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 60°F, clear and breezy at 2:15 PM on April 27, 2016.
  • More new spring flowers were blooming.
  • Yellow lady's-slipper shoots were coming up.
  • Juvinal's duskywing was back and spring azures were still abundant.

The Trails

  • The mud puddles on the drive between Gifford and Carriage Houses had attracted our first skipper: Juvinal's duskywing.
  • It was nice to get the view from below for the two (hard to see) diagnostic hindwing pale spots.
  • At the end of the Scots Pine Alleé, an otherwise bare tree was host to an eastern tent caterpillar nest.
  • Wondering if they had stripped it or if the leaves had even come out yet, I found the egg masses that they had come from.
  • Little blue spring azures were common in the Old Gravel Pit. One paused to take nectar from garlic mustard, showing only its gray underside.
  • Nearby, one of those fuzzy bee flies paused to take some sun. That long proboscis is used on flowers...
  • Approaching the exit to the Fern Glen, I almost stepped on a wasp carying her paralysed spider to her den to lay eggs.
  • Off the road to the Fern Glen, the pink of crabapple was barely visible.
  • Zooming the lens in made the blossoms look more abundant.
  • And it helped find the regular apple behind it.
  • At the edge of the 'Glen, hobblebush, a viburnum, was looking very nice.
  • Miterwort, or bishop's cap, with its bizzare, tiny blossoms, was beginning to carpet the area.
  • Red trillium, barely budding last week, was full open now.
  • One of Mrs. Cary's mystery flowers was blooming across from the limestone cobble.
  • At the edge of the cobble, wild oats, one of our 3 species of uvularia, was blooming.
  • Around the bend, nodding trillium was doing just that.
  • Looking like some alien artifact, maidenhair fern was unfurling .
  • Wild blue pholx looked much more friendly in its earlier stages.
  • Deer adore Solomon's seal just before it blooms.
  • Blue cohosh is a good sized plant, but with a small, obscure flower.
  • Goldenseal has a very short-lived flower, if I recall.
  • I knew Paris was nearby, but a rustle in the leaves distracted me: a garter snake.
  • And there was Paris too. What a strange thing - another hold over from earlier times.
  • Scaley Christmas fern fiddleheads were just off the side of the trail.
  • Lo and behold! The trillium, toadshade had finally worked its way out from under a tree that came down several years ago.
  • Here comes the yelow lady's-slipper. It may be the most popular plant in the 'Glen.
  • Back around near the kiosk, mayapple was budding up.
  • On the way out, I found last week's budding Jacob's ladder now starting to bloom.
  • Just across was starry false Solomon's seal just budding up. Maybe next week?
  • Out on the Wappinger Creek Trail, small-flowered crowfoot would have been easy to overlook if not for its abundance.
  • In the back of the back Old Hayfield, Japanese barberry was in the air.
  • Across at the other side, flowering dogwood was just barely starting to bloom.
  • A pleasant last sight for the day was another spring azure, again taking nectar from garlic mustard, but this time showing off her sky blue upper side while catching some afternoon sun. The dark forewing margin indicated she was a she...
Maidenhair Fern Fiddlehead

Sightings

Birds
  • 1 Wood Duck
  • 3 Mourning Dove
  • 1 Barred Owl
  • 2 Eastern Phoebe
  • 4 Blue Jay
  • 6 Tree Swallow
  • 3 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 1 White-breasted Nuthatch
  • 7 American Robin
  • 1 Pine Warbler
  • 1 Louisiana Waterthrush
  • 2 Eastern Towhee
  • 4 Chipping Sparrow
  • 3 American Goldfinch
Butterflies
  • 2 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
  • 3 Cabbage White
  • 29 Spring Azure
  • 2 Eastern Comma
  • 1 Mourning Cloak
  • 1 Juvenal's Duskywing
Caterpillars
  • 1 Eastern tent caterpillar
Plants
  • 1 Apple
  • 1 Blue cohosh
  • 1 Crabapple
  • 1 Flowering dogwood
  • 1 Goldenseal
  • 1 Hobble-bush
  • 1 Jacob's ladder
  • 1 Japanese barberry
  • 1 Miterwort
  • 1 Mystery plant
  • 1 Nodding trillium
  • 1 Paris
  • 1 Red trillium
  • 1 Small-flowered crowfoot
  • 1 Wild blue phlox
  • 1 Wild oats

Notes and Changes since last report

  • It was 60°F, clear and breezy at 1:00 PM on April 20, 2016.
  • Last week had temps near 70°F, but today was cool enough to think about a sweatshirt.
  • More new spring flowers were blooming.
  • Spring azure was abundant and a few eastern pine elfins were on the wing.

The Trails

  • The Old Hayfields didn't look much different from last week - maybe a little greener.
  • On the Wappinger Creek Trail, wood anemone had started blooming.
  • Mixed in was Pennsylvania sedge.
  • In the flood plain section, rosettes of invasive narrow-leaved bitter cress were starting the 2nd half of their life cycle.
  • Toothwort was beginning to bloom in the same area.
  • The downy stem and sets of 3 rather than 2 leaves helps distinguish cut-leaved toothwort from regular toothwort when the leaves aren't as narrow as they "should be".
  • Along the Cary Pines Trail, Canada mayflower was carpeting both sides of the path.
  • Somehow I see them as little green soldiers.
  • Last year's partridge berry was easy to spot amongst them.
  • Here and there a sprig of spotted wintergreen was starting new growth.
  • As the trail came out above the Fern Glen, I wondered when the eastern pine elfin would appear - it would be today... for me. The tattered edges indicated it had been around for a while already.
  • On the way down to the 'Glen proper, I heard the trill of a gray treefrog - first of the season I'd say.
  • In the Roeller bed, along the road, false rue-anemone was just starting to bloom.
  • Below, in the limestone cobble, large-flowered bellwort was getting under way.
  • Early meadow rue was getting started too.
  • Along the edge above the pond, last week's large-flowered trillium was now fully open.
  • At the pond's outlet, marsh marigold was finally blooming.
  • Behind the kiosk, mayapple was coming up like so many parasols.
  • Back in the shrub swamp, shadbush was making a weak show.
  • The individual blossoms looked fine; there just didn't seem to be as many as usual.
  • On the way out of the 'Glen, I paused to examine the Jacob's ladder.
  • It was budding, so maybe blooms next week.
  • On the last leg through the Old Gravel Pit, a cabbage white disappeared as it passed in front of a cherry.
  • Closer inspection revealed that it had stopped to take in some sun on a patch of camoflaging lichen.
  • Then we were both gone.
Eastern Pine Elfin

Sightings

Birds
  • 1 Mourning Dove
  • 4 Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • 1 Northern Flicker
  • 1 Pileated Woodpecker
  • 3 Eastern Phoebe
  • 4 Tree Swallow
  • 4 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 1 Tufted Titmouse
  • 1 White-breasted Nuthatch
  • 2 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  • 5 American Robin
  • 4 European Starling
  • 1 Pine Warbler
  • 6 Chipping Sparrow
  • 1 Field Sparrow
  • 3 Song Sparrow
  • 1 Red-winged Blackbird
Butterflies
  • 1 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
  • 7 Cabbage White
  • 3 Eastern Pine Elfin
  • 19 Spring Azure
  • 2 Eastern Comma
Herp
  • Gray treefrog
Plants
  • 1 Cut-leaved toothwort
  • 1 Early meadow-rue
  • 1 False rue-anemone
  • 1 Large-flowered bellwort
  • 1 Marsh marigold
  • 1 Pennsylvania sedge
  • 1 Shad bush
  • 1 Toothwort
  • 1 Wood anemone

Pages

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

Privacy Policy Copyright © 2016