trail map

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 1:00 PM on August 23, 2017.
  • This week's trail report covers the Wappinger Creek Trail side of the trail system.
  • Yesterday's heat and humidity ended with thunder storms giving us pleasant temps and humidity today.
  • Fall colors were beginning to appear...

The Trails

  • One could no longer ignore the fact that summer was getting late with all the goldenrods in the front Old Hayfield.
  • Towards the back of the field, dogbanes were making seed pods.
  • Along the dry side of the Sedge Meadow Trail, gray dogwood berries were ripening to white.
  • In moister sections, silky dogwood berries were turning from green to white to blue.
  • The sky over the Gifford Tenent Barn was very nice.
  • First signs of fall color were showing up in burning bush.
  • As the trail dropped down to the boardwalk, an eastern comma appeared, also in fall colors, i.e., its hindwings were orange, not black.
  • In the Sedge Meadow, tearthumb was climbing up the purple loosestrife.
  • The tiny flowers can be easy to overlook.
  • The tiny barbs are not easy to miss.
  • A big sky stretched across the back Old Hayfield, too.
  • On the ground, red was showing up in the Virginia creeper.
  • In between, butterfly diversity seemed to be starting to drop with great spangled fritillaries dominating.
  • Close behind were silver-spotted skippers.
  • The view from the bluff over the full flowing Wappinger Creek was nice.
  • At the bottom of the trail, hickory nuts awaited the unwary foot.
  • Farther along was another favorite creek view.
  • In the flood plain zig-zag goldenrod was just about to bloom.
  • Just past that, jumpseed was blooming.
  • Its tiny flowers will produce tiny, self propelled seeds.
  • At the foot bridge below the "Appendix", wood nettle was making its seeds.
  • As they ripen, the seeds look like little black orbs offered in little green cups.
  • An interesting ambush bug lurked among the seeds - it had a yellowish as opposed the usual green.
  • Under the nettle was an expanse of invasive Japanese stilt grass - this one had only 3 stilts.
  • A lucky American millipede survived all the foot traffic.
  • The creek view at the "Appendix" was a nice finish.
  • Or so I thought: there was activity back at the Gifford trail head kiosk.
  • Right on the sign-in box was a monarch chrysalis. With wings becoming visible, eclosure (hatching) was imminent - perhaps the next morning.
  • Next week: the Cary Pines Trail side of the trail system.
Monarch Chrysalis

Sightings

Birds
  • 2 Ruby-throated Hummingbird
  • 2 Downy Woodpecker
  • 1 Pileated Woodpecker
  • 2 Eastern Wood-Pewee
  • 1 Mystery Flycatcher
  • 2 Eastern Phoebe
  • 1 Great Crested Flycatcher
  • 4 Blue Jay
  • 5 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 1 House Wren
  • 4 Gray Catbird
  • 2 Cedar Waxwing
  • 1 Pine Warbler
  • 1 Ovenbird
  • 1 Chipping Sparrow
  • 1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
  • 3 American Goldfinch
Butterflies
  • 1 Spicebush Swallowtail
  • 59 Cabbage White
  • 1 Clouded Sulphur
  • 8 Orange Sulphur
  • 1 Spring Azure
  • 32 Great Spangled Fritillary
  • 12 Pearl Crescent
  • 1 Eastern Comma
  • 1 Appalachian Brown
  • 2 Common Ringlet
  • 4 Common Wood-Nymph
  • 3 Monarch
  • 29 Silver-spotted Skipper
  • 1 Northern Broken-Dash
Plants
  • 1 Black cohosh
  • 1 Jumpseed
  • 1 New York ironweed
  • 1 Purple-leaved willow herb
  • 1 Rough-leaved goldenrod
  • 1 Sneezeweed
  • 1 Tearthumb
  • 1 Turtlehead

Notes and Changes since last report

  • It was 80°F, partly cloudy, and breezy at 1:15 PM on August 16, 2017.
  • This week's trail report covers the Cary Pines Trail side of the trail system.
  • It was a pleasant day with moderate humidity.
  • Be aware yellow jacket nests can be encountered anywhere especially under rocks and rotting logs.

The Trails

  • The front Old Hayfield was full of invasive spotted knapweed.
  • A fresh looking common wood-nymph posed for a photo behind the Carriage House.
  • Along the side of the Little Bluestem Meadow, giant puffballs were coming up.
  • In the Fern Glen, spikenard berries were ripening.
  • Cardinal flower was coming up in a new place but was missing from its usual haunts.
  • The well known invasive, purple loosestrife, was flowering in wet places.
  • Near the deck, regular puffballs were coming up in a row.
  • Behind them was a cluster of spotted wintergreen.
  • Also on the path near the deck was a yellow jacket's nest.
  • Fortunately it was the disturbed moss along the path that I first noticed rather than a disturbed yellow jacket.
  • Overhead, I finally had a glimpse of a bird I've been hearing. Some kind of flycatcher - not a phoebe, maybe acadian.
  • Along the boardwalk through the fen, a blue aster was blooming.
  • Climbing hempweed was sweetening the air in a couple different places.
  • Throughout the 'Glen, trillium was having a good year for producing fruit.
  • Orange rose from a sunny patch on the Cary Pines Trail. It looked a bit large for a comma - it was a question mark.
  • On the hindwing below, the silver arc and dot that make the question mark were plain to see.
  • Near the "Appendix", a wood frog narrowly avoided being stepped on.
  • A new feature was a downed tree - I do not expect to see it come spring...
  • Next week: the Wappinger Creek Trail side of the trail system.
Cardinal Flower

Sightings

Birds
  • 1 Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • 1 Acadian Flycatcher ?
  • 1 Eastern Phoebe
  • 2 Blue Jay
  • 13 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 2 Tufted Titmouse
  • 1 White-breasted Nuthatch
  • 2 American Robin
  • 1 Cedar Waxwing
  • 1 Ovenbird
  • 2 Chipping Sparrow
  • 2 American Goldfinch
Butterflies
  • 3 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
  • 1 Spicebush Swallowtail
  • 22 Cabbage White
  • 1 Clouded Sulphur
  • 2 Orange Sulphur
  • 5 Great Spangled Fritillary
  • 1 Meadow Fritillary
  • 2 Pearl Crescent
  • 1 Question Mark
  • 1 Little Wood-Satyr
  • 1 Common Ringlet
  • 1 Common Wood-Nymph
Plants
  • 1 Aster
  • 1 Cardinal flower

Pages

Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies | Millbrook, New York 12545 | Tel (845) 677-5343

Privacy Policy Copyright © 201