Trail Report for July 14, 2021
Notes and Changes since last report
- It was 70°F, and mostly cloudy with light winds at 2:15 PM on July 14, 2021.
- After several rainy days, butterflies were out in good numbers.
- The season's first annual cicada was calling at Gifford House.
- This week's trail report covers the Wappinger Creek Trail side of the trail system.
- Saddly, the common milkweed at the Gifford House trailhead was about finished blooming.
- If it wasn't attracting many butterflies, other creatures such as the red milkweed beetle were still busy on the leaves.
- Invasive spotted knapweed was pulling in some smaller species such as pearl crescent.
- But wild bergamot was following milkweed as the major nectar source.
- Most obvious was the great spangled fritillary. This one had been around for quite a while.
- Silver-spotted skippers were plentiful and easy to spot.
- It didn't take long to notice a number of snowberry clearwings - small sphinx moths - working their way around the flower heads.
- One Delaware skipper came through - it's always nice to see them.
- A dogbane beetle was on the tip of a goldenrod leaf.
- The goldenrod ball gall was suddenly evident all around. It is shelter for and by the golden rod gall fly's larva.
- Some fair sized moths had been scattering from the path today and one finally landed in view: it was the confused eusarca.
- In the welcome shade of the Sedge Meadow Trail, a repeating squeeky "chip" was traced to a female rose-breasted grosbeak.
- A raspy chirp farther up ahead was coming from a male scarlet tanager.
- Lower down was another single note call - that was a male eastern towhee.
- The sunny opening by the wetland was being patrolled by Appalachian browns. In between runs they would perch about waist high.
- Out in the back Old Hayfield, a handsome dragonfly dropped into view.
- Even if yarrow doesn't have the pull of milkweed or bergamot, it's still worth a glance for its occasional visitors such as American copper.
- A nice find on cow vetch was mulberrywing, an uncommon wetland skipper. The yellow hindwing pattern is similar in a few species, but with the rich brown background it is distinct.
- It was nice to see a clouded sulphur feeding out in the open - they seem to always be on the go.
- The transition area from the Sedge Meadow Trail to the Old Pasture is a good spot for several butterflies.
- Indeed, there was one lurking around the oak leaves in the sun.
- Having had enough sun, it was aligned for minimum exposure and was casting minimum shadow.
- From the side, the tell-tale comma of the eastern comma was just visible.
- Closer to the ground in the shade was a common, but attractive moth, the large lace-border.
- As the trail dropped down into the woods again, red chanterelles were coming up.
- The Wappinger Creek was running full again - or perhaps still, with all the rain we've been having.
- Another sunny patch along the trail...
- ... another eastern comma perched in the sun.
- Indian pipe, lacking chlorophyll, probably doesn't care about the sun.
- This distinctive grass was growing where it always does down in the floodplain.
- The sun was on the hemlocks of the "Appendix", as I like to call the area around trail marker 10.
- And the banded hairsteaks were still in the sun.
- After two weeks, their numbers were starting to decline and those still present were beginning to show some wear and tear.
- Next week: the Cary Pines Trail side of the trail system.