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April 07, 2021


Notes and Changes since last report

  • It was 68°F, clear and breezy at 1:00 PM on April 7, 2021.
  • This is the first trail report of the season.
  • The benches are back on the trails and the Fern Glen deck is open again.
  • However, the trails are still one-way and Lovelace Dr. is still closed to vehicles.
  • Visitor Parking is open at Administration, the Low Lands, and Gifford House.
  • One butterfly was seen today.

The Trails

  • The grass at trailhead at Gifford House was getting green.
  • Along the edge of the front Old Hayfield, invasive honeysuckle was leafing out.
  • Ground ivy or creeping Charlie is an early blooming plant from Europe.
  • I'd expected an eastern comma at the top of the Sedge Meadow boardwalk, but no.
  • Skunk cabbage did not fail and was indeed blooming on both sides of the walk way, with leaves on the way.
  • A spring azure paused in the sun... for just a moment.
  • In the Sedge Meadow itself, tussock sedge was just sending up its first green shoots.
  • Rumbling across the path in the back Old was a wooly bear from last year - many butterflies and moths spend the winter as a caterpillar.
  • By now it was warm enough that the bench in the shade was welcome in the Old Pasture.
  • From the top of the bluff, Wappinger Creek looked full.
  • Trout lily leaves were pushing up through the leaf litter at the bottom of the hill.
  • In the flood plain, lesser celendine was spreading. Dense roots studded with tiny bulblets make this invasive difficult to control.
  • All the greening shrubs behind it were Japanese barberry.
  • Red maple along the road to the Fern Glen was blooming.
  • It was nice to have a bench in front of the pond again.
  • The painted turtles were still getting used to visitors.
  • Spicebush was getting ready to bloom.
  • A bee fly actually perched long enough for a photo.
  • Spring beauty was blooming along side.
  • Closer to the pond, Dutchman's breeches were starting to bloom.
  • Watch for the bee flies and other pollinators in the hepatica.
  • Something had eaten all the marsh marigold blossoms at the back of the pond.
  • Fortunately, one new one was blooming today.
  • Looking a bit like dandelions, coltsfoot was coming up nearby.
  • Below the surface of the pond, amphibian egg masses appeared as white blobs.
  • Above, water striders were skimming about.
  • Along the boardwalk in the fen, speckled alder catkins were offering their pollen to the wind.
  • The tiny female flowers were easy to miss.
  • Off on the side, the broader leaved Carolina spring beauty was blooming.
  • A sun beam illuminated a little leatherwood shrub.
  • The fuzzy little flower buds make me think of little horse hooves.
  • It's quite a surprise when the flower comes out. Pity they don't last long.
  • A little farther along, ramps were coming up. These leaves will be gone when this onion relative blooms later.
  • The deck is open again.
  • At the corner of the parking, American hazelnut was blooming.
  • Its male catkins immediately call to mind the alder encountered earlier.
  • It takes an effort to find the even tinier female flower.
  • The first shad flies of the season were in my face as the Cary Pines Trail let out into the Little Bluestem Meadow across from Gifford House.
  • Chinese cornelian cherry was blooming behind the Carriage House.
  • Until today, I'd never noticed a scent from the dense flower clusters.
  • With the warm/freeze cycles this spring, it was a surprise to see anything at all on the magnolias.
  • What was there was magnificent, and there was promise of more.
  • Next week: the Cary Pines Trail side of the trail system.


  • 1 Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • 1 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
  • 1 Northern Flicker
  • 3 Eastern Phoebe
  • 1 American Crow
  • 1 Tree Swallow
  • 3 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 2 Tufted Titmouse
  • 1 Red-breasted Nuthatch
  • 1 White-breasted Nuthatch
  • 1 Brown Creeper
  • 3 Eastern Bluebird
  • 3 American Robin
  • 3 Pine Warbler
  • 2 Song Sparrow
  • 2 Dark-eyed Junco
  • 1 Spring Azure
  • 1 Woolly bear
  • 1 American hazelnut
  • 1 Carolina spring beauty
  • 1 Coltsfoot
  • 1 Dutchman's-breeches
  • 1 Ground ivy
  • 1 Japanese cornelian cherry
  • 1 Leatherwood
  • 1 Lesser celandine
  • 1 Magnolia
  • 1 Marsh marigold
  • 1 Sharp-lobed hepatica
  • 2 Skunk cabbage
  • 1 Speckled alder
  • 1 Spring-beauty
  • 1 Bee Fly
  • 1 Painted turtle