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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 44°F, clear and breezy at 1:30 PM on October 26, 2016.
  • This week's trail report covers the Wappinger Creek Trail side of the trail system.
  • Recent rains dropped a lot of the leaves, but it's still nice out.
  • Note: Monday Oct. 31 is the last day the grounds will be open this season. They open again April 1.

The Trails

  • The oaks at the Gifford trail head had lost a lot of color since last week.
  • Across the front Old Hayfield, the trees were bare and the goldenrods brown.
  • The boardwalk along the Sedge Meadow is always a reference point through the seasons.
  • In the Sedge Meadow itself, cinnamon fern had all but disappeared.
  • Multiflora rose hips were still providing color.
  • And back lit goldenrods provided texture.
  • Color lingered in a couple oaks in the back Old Hayfield.
  • In the back, several tall, bare trees struck me as stately.
  • From the entrance to the Old Pasture, the bench was just visible ahead.
  • This would be a good day to move it out of the shade and into the sun.
  • The view from the bluff over the Wappinger Creek is always a favorite.
  • Fallen oak leaves made the descent to the creek slippery.
  • As if a safe arrival weren't enough, a little oak still red was like a prize at the bottom.
  • A sycamore leaf sailed in and out of the sun on its way downstream.
  • I almost forgot to check the fungus tree.
  • Yup, it was still going strong.
  • Looking back two weeks ago, we see something just a littler fresher.
  • On the other side of the path was that other one.
  • Again, showing a little wear and tear since two weeks ago.
  • At the "Appendix", (Trail Marker 10) it was early enough to catch the little beech all lit up.
  • Zooming in on movement in the snag below revealed reflections off the water.
  • Next Trail Report will be in April...
Eastern Sycamore Leaf

Sightings

Birds
  • 2 Turkey Vulture
  • 1 Belted Kingfisher
  • 1 Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • 1 Downy Woodpecker
  • 1 Pileated Woodpecker
  • 2 Blue Jay
  • 4 American Crow
  • 3 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 2 Golden-crowned Kinglet
  • 3 European Starling

Notes and Changes since last report

  • It was 75°F, clear and windy at 3:30 PM on October 19, 2016.
  • This week's trail report covers the Cary Pines Trail side of the trail system.
  • Fall foliage was great today, but dropping fast.
  • Note: the grounds close the end of this month. They open again April 1.

The Trails

  • The pair of oaks at the Gifford trail head was looking very nice today.
  • The Little Bluestem Meadow was all pink and fuzzy.
  • Back across the meadow and highway were farm fields.
  • And in the farm fields were cattle.
  • Ahead was a favorite view down the Scots Pine Alleé.
  • Surprisingly, some of the trees were already bare.
  • The meadow was so beautiful, the entrance to the Old Gravel Pit came too soon.
  • I took just one glance back at Gifford House.
  • In the woods, a sun beam illuminated a patch of hay-scented fern.
  • Looking towards the source, I remembered the little glowing beech tree from last year.
  • Near the exit to the Fern Glen was the big patch of hay-scented fern, now a jumble of pale drying fronds.
  • The late afternoon light was behind the red maple by the Fern Glen pond.
  • On the other side the river birch was turning yellow.
  • Witch hazel was blooming and filling the air with its scent in the wet areas.
  • In the mix was winterberry, now becoming ghostly pale.
  • Near the acid cobble, maple-leaved viburnum leaves were turning purple under the un-maple-like fruit.
  • The creek as viewed from the deck was already in the long shadows.
  • Scattered patches of sun made it to foundations of the stone bridge.
  • On the way out of the 'Glen I noted how the leaves on the ground ran through a spectrum.
  • Some striped maple leaves, still on the branches, were handsomely back lit.
  • Next to them was the viburnum, hobble bush.
  • Spicebush was everywhere.
  • One last stop for the day was at the "Appendix", as I like to call the area by trail marker 10 on the Wappinger Creek Trail. But I was just a little late as another memorable little tree slid under the shadows.
Witch hazel

Sightings

Birds
  • 2 Downy Woodpecker
  • 2 Eastern Phoebe
  • 1 Blue Jay
  • 4 Common Raven
  • 2 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 2 White-breasted Nuthatch
  • 2 Golden-crowned Kinglet
  • 1 Eastern Bluebird
  • 1 American Robin
  • 4 Palm Warbler
  • 2 Dark-eyed Junco
Plants
  • 1 Witch hazel

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