody's cocoon.
  • And next to that, enormous leaf buds of a young hickory had opened.
  • Burning bush's fall foliage rather than its obscure flower was the reason for this exotic's import.
  • Ah, the other viburnum!
  • Same cluster of white flowers.
  • But the leaf is definitely shorter, rounder and less pointy than the earlier one. This could be black haw.
  • The Wappinger Creek Trail was relatively cool and shady. False hellebore was getting tall along the creek itself.
  • Along the flood plane section, last year's sycamore seed ball was in the middle of the path.
  • One of my favorite plants to hate, narrow-leaved bittercress was starting to bud.
  • The hairy wrap-around stipule at the base of the leaf distinguishes it from similar cresses.
  • Next week: the Cary Pines Trail side of the trail system.
Prairie Warbler

Sightings

Birds
  • 1 Mourning Dove
  • 3 Chimney Swift
  • 2 Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • 1 Eastern Wood-Pewee
  • 1 Eastern Phoebe
  • 1 Warbling Vireo
  • 4 Red-eyed Vireo
  • 2 Blue Jay
  • 2 Tree Swallow
  • 1 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
  • 4 Veery
  • 1 Wood Thrush
  • 8 American Robin
  • 3 Gray Catbird
  • 2 Blue-winged Warbler
  • 1 Prairie Warbler
  • 3 Ovenbird
  • 2 Louisiana Waterthrush
  • 1 Scarlet Tanager
  • 3 Eastern Towhee
  • 1 Chipping Sparrow
  • 3 Field Sparrow
  • 1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
  • 1 Red-winged Blackbird
  • 5 Baltimore Oriole
  • 3 American Goldfinch
Butterflies
  • 1 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
  • 2 Cabbage White
  • 1 Spring Azure
  • 5 Pearl Crescent
  • 1 Common Ringlet
Plants
  • 1 Black haw
  • 1 Burning bush
  • 1 Common barberry
  • 1 Nannyberry
  • 1 Russian olive

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