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April 02, 2019

Notes and Changes since last report

  • It was 50°F, mostly cloudy and windy at 1:30 PM on April 2, 2019.
  • The grounds reopened April 1; this is the first trail report for the 2019 season.
  • It's been a long cool stretch, but it's beginning to feel and look like Spring.
  • This trail report covers the whole of the trail system.

The Trails

  • An American woodcock had been spotted in the Fern Glen, so here started this week's walk.
  • A painted turtle was basking at the edge of the pond. Neither turtle nor bird was much concerned by people.
  • At the back of the pond, coltsfoot had been blooming for a couple weeks.
  • And even when there was still snow, skunk cabbage had started.
  • But this was marsh marigold's first blossom.
  • Water striders were on the pond and the calmer edges of the exiting waters.
  • In and around the limestone cobble, Dutchman's-breeches were leafing out - indeed some had flower buds.
  • By the parking lot, American hazelnut could be spotted.
  • The male catkins hinted it's membership in the birch family.
  • It's female flower suggested it came from another planet.
  • The mottled leaves of trout-lily took some searching to find.
  • Out on the trails leaving the Fern Glen, an eastern comma was basking in a patch of sun. This is one of the few butterflies we have that overwinter as adults.
  • Another survivor of the winter was partridgeberry .
  • A yellow cloud of a shrub was a first sign of spring behind the Carriage House.
  • The flowers of Japanese cornelian cherry were just beginning to open.
  • On the other side of the Carriage House, magnolia flower buds were only beginning to crack.
  • The front Old Hayfield at Gifford House still looked like November.
  • But along the edges, invasive honesuckle was flaunting its early leaves.
  • The old Pump House - or Spring House - had been removed after its slow decline over the years. Just the concrete floor remained.
  • At the edge of the back Old Hayfield, a palm warbler was flitting about.
  • There were very slight changes to the favorite view of the Wappinger Creek from the bluff just in from the Old Hayfield.
  • Brown creeper is another favorite thing to see.
  • It may be easier to hear than to see with its bark-like camouflage.
  • In the Wappinger Creek floodplain, a colony of snowdrops has persisted for some time.
  • That concludes this first trail report of the season... until next time.
1 Turkey Vulture1 Eastern Comma1 Water strider1 Painted turtle1 American hazelnut
1 American Woodcock1 Coltsfoot
1 Downy Woodpecker1 Japanese cornelian cherry
3 Eastern Phoebe1 Marsh marigold
1 Blue Jay1 Skunk cabbage
6 Black-capped Chickadee1 Snowdrops
1 Tufted Titmouse
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 Brown Creeper
4 American Robin
2 Pine Warbler
1 Palm Warbler
1 American Goldfinch