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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 calm at 1:15 PM on August 21, 2013.
  • Goldenrods were beginning to show off in the Old Hayfields.
  • The invasive Japanese stilt grass was becoming large enough to be obvious.
  • Mosquitoes were again largely absent with only a few thick spots.

The Trails

  • The goldenrods front Old Hayfield were actually brighter than this photo shows.
  • A Zabulon skipper was sunning along the Wappinger Creek Trail. They could be found in many places today.
  • Along that low, sandy section Japanese stilt grass was showing itself. Know it by its shiny mid rib. War has been waged on this new pest since its appearance here a year or two ago. Let's see if we put a dent in it last year.
  • At the edge of its reach Indian tobacco was blooming.
  • On the Cary Pines Trail Canada mayflower berries were disappearing as fast as they were ripening.
  • A perfect fern looked as if it were planted on a log.
  • Nearby was a favorite partridgeberry in a hollow root, also looking as if it had been deliberately planted.
  • That "prickley ash" I found a while ago needed closer examination. As I feared, the leaves were toothed - it is more likely Hercules' club. Let's see if the deer allow it to flower.
  • In the Fern Glen a dragonfly kept returning to one perch.
  • Another favorite plant to hate is black swallow-wort. These knots seem to be the result of herbacide taking out the main vine, but not the root; all the side shoots come up like angry hornets.
  • In the Roeller Bed along the road, spikenard berries have been ripening more each week.
  • Along the cobble white baneberry really stood out.
  • Across the pond New York ironweed was attracting a few butterflies including great spangled fritillary and again Zabulon skipper.
  • A least skipper was soaking up the afternoon sun by the base.
  • Sneezeweed was opening up near the bridge at the back of the pond.
  • Closed gentian near the front of the pond never looks much more open than it was today.
  • Whip-like stalks of jumpseed were reaching over the railing. Its tiny flowers would later become spring-loaded seeds.
  • In the shrub swamp witch hazel was sporting green seed pods.
  • What I was looking for was still there: the saddleback caterpillars - a little bigger than they were last week... and armed with even more stinging spines.
  • The Old Gravel Pit was the remaining mosquito strong hold. White snakeroot might have been better photoed in any of the many other places where it was blooming.
  • Right at the woods end of the Scotch Pine Alleé was a spotted apatalode caterpillar, looking a bit like Dennis the Menace's dog, Ruff.
  • With that it looked like time to leave.
Goldenrods in front Old Hayfield
Zabulon skipper
Japanese stilt grass
Indian tobacco
Canada mayflower
Fern in a log
Partridgeberry
Prickley ash?
... or Hercules' club
Dragonfly
Black swallow-wort
Black swallow-wort having survived herbacide
Spikenard
Spikenard berries
White baneberry
Great spangled fritillary on New York ironweed
New York ironweed
Zabulon skipper... again
Least skipper
Sneezeweed
Closed gentian
Jumpseed
Jumpseed
Witch hazel pods
Saddleback caterpillars on spicebush
White snakeroot
Spotted apatalode caterpillar

Sightings

Birds
  • 1 Mourning Dove
  • 3 Chimney Swift
  • 1 Pileated Woodpecker
  • 4 Red-eyed Vireo
  • 3 Blue Jay
  • 17 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 2 Brown Creeper
  • 2 Carolina Wren
  • 3 Wood Thrush
  • 1 American Robin
  • 4 Gray Catbird
  • 1 Cedar Waxwing
  • 1 Prairie Warbler
  • 1 Eastern Towhee
  • 1 Field Sparrow
  • 3 American Goldfinch
Butterflies
  • 2 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
  • 2 Spicebush Swallowtail
  • 41 Cabbage White
  • 23 Clouded Sulphur
  • 13 Orange Sulphur
  • 2 Eastern Tailed-Blue
  • 11 Great Spangled Fritillary
  • 1 Meadow Fritillary
  • 24 Pearl Crescent
  • 1 Northern Pearly-eye
  • 1 Appalachian Brown
  • 4 Common Ringlet
  • 18 Common Wood-Nymph
  • 65 Silver-spotted Skipper
  • 2 Least Skipper
  • 3 Peck's Skipper
  • 13 Zabulon Skipper
Caterpillars
  • 1 Spotted apatelodes
  • 1 Sneezeweed
  • 1 White snakeroot
Plants
  • 1 Sneezeweed
  • 1 White snakeroot
Moth
  • 1 Yellow-collared scape moth

Notes and Changes since last report

  • It was 68°F, partly cloudy and windy at 1:30 PM on August 14, 2013.
  • Long sleeves felt good at the start of the walk but got a little warm towards the end.
  • The Wappinger Creek was high with the recent rains.
  • Mosquitoes were largely absent with only a few thick spots.

The Trails

  • Along the road to the Carriage House, stinging nettle was in bloom.
  • Mosquitoes were thankfully few in the Old Gravel Pit today.
  • In the Fern Glen's shrub swamp, I noticed three young saddleback caterpillars. Their sting is reportedly well more potent that that of stinging nettle.
  • Way in the back of the 'Glen a huge spikenard was blooming.
  • The Wappinger Creek was high with the recent rains.
  • A sweet, almost almond scent was on the trail from the kiosk through the woods; the climbing hempweed was finally starting to bloom.
  • Not far was the first great lobelia to bloom.
  • In the Sedge Meadow, spotted jewelweed and purple loosestrife were blooming together.
  • The common ringlet was scattered around today. One in the back Old Hayfield stood out backlit on monarda.
  • The sun was low and it was cooling off in the front Old Hayfield. An orange sulphur was just hanging there taking in the last rays of the day.
  • And I was on my way.
Stinging nettle
Saddleback caterpillar
Spikenard
High waters on the Wappinger Creek
Climbing hempweed and pearl crescent
Great lobelia
Spotted jewelweed and purple loosestrife
Common ringlet on monarda
Orange sulphur

Sightings

Birds
  • 1 Turkey Vulture
  • 1 Red-tailed Hawk
  • 1 Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • 1 Eastern Phoebe
  • 2 Red-eyed Vireo
  • 1 Blue Jay
  • 6 American Crow
  • 1 Tree Swallow
  • 3 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 1 White-breasted Nuthatch
  • 1 Carolina Wren
  • 1 House Wren
  • 10 American Robin
  • 3 Gray Catbird
  • 8 Cedar Waxwing
  • 1 Common Yellowthroat
  • 3 Scarlet Tanager
  • 1 Eastern Towhee
  • 1 Field Sparrow
  • 7 American Goldfinch
Butterflies
  • 17 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
  • 5 Spicebush Swallowtail
  • 44 Cabbage White
  • 16 Clouded Sulphur
  • 5 Orange Sulphur
  • 3 Eastern Tailed-Blue
  • 2 Great Spangled Fritillary
  • 19 Pearl Crescent
  • 2 Eastern Comma
  • 1 Red-spotted Purple
  • 2 Appalachian Brown
  • 13 Common Ringlet
  • 13 Common Wood-Nymph
  • 1 Monarch
  • 26 Silver-spotted Skipper
  • 1 Least Skipper
  • 1 Tawny-edged Skipper
  • 1 Northern Broken-Dash
  • 6 Zabulon Skipper
Caterpillars
  • 1 Saddleback Caterpillar
Plants
  • 1 Climbing hempweed
  • 1 Great lobelia
  • 1 Purple loosestrife
  • 1 Spikenard
  • 1 Stinging nettle
Moth
  • 1 Galium Sphinx
  • 1 Snowberry Clearwing

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