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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 75°F and partly cloudy with light breezes at 1:30 PM on July 31, 2013.
  • The common ringlet's 2nd brood was starting up.
  • Cardinal flower was beginning to bloom in the Fern Glen.
  • Mosquitoes were still annoying throughout the trails.

The Trails

  • Something looked different as I headed down the Scotch Pine Alleé .
  • Research apparatus along the trail served as an explaination of the No Pets sign.
  • The bottom of the Old Gravel Pit was dry today but I was not going to linger figuring the mosquitoes would be thick here.
  • Unfortunately I saw something orange alight upon a fallen tree trunk.
  • I had to find out and it was a question mark.
  • In the greenery below was one of my favorites: a clymene moth.
  • The mosquitoes were as bad as expected; I hurried on to the the Fern Glen where black cohosh was beginning to bloom.
  • Lighting and mood were better this week for capturing the wood nettle.
  • Its female flowers form at the top, the male below.
  • At the front of the pond, Joe-pye weed was mighty tall; its flowers were just beginning to open.
  • Below it, spotted jewelweed was starting up too.
  • Elderberry can get pretty big. Its berries were starting to ripen.
  • Hidden between all these big things was some swamp milkweed. Pearl crescents however had no problem finding it.
  • Along the path on the other side of the kiosk was the amazing red of fresh cardinal flower.
  • Back in the shrub swamp, the more subtle horse balm was starting to bloom.
  • At the boardwalk in the fen, the recent arrival, climbing hempweed was getting ready to bloom.
  • I'd left the Glen and had started down the Cary Pines Trail when something bumble-bee-like fled before me dropping something in its wake. I expected to find a dead bumble bee, but it was a good sized beetle. It must have been a bumble bee mimicing robber fly. I've noted them before along here.
  • Up ahead, a spot on a log caught my eye. It was a grasshopper. That seemed odd in the deep woods.
  • Along the Wappinger Creek Trail, I was subjected to the familiar challenge and retreat of a northern pearly-eye.
  • A little beyond was the opportunity to test the new camera on a jewelbox spider in its web. Not quite as awkward as before, but still...
  • In the back Old Hayfield was the amazing find of a hummingbird clearwing at rest!
  • I love wild bergamot because butterflies, like the spicebush swallowtail, do too. The male below was in love with the female above.
  • There's is something soothing about that section of the Sedge Meadow Trail nearest the front Old Hayfield... the lush green, the quiet...
  • The first goldenrods were turning in the front Old Hayfield.
  • And a huge tiger swallowtail finished my walk. How could I resist a photo?
Something ahead at the Scotch Pine Allee
Research apparatus
Bottom of the Old Gravel Pit
Eastern comma
Clymene moth
Fallen tree trunk
Black cohosh
Black cohosh
Wood nettle
Wood nettle female flowers
Wood nettle male flowers
Joe-pye weed
Joe-pye weed
Jewelweed
Elderberry
Elderberry
Swamp milkweed
Cardinal flower
Horse balm
Horse balm
Climbing hempweed
Climbing hempweed
Dead beetle
Spot on a log
Grasshopper in the woods!
Northern pearly-eye
Jewelbox spider
Hummingbird clearwing... at rest!
Spicebush swallowtails
View along Sedge Meadow Trail
Goldenrods in front Old Hayfield
Eastern tiger swallowtail in front Old Hayfield

Sightings

Birds
  • 1 Eastern Wood-Pewee
  • 2 Red-eyed Vireo
  • 3 Blue Jay
  • 1 American Crow
  • 6 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 1 House Wren
  • 1 Veery
  • 1 Wood Thrush
  • 4 American Robin
  • 3 Gray Catbird
  • 3 Cedar Waxwing
  • 1 Ovenbird
  • 1 Scarlet Tanager
  • 8 Eastern Towhee
  • 4 Field Sparrow
  • 2 Song Sparrow
  • 1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
  • 1 Baltimore Oriole
  • 8 American Goldfinch
Butterflies
  • 13 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
  • 6 Spicebush Swallowtail
  • 93 Cabbage White
  • 28 Clouded Sulphur
  • 3 Orange Sulphur
  • 2 Eastern Tailed-Blue
  • 1 Spring Azure
  • 3 Great Spangled Fritillary
  • 20 Pearl Crescent
  • 1 Question Mark
  • 2 Red-spotted Purple
  • 3 Northern Pearly-eye
  • 4 Appalachian Brown
  • 4 Common Ringlet
  • 21 Common Wood-Nymph
  • 32 Silver-spotted Skipper
  • 1 Least Skipper
  • 5 Northern Broken-Dash
  • 4 Dun Skipper
Plants
  • 1 Black cohosh
  • 1 Cardinal flower
  • 1 Horse-balm
  • 1 Spotted Joe-Pye-weed
  • 1 Spotted touch-me-not
  • 1 Wood nettle
Moth
  • 2 Clymene tiger moth
  • 9 Hummingbird Clearwing
  • 9 Snowberry Clearwing

Notes and Changes since last report

  • It was 80°F, cloudy and windy at 3:15 PM on July 24, 2013.
  • Afternoon sun was not as forecasted; I gave up waiting and at least started this walk before evening.
  • That and a surprise sore throat made for a shorter walk/report.
  • Annual cicadas had started singing and the mulberry wing was seen.

The Trails

  • Wild bergamot had suddenly taken over the front Old Hayfield during the past week.
  • Weaving along the grassy edge in its characteristicly unskipper-like fashion were several mulberry wings.
  • Below it resembles a dark hobomok skipper, but the male above is about as dark and unmarked as the male dun skipper. The background, however, has a reddish-brown dusting.
  • I thought I had the female too, but although it was female it was a little glassywing with larger spots on a background more like dark chocolate.
  • Nearby an easy to identify false crocus geometer flew by. Taken all together this is why I studied moths long before I undertook the skippers.
  • In the back Old Hayfield garden spiders were abundant enough to be studied from any angle.
  • Along the Wappinger Creek Trail a great blue heron rose from the water at my approach. It's always surprising to see such a huge wing span skimming over a little creek in the woods.
  • The Norway Spruce Glade above the Fern Glen was one of several places to have the northern broken-dash. A ding on the hind wing of a basking female suggested she had stories to tell.
  • A lone thistle was being circled by a pearl crescent, but they never got together.
  • Creeping bellflower was here too. It was in the back Old Hayfield a report or two ago.
  • One reason for the distinction of "the path less taken" into the 'Glen may be the luxurious patch of wood nettle. More on the interesting flower later.
  • Back in the acid cobble, the flowers were going and berries were forming on the purple-flowering raspberry.
  • Out along the board walk through the fen, tiny blue flowers gave away the presence of water speedwell.
  • One last surprise for the day was green-headed coneflower. Rather than in its typical wetland situation, it was high and dry and looking fine behind the Carriage House.
  • I looked forward to returning to my own house to sooth my dry, sore throat and deal with the wetland that was my nose.
Wild bergamot
Mulberry wing, male
Mulberry wing
Little glassywing, female
False crocus geometer
Garden spider
Northern broken-dash
Thistle
Pearl crescent
Creeping bellflower
Wood nettle
Green-headed coneflower
Green-headed coneflower

Sightings

Birds
  • 1 Great Blue Heron
  • 1 Chimney Swift
  • 1 Downy Woodpecker
  • 1 Northern Flicker
  • 1 Eastern Phoebe
  • 5 Blue Jay
  • 4 American Crow
  • 3 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 1 Tufted Titmouse
  • 1 House Wren
  • 1 Veery
  • 4 American Robin
  • 1 Gray Catbird
  • 4 Cedar Waxwing
  • 1 Common Yellowthroat
  • 1 Scarlet Tanager
  • 2 Eastern Towhee
  • 1 Field Sparrow
  • 1 Song Sparrow
  • 1 Indigo Bunting
  • 5 American Goldfinch
Plants
  • 1 Green-headed coneflower
  • 1 Thistle
  • 1 Water speedwell
  • 1 Wild bergamot
Moth
  • 1 False Crocus Geometer
  • 5 Hummingbird Clearwing
  • 1 Snowberry Clearwing
  • 6 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
  • 26 Cabbage White
  • 1 Clouded Sulphur
  • 4 Spring Azure
  • 2 Great Spangled Fritillary
  • 17 Pearl Crescent
  • 1 Red-spotted Purple
  • 1 Northern Pearly-eye
  • 1 Appalachian Brown
  • 2 Little Wood-Satyr
  • 32 Common Wood-Nymph
  • 1 Monarch
  • 5 Silver-spotted Skipper
  • 8 Northern Broken-Dash
  • 1 Little Glassywing
  • 3 Mulberry Wing
  • 2 Dun Skipper

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