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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

  • 63°F, cloudy and calm at 1:00 PM.
  • It cleared and warmed some, it clouded again, it showered... and repeated the cycle...
  • Bedstraws were in full bloom.
  • European skipper made it's appearance.

The Trails

  • Right in the Gifford House parking lot Common milkweed was budding up and would soon be opening. It's my favorite nectar source for butterflies.
  • The front Old Hayfield was full of bedstraws. That and the fresh mown path filled the air with a summery scent.
  • The familiar, if only by sight, rough-fruited cinquefoil was blooming.
  • An orange blur crossed my path: my first European skipper of the season.
  • Yarrow is an interesting plant. It doesn't seem to attract many butterflies, but the things it does attract are unusual.
  • The antennae told me immediately that this was probably a fly; the face confirmed it. My old text said thick-headed flies are ususually found on flowers and parasitize wasps and bumble bees.
  • Along the edge of the field, privet - a garden escapee - was proving very attractive to silver-spotted skippers.
  • Once would be one thing, but several times I noticed a bug perched on top of a grass stalk.
  • Gray dogwood was blooming everywhere filling the air with its punky odor.
  • By the Old Pumphouse angelica was making its annual appearance.
  • A passerby reminded me why I consider the Appendix special - that spot where the Cary Pines and Wappinger Creek Trails meet at the creek. I'd have missed dead man's fingers and coral fungus. And our discussion of the black-throated green and pine warblers was interrupted when a great blue heron glided in for a landing.
  • It was sprinkling when I eventually got to the Fern Glen.
  • Around the limestone cobble twinleaf pods would soon be popping.
  • Back in the acid shale columbine was forming seed pods.
  • Along the trail purple-flowering raspberry was getting ready to bloom.
  • In the fen elderberry was thinking about it (along the pond it had already started).
  • I thought blueberry had already blossomed. I turned around and found the berries of one I knew. Oh yes, maleberry. Closer inspection revealed the little brown capsule of last years seeds.
  • By the stone bridge the colony of Indian cucumber root was looking even better than last year. It's a tiny member of the lily family.
  • Near the kiosk Bowman's root was blooming in several locations.
  • I thought the patch of spreading dogbane used to be taller.
  • The knee high blossoms attract a lot of different insects.
  • It was clearing again as I gazed across the Little Bluestem Meadow towards Gifford House.
  • I figured it would stay that way: I was leaving now. It did.
Rough-fruited cinquefoil
European skipper on bedstraw
Old Hayfield full of bedstraw
Thick-headed fly on yarrow
Thick-headed fly on yarrow
Thick-headed fly on yarrow
Privet
Silver-spotted skipper
Bug
Gray dogwood
Angelica
Dead man's fingers
Coral fungus
Columbine seed pods
Purple-flowering raspberry
Elderberry
Maleberry
Blueberry berries
Indian cucumber root
Bowman's root
Twinleaf seed pod
Little Bluestem Meadow
Spreading dogbane
Spreading dogbane
Common milkweed
Indian cucumber root

Sightings

Birds
  • 1 Great Blue Heron
  • 1 Turkey Vulture
  • 1 Eastern Phoebe
  • 1 Yellow-throated Vireo
  • 1 Warbling Vireo
  • 3 Red-eyed Vireo
  • 4 Blue Jay
  • 1 American Crow
  • 4 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 1 Tufted Titmouse
  • 1 Brown Creeper
  • 1 Carolina Wren
  • 1 Golden-crowned Kinglet
  • 1 Eastern Bluebird
  • 5 Veery
  • 2 Wood Thrush
  • 4 American Robin
  • 7 Gray Catbird
  • 7 Cedar Waxwing
  • 1 Blue-winged Warbler
  • 2 Black-throated Green Warbler
  • 1 Pine Warbler
  • 2 Prairie Warbler
  • 3 Ovenbird
  • 2 Louisiana Waterthrush
  • 2 Scarlet Tanager
  • 1 Eastern Towhee
  • 1 Chipping Sparrow
  • 5 Field Sparrow
  • 1 Song Sparrow
  • 1 Northern Cardinal
  • 1 Red-winged Blackbird
  • 2 Common Grackle
  • 1 Brown-headed Cowbird
  • 2 Baltimore Oriole
  • 2 American Goldfinch
Butterflies
  • 5 Cabbage White
  • 1 Question Mark
  • 2 Red-spotted Purple
  • 13 Little Wood-Satyr
  • 7 Common Ringlet
  • 8 Silver-spotted Skipper
  • 5 European Skipper
Plants

<ul>
  <li>1 Bowman's-root</li>
  <li>1 Elderberry</li>
  <li>1 Gray dogwood</li>
  <li>1 Maleberry</li>
  <li>1 Privet</li>
  <li>1 Rough-fruited cinquefoil</li>
  <li>1 Spreading dogbane</li>
  <li>1 Yarrow</li>
</ul>

Notes and changes since last report

  • After morning rain, it was around 75°, partly cloudy with light winds at 2:30 PM on May 30, 2012.
  • It wasn't very sunny, but it was bright; it should have been a better day for butterflies.

The Trails

Beauty bush
Beauty bush
Sweet shrub
Hobomok Skipper
Mystery plant
White baneberry
Vancouveria
Vancouveria
Unusual moss
Pitcher plant
Sheep laurel
Dragonfly
Larger blue flag
Larger blue flag pale form
Honewort
Honewort
Mallards

Sightings

Birds
  • 10 Mallard
  • 1 Turkey Vulture
  • 1 Chimney Swift
  • 1 Downy Woodpecker
  • 1 Eastern Wood-Pewee
  • 3 Eastern Phoebe
  • 1 Yellow-throated Vireo
  • 1 Warbling Vireo
  • 8 Red-eyed Vireo
  • 1 Blue Jay
  • 1 American Crow
  • 3 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 1 Carolina Wren
  • 1 House Wren
  • 2 Eastern Bluebird
  • 4 Veery
  • 2 Wood Thrush
  • 1 American Robin
  • 3 Gray Catbird
  • 1 Cedar Waxwing
  • 1 Black-throated Green Warbler
  • 2 Prairie Warbler
  • 1 Black-and-white Warbler
  • 6 Ovenbird
  • 2 Louisiana Waterthrush
  • 1 Scarlet Tanager
  • 4 Eastern Towhee
  • 1 Chipping Sparrow
  • 4 Field Sparrow
  • 2 Song Sparrow
  • 1 Indigo Bunting
  • 2 Red-winged Blackbird
  • 1 Brown-headed Cowbird
  • 2 Baltimore Oriole
Butterflies
  • 3 Spicebush Swallowtail
  • 4 Cabbage White
  • 1 Orange Sulphur
  • 1 Spring Azure
  • 6 Pearl Crescent
  • 1 American Lady
  • 24 Little Wood-Satyr
  • 4 Common Ringlet
  • 1 Silver-spotted Skipper
  • 1 Juvenal's Duskywing
  • 2 Tawny-edged Skipper
  • 1 Hobomok Skipper
  • 2 Zabulon Skipper
Plants
  • 1 Beauty bush
  • 1 Indian cucumber root
  • 1 Mystery plant
  • 1 Pitcher plant
  • 1 Sheep laurel
  • 1 Sweet shrub

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