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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 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

Notes and Changes since last report

  • It started at 75°F, clear, and calm at 11:30 AM on August 9, 2017.
  • This week's trail report covers the Wappinger Creek Trail side of the trail system.
  • Cicadas have been calling during the day, katydids at night.
  • I had company on the trails today.

The Trails

  • Once again monarchs could be found in many of the fields, including a well worn individual behind Gifford House.
  • A painted lady was in the Canada thistle right at the trail head.
  • She had the uncanny ability to take off almost every time I got the camera on her.
  • I took a break to get something easy: one of a number of great spangled fritillaries.
  • One more try and I got her laying eggs on the thistle.
  • Something bigger buzzed by and dropped into the bedstraws and grasses: a cicada.
  • I said "good enough" and continued along the front Old Hayfield surveying the first goldenrods in bloom.
  • Today I remembered to get after the black swallowwort along the side of the field. Pods were turning yellow or brown. Their evil seeds would soon be flying.
  • Out off the edges of the fields, house wrens were scolding.
  • A dangling triangle caught my eye - dogbanes apparently resemble their milkweed cousings in have paired pollen sacks, "pollinia". Insects too weak to carry them away can be doomed when they stuck to them.
  • Another danger in many flowers is the ambush bug. This pair was too busy to be a threat.
  • The harmless hunchback bee fly was a very cool thing to find.
  • Down on the Wappinger Creek Trail, Cary's own day campers were exploring the creek and showed us a bucket of whirligig beetles.
  • Their eyes are split to see above and below the water line and a handfull of them smells like watermelon.
  • Crayfish were deftly displayed for us.
  • Near the Appendix, wood nettle now had its female flowers on top as well as the male flowers along the stem.
  • Up the hill, a well seasoned red-spotted purple dropped in to bask in the sun.
  • With the long tail it looked like a dove flying out of the Scots Pine Allée, but it was too big. It landed in that dead tree in the Little Bluestem Meadow.
  • It was an American kestrel.
  • The view of the red back and tail is distinct.
  • Next week: the Cary Pines Trail side of the trail system.
Hunchback Bee Fly

Sightings

Birds
  • 1 Downy Woodpecker
  • 2 Blue Jay
  • 1 American Crow
  • 1 Tree Swallow
  • 2 House Wren
  • 1 American Robin
  • 6 Gray Catbird
  • 1 Eastern Towhee
  • 1 Red-winged Blackbird
Butterflies
  • 1 Black Swallowtail
  • 5 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
  • 2 Spicebush Swallowtail
  • 30 Cabbage White
  • 1 Clouded Sulphur
  • 1 Eastern Tailed-Blue
  • 22 Great Spangled Fritillary
  • 30 Pearl Crescent
  • 1 Painted Lady
  • 1 Red-spotted Purple
  • 1 Appalachian Brown
  • 1 Little Wood-Satyr
  • 4 Common Ringlet
  • 3 Common Wood-Nymph
  • 5 Monarch
  • 12 Silver-spotted Skipper
  • 1 Dun Skipper
Moth
  • 8 Hummingbird Clearwing
  • 10 Snowberry Clearwing

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