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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 85°F, mostly cloudy and breezy at 12:00 PM on July 23, 2014.
  • The clouds broke up and the temp went up over 90. At least the breeze remained.
  • Hummingbird clearwings were out in numbers.
  • Mushrooms were coming up across the trail system.
  • Gypsie moths were on the wing.

The Trails

  • A hummingbird clearwing was feeding on purple bergamot by the Carriage House.
  • Usually its olive and burgandy distinguish it from the snowberry clearwing's yellow and black .
  • Nearby, a really big Queen Anne's lace was blooming. If you find green and black caterpillars on your carrots, parsely, etc., they are likely black swallowtails and would be happy on Queen Anne's lace if you're not happy where they are.
  • In the Fern Glen, tall bellflower was up and blooming.
  • Queen-of-the-prairy is a more western species that can escape from gardens when brought "back east".
  • At the edge of the pond, native wild mint was behaving itself.
  • There too was lizard's tail; it was filling the air with a surprisingly sweet scent.
  • A surprise was Turk's-cap lily; it was on the kiosk side rather than the pond side of the path.
  • Back in the fen, the swamp milkweed had few butterflies, except I thought, for a hapless, weak flying moth that had been caught by its proboscis - milkweed pollen structure can do that. But it was just a spider dangling in the sun.
  • Horse balm was getting ready to bloom. Rub and smell the leaves; they change from funky to lemony as the blossoms progress.
  • Right behind the main welcome sign, something yellow was on the old white pine stump.
  • It was cute little mushrooms.
  • I cautiously approached the "birder-fly feeder" by the deck along the creek... Something was in it!
  • Although it's called red spotted purple, the spots are more orange than red.
  • And above, it is more blue than purple.
  • Another flower shunning butterfly was lurking off to the side.
  • It finally showed itself for some visitors who had joined me at the deck. It was eastern comma.
  • Heading towards the stone bridge, I noted a few mushrooms.
  • Mysterious holes dotted the ground out at the Appendix. I did see a little wasp enter one, but it won the waiting game and I moved on.
  • Another surprise was northern pearly-eyes at several locations at the farthest reaches of the Wappinger Creek Trail. I hadn't been seeing any lately and thought they were already gone. But they've been strange this year - not in their usual spots and popping up in others.
  • In the back Old Hayfield, indigo buntings were chipping at me.
  • On the Sedge Meadow Trail, an unusually loud "chip" turned out to be the brown thrasher.
  • It obliged me with a profile view for a complete set of mug shots.
  • There were at least three sources of chipping, so I'd say we had a family outing going on.
  • Nice to see that, but I could also see my car... Did I say it was hot today?
Brown thrasher

Sightings

Birds
  • 4 Chimney Swift
  • 1 Downy Woodpecker
  • 1 Eastern Wood-Pewee
  • 2 Eastern Phoebe
  • 3 Red-eyed Vireo
  • 15 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 1 White-breasted Nuthatch
  • 1 House Wren
  • 2 Eastern Bluebird
  • 8 American Robin
  • 6 Gray Catbird
  • 3 Brown Thrasher
  • 6 Cedar Waxwing
  • 3 Pine Warbler
  • 1 Common Yellowthroat
  • 2 Scarlet Tanager
  • 4 Eastern Towhee
  • 2 Field Sparrow
  • 1 Song Sparrow
  • 1 Northern Cardinal
  • 3 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
  • 3 Indigo Bunting
  • 1 Red-winged Blackbird
  • 3 American Goldfinch
Butterflies
  • 7 Cabbage White
  • 1 American Copper
  • 2 Eastern Tailed-Blue
  • 21 Great Spangled Fritillary
  • 1 Meadow Fritillary
  • 16 Pearl Crescent
  • 2 Eastern Comma
  • 1 Red Admiral
  • 1 Red-spotted Purple
  • 8 Northern Pearly-eye
  • 6 Appalachian Brown
  • 9 Little Wood-Satyr
  • 40 Common Wood-Nymph
  • 4 Silver-spotted Skipper
  • 11 Northern Broken-Dash
  • 6 Dun Skipper
Plants
  • 1 Lizard's-tail
  • 1 Queen Anne's lace
  • 1 Queen-of-the-prairy
  • 1 Tall bellflower
  • 1 Turk's-cap lily
  • 1 Wild mint
Moth
  • 5 Hummingbird Clearwing
  • 2 Snowberry Clearwing

Notes and Changes since last report

  • It was 75°F, partly cloudy and calm at 2:30 PM on July 16, 2014.
  • Several days of heavy rain showers ended this morning making for a late start.
  • And a meeting made for a rushed end of the walk.
  • The Wappinger Creek was full of water and the fields were full of butterflies.

The Trails

  • A red-spotted purple was going from leaf to leaf on the milkweed at Gifford House.
  • It was licking the se- (or ex-) cretions of the abundant milkweed aphids.
  • On the dirt drive to the Carriage House, a dun skipper was licking stones that it moistened with its own um... bodily fluids.
  • In the first Old Hayfield, a yellow-collared scape moth was barely revealing its metalic blue body.
  • There was no missing the metalic green of the dogbane beetles.
  • Wild bergamot was beginning to bloom. As a butterfly magnet, it picks up as common milkweed wanes.
  • On the Sedge Meadow Trail, a scarlet tanager played hide-and-seek with me for a while.
  • An eastern towhee was not so shy.
  • Some cedar waxwings joined the towhee for a bit.
  • Way across the Sedge Meadow, I could see a butterfly confrontation at the edge of the wood.
  • It looked like northern pearly-eye behaviour.
  • The back Old Hayfield was lively with both dogbanes and common milkweed attracting a host of butterflies, especially today, the three "witches", of which the dun skipper is one.
  • The common wood-nymph was out in great numbers.
  • Once they get a taste for human, they can be hard to shake.
  • Almost under foot was a handsome dragonfly - I'll stick my neck out and suggest female eastern pondhawk.
  • Ah, finally! A decent shot of a coral hairstreak. And there were several to choose from.
  • Resting on the bench in the Old Pasture, I saw a familiar spiral blur above some sunny leaves: a banded hairstreak that had perhaps had a close encounter with a bird-kind.
  • The Wappinger Creek was roaring from upstream to downstream.
  • Near the Appendix, a family of common mergansers was dealing with swift current and many bugs in the air.
  • The Creek surged past the Appendix and I went into the quiet of the Cary Pines Trail.
  • Coming out at the Fern Glen, I found freshly flowering thistle with a pair of seemingly lost beetles on last year's grass head next to it.
  • In from the stone bridge, spotted wintergreen was blooming. I always wonder why it's not "striped wintergreen"
  • With the parking lot in sight, I paused to snap a large-ish bird at the top of tree by the front Old Hayfield - an eastern kingbird.
  • And I still had 10 minutes to be late for the meeting.
Coral hairstreak

Sightings

Birds
  • 5 Common Merganser
  • 1 Mourning Dove
  • 1 Downy Woodpecker
  • 2 Eastern Wood-Pewee
  • 5 Eastern Phoebe
  • 1 Warbling Vireo
  • 5 Red-eyed Vireo
  • 2 Blue Jay
  • 8 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 5 Tufted Titmouse
  • 2 White-breasted Nuthatch
  • 1 Brown Creeper
  • 1 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
  • 4 Eastern Bluebird
  • 1 Veery
  • 2 Wood Thrush
  • 5 American Robin
  • 10 Gray Catbird
  • 7 Cedar Waxwing
  • 1 Black-throated Green Warbler
  • 2 Pine Warbler
  • 2 Ovenbird
  • 1 Common Yellowthroat
  • 3 Scarlet Tanager
  • 7 Eastern Towhee
  • 1 Chipping Sparrow
  • 1 Field Sparrow
  • 2 Song Sparrow
  • 2 Northern Cardinal
  • 3 Indigo Bunting
  • 2 Red-winged Blackbird
  • 5 American Goldfinch
Butterflies
  • 10 Cabbage White
  • 2 Clouded Sulphur
  • 2 Orange Sulphur
  • 4 Coral Hairstreak
  • 5 Banded Hairstreak
  • 1 'Olive' Juniper Hairstreak
  • 1 Spring Azure
  • 11 Great Spangled Fritillary
  • 7 Pearl Crescent
  • 1 Eastern Comma
  • 2 Red Admiral
  • 1 Red-spotted Purple
  • 5 Northern Pearly-eye
  • 2 Appalachian Brown
  • 6 Little Wood-Satyr
  • 71 Common Wood-Nymph
  • 16 Silver-spotted Skipper
  • 13 Northern Broken-Dash
  • 10 Little Glassywing
  • 6 Delaware Skipper
  • 18 Dun Skipper
Insects
  • 1 Dogbane beetle
  • 1 Eastern pondhawk female
  • 1 Milkweed aphids
Plants
  • 1 Spotted wintergreen
  • 1 Thistle
  • 1 Wild bergamot
Moth
  • 2 Snowberry Clearwing
  • 1 Yellow-collared scape moth

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