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 partly cloudy with light breezes at 12:00 PM on May 18, 2016; the air was cool, the sun warm; it made it to 72°F.
  • This week's trail report covers the Cary Pines Trail side of the trail system.
  • I had some company on the trails this week.
  • Common ringlet and little wood-satyr were the returning butterflies today.

The Trails

  • Tree swallows were zooming over Gifford House parking lot and perching in trees in the Old Hayfield.
  • In a quiet corner, pink lady's-slipper was about to bloom.
  • Throughout the woods, starflower had begun to bloom.
  • At the edge of the Fern Glen pond, sweetflag was doing its strange thing.
  • In the limestone cobble, false Solomon's-seal was about to flower.
  • Surprise, the clintonia or bluebead was blooming this year.
  • The large-flowered bellwort and twinleaf were done with that and already forming seed pods.
  • Alumroot looks like giant bishop's cap.
  • Its leaves hark to its domestic relative, coral bells.
  • Previously pink large-flowered trillium was positively red now.
  • Near the acid cobble, maple-leaved viburnum was forming flower buds.
  • Red baneberry was done with all that and on its way to forming fruit.
  • In the back of the 'Glen, our well watched pink lady's-slipper was about to move to the next stage.
  • Patience trumped pursuit when a scarlet tanager came into view and remained for a minute or two.
  • Another subject of study, yellow lady's-slipper was so close to blooming. Come tomorrow.
  • Not far away stonecrop, a sedum had been on the verge for a couple weeks it seemed.
  • One of our tiniest buttercups, hooked crowfoot was doing its best.
  • Climbing the shrubs in the fen was our native, limber honeysuckle.
  • A pair of beetles attracted my attention to a plant I always walk by.
  • I noticed it was flowering - small but enough look up: smooth gooseberry.
  • Choke cherry was near the kiosk.
  • Wild geranium was lurking here and there underneath.
  • Invasive dame's rocket ranges from white to purple and is distinguished from native phlox by its four rather than 5 petals.
  • The mayapple colony seemed to have been waiting for the warmer weather.
  • Right at the edge of the pond, golden Alexanders was very close to blooming.
  • Around the side, it would be a while for carrion flower.
  • Almost missed little Herb-robert in the cobble.
  • Along the road on the way out was common barberry.
  • It's pretty, not as common as Japanese barberry, but exotic as well.
  • Next week: the Wappinger Creek Trail side of the trail system.
Scarlet Tanager

Sightings

Birds
  • 1 Ruby-throated Hummingbird
  • 1 Eastern Phoebe
  • 1 Warbling Vireo
  • 1 Red-eyed Vireo
  • 1 American Crow
  • 1 White-breasted Nuthatch
  • 1 House Wren
  • 3 Veery
  • 2 American Robin
  • 2 Gray Catbird
  • 1 European Starling
  • 2 Yellow Warbler
  • 1 Black-throated Green Warbler
  • 2 Pine Warbler
  • 1 Black-and-white Warbler
  • 1 American Redstart
  • 3 Ovenbird
  • 3 Scarlet Tanager
  • 3 Chipping Sparrow
  • 1 Field Sparrow
  • 1 Song Sparrow
  • 1 Indigo Bunting
  • 3 Brown-headed Cowbird
  • 1 Baltimore Oriole
  • 2 American Goldfinch
Butterflies
  • 3 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
  • 3 Spring Azure
  • 2 Pearl Crescent
  • 2 Common Ringlet
Plants
  • 1 Alumroot
  • 1 Choke cherry
  • 1 Clintonia
  • 1 Common barberry
  • 1 Dame's rocket
  • 1 False Solomon's-seal
  • 1 Herb-Robert
  • 1 Hooked crowfoot
  • 1 Limber honeysuckle
  • 1 Pink lady's-slipper
  • 1 Smooth gooseberry
  • 1 Starflower
  • 1 Sweetflag
  • 1 Wild geranium

Notes and Changes since last report

  • It was mostly clear with light breezes at 11:00 AM on May 11, 2016, warming eventually to maybe 75°F.
  • Let's see if the next couple days are warm enough to finish off the great run of spring flowers.
  • Leaves have been coming out strong to make finding new birds more of a challenge.
  • Pearl crescent was the returning butterfly today.

The Trails

  • The paths through the front Old Hayfield at Gifford House were filled with buttercups.
  • A handful of cedar waxwings came into the back of the field to snack.
  • Near the edges, tiny bird's-eye and thyme-leaved speedwells - both alien - were blooming.
  • In the back Old Hayfield, the flowering dogwood was looking fuller than last week.
  • A closer look was worth while.
  • The paths here and through the Sedge Meadow were carpeted with dwarf cinquefoil.
  • And it was here that my first of the season pearl crescent appeared.
  • A shadow passed over as I back tracked through the Sedge Meadow - a lightly worn eastern tiger swallowtail.
  • It hung around for a few minutes before departing.
  • The shade of the Wappinger Creek Trail felt good by now.
  • Oh yeah, the fungus on the tree stump... yes, it had grown considerably since last week.
  • Something else promising to grow was angelica by the foot bridge near the "Appendix".
  • It's leaves have that big sheath at the base.
  • The Cary Pines Trail is so quiet away from the water. I could track a scarlet tanager overhead... and it could track me.
  • At the top of the Fern Glen's Roeller Bed there had been two nice examples of hobblebush.
  • Now one is gone. I hope the beaver is too.
  • Farther down, starry Solomon's seal was blooming.
  • Scattered around was wild bleeding heart.
  • Foamflower was once more numerous in the cobble... now there is just a couple.
  • Some of the large-flowered trillium were turning pink with age.
  • One of the mystery plants, possibly an Asian Solomon's seal, had buds ready to open.
  • Almost unnoticed, striped maple was blooming overhead.
  • At ground level, red baneberry had started.
  • Near the boardwalk through the fen, Canada violet was blooming.
  • A rustle and a squeek in the leaves revealed a wood frog caught by a garter snake. Glad I'm big.
  • Wild sarsaprilla was way in the back and had started blooming.
  • A couple years ago, a tree came down right on top of the only toadshade in the 'Glen. I wonder how long that stem is.
  • Yellow lady's-slipper update: there may be buds in those stalks.
  • I didn't recall ever seeing anything like this: a cup fungus.
  • Our mid-size uvularia species, just plain "bellwort" starts after the "large-flowered".
  • Easy to miss on the other side of the road, swamp azalea was sparsely flowered, but what was there was nice.
  • Behind the Carriage House, the fothergilla was full out now.
  • Closer to the parking lot, buckeye looked like it was getting ready to bloom.
  • In fact some of the lower spikes had started.
  • Right at the edge of the parking lot, the lilacs that had been on hold through the cold and rain were out in full. The light and dark had different fragrances as well as colors.
  • Now that I was in the parking lot...

Sightings

Birds
  • 1 Mourning Dove
  • 1 Yellow-billed Cuckoo
  • 2 Chimney Swift
  • 2 Downy Woodpecker
  • 1 Pileated Woodpecker
  • 3 Eastern Phoebe
  • 2 Great Crested Flycatcher
  • 1 Yellow-throated Vireo
  • 1 Warbling Vireo
  • 1 Red-eyed Vireo
  • 3 Blue Jay
  • 2 American Crow
  • 3 Tree Swallow
  • 6 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 1 White-breasted Nuthatch
  • 1 House Wren
  • 2 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
  • 4 Veery
  • 3 Wood Thrush
  • 5 American Robin
  • 7 Gray Catbird
  • 3 European Starling
  • 3 Cedar Waxwing
  • 1 Blue-winged Warbler
  • 2 Yellow Warbler
  • 1 Black-throated Green Warbler
  • 1 Pine Warbler
  • 1 Prairie Warbler
  • 1 Black-and-white Warbler
  • 3 Ovenbird
  • 1 Common Yellowthroat
  • 1 Scarlet Tanager
  • 3 Eastern Towhee
  • 3 Chipping Sparrow
  • 1 Field Sparrow
  • 1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
  • 1 Red-winged Blackbird
  • 1 Brown-headed Cowbird
  • 2 Baltimore Oriole
  • 5 American Goldfinch
Butterflies
  • 2 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
  • 6 Cabbage White
  • 16 Spring Azure
  • 1 Pearl Crescent
Fungus
  • Cup fungus
Plants
  • 1 Bellwort
  • 1 Bird's-eye speedwell
  • 1 Buckeye
  • 1 Buttercup
  • 1 Canada violet
  • 1 Dwarf cinquefoil
  • 1 Foamflower
  • 1 Lilac
  • 1 Lily-of-the-valley
  • 1 Red baneberry
  • 1 Solomon's-seal (asian?)
  • 1 Starry false Solomon's-seal
  • 1 Striped maple
  • 1 Swamp azalea
  • 1 Thyme-leaved speedwell
  • 1 Wild bleeding-heart
  • 1 Wild sarsaparilla

Pages

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

Privacy Policy Copyright © 2016