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April 20, 2022


Notes and Changes since last report

  • It was 60°F, clear and breezy on April 20, 2022.
  • The air was much cooler than last week, and the annoying bugs were less annoying.
  • New things have been sprouting or blooming almost daily this time of year.
  • This week's trail report covers the Wappinger Creek Trail side of the trail system.

The Trails

  • Grass was greening at the Gifford House trailhead.
  • Tree swallows were in the air or clinging to tree tops in the gusty winds.
  • Along the side of the front Old Hayfield, honeysuckle bushes were leafing out. The early leaf out of many invasive plants is more than a head start - it shades out native plants before they have a chance.
  • Underfoot were the first dandelions of the season.
  • Closer to the edge of the path was purple dead nettle.
  • Back up at eye level was the darker green of privet.
  • Reaching out for the unwary was multiflora rose.
  • At the corner of the field Japanese barberry was getting green and sporting flower buds as well.
  • On the other side of the field, an eastern towhee was calling.
  • At the head of the Sedge Meadow Trail, ground ivy, or creeping Charlie, was up and flowering.
  • Skunk cabbage leaves were unfurling on either side of the Sedge Meadow boardwalk.
  • The trail running along the edge of the Sedge Meadow is a favorite for bird watching.
  • Violets can usually be found in sunny patches.
  • The Sedge Meadow itself was getting green.
  • That was largely due to the tussock sedge.
  • Out in the back Old Hayfield, burningbush was budding up.
  • An exciting find was a cecropia moth cocoon. The spectacular adult moth is the size of your hand.
  • After the recent rains, the Wappinger Creek was pretty full today.
  • Patches of afternoon sun along the trail down the hill harbored an eastern comma - one of our few butterflies that overwinter as an adult.
  • Along the edge, Canada mayflower leaves were unfurling.
  • Tufts of Pennsylvania sedge were starting to flower in the background.
  • Down at the bottom of the hill, the floodplain was green and yellow.
  • Invasive lesser celandine looks similar to our native marsh marigold.
  • Farther downstream, several mallards were feeding.
  • Once in a while the light was right and a head would turn from black to iridescent green.
  • In the lowest part of the path, toothwort was getting ready to bloom.
  • Mixed in was cut-leaved toothwort.
  • Some times those cut leaves are pretty broad, and then the downy upper stem is a helpful feature.
  • Compare with the smooth stems of regular toothwort.
  • Just beyond, wood anemone was starting to bloom.
  • The young, closed bud is pink, but that changes to white as the blossom opens.
  • And that brought us around to a favorite bench at the Appendix.
  • Next week: the Cary Pines Trail the side of the trail system.


  • 2 Mallard
  • 1 Red-tailed Hawk
  • 1 Mourning Dove
  • 3 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
  • 1 Hairy Woodpecker
  • 3 Northern Flicker
  • 1 Eastern Phoebe
  • 3 Tree Swallow
  • 2 Tufted Titmouse
  • 1 White-breasted Nuthatch
  • 3 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  • 3 Eastern Bluebird
  • 1 American Robin
  • 2 European Starling
  • 1 Pine Warbler
  • 3 Eastern Towhee
  • 1 White-throated Sparrow
  • 1 Bradford pear
  • 1 Chionodoxa
  • 1 Dandelion
  • 1 Ground ivy
  • 1 Lesser celandine
  • 1 Purple dead-nettle
  • 1 Violet
  • 1 Wood anemone
  • 1 Eastern Comma