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July 20, 2021

Lilac Borer Moth

Notes and Changes since last report

  • It was 81°F, and hazy and calm at 2:00 PM on July 20, 2021.
  • The haze was from fires on the West Coast - and you could smell it.
  • There were not many new flowers this week, but some buds were promising for next week.
  • This week's trail report covers the Cary Pines Trail side of the trail system.

The Trails

  • Trail marker 10 was the starting point for today's walk.
  • The Wappinger Creek below was high and muddy from the seemingly daily rains we've been having.
  • Under foot were the oversized "ant hills" of burrowing wasps.
  • They were busy and elusive, offering few photo ops as they came and went from the entrance.
  • Out by trail marker 12, where the trail widens, something flew by and tapped my hat several times. I extended an invitation to land, but it chose the little oak beyond the bump of my wrist.
  • Hackberry emperors will land on and lick perspiration from passersby, but this was an eastern comma.
  • Not much farther along the path, some mushrooms were finally making an appearance.
  • As the path runs along the ridge above the gorge, a lone white mushroom was emerging along the side.
  • Just off the path, a colony of toffee colored mushrooms lined a fallen tree branch.
  • In the Fern Glen, false Solomon's seal fruit was ripening.
  • Tall bellflower was newly opened this week.
  • Towards the back of the pond, New York ironweed was getting tall.
  • Its purple blossoms were needing another week or so.
  • Right on the other side of the path, sneezeweed seemed to be in competition.
  • Its buds looked a little further along.
  • Next to that, Joe-Pye weed buds were starting to show color. Again, maybe next week...
  • Off the boardwalk through the fen, things were quietly happening.
  • A very fresh monarch had come in and found a spot in the sun.
  • At the end of the walkway, our lone stand of square-stemmed monkey flower was blooming.
  • Off the side, swamp milkweed was having a good season.
  • Below, aphids were being tended by ants for the "honeydew" they secrete.
  • Above a hornet and wasp were feeding on the blossoms.
  • Something didn't look quite right about that wasp.
  • It was a lilac borer moth, one the most convincing of a number of wasp mimics.
  • Not quite as convincing, the snowberry clearwing is also called bumblebee moth, none the less.
  • The similar hummingbird clearwing is more reddish and lacks the stripe through the eye and thorax.
  • Above the milkweed, poison sumac had finished flowering.
  • The sparse flowers were being replaced by sparce berries.
  • On the other side of the boardwalk, blueberries were ripening.
  • Farther along, limber honeysuckle berries were beyond ripe.
  • Horsebalm was starting to bloom. The leaves have a lemon scent at this time.
  • Back by the deck, helleborine was blooming.
  • This is actually a little orchid from Europe.
  • The Wappinger Creek could be heard throughout the 'Glen.
  • Matted vegetation below the stone bridge showed the water had been even higher.
  • Next week: the Wappinger Creek Trail side of the trail system.


  • 1 Mourning Dove
  • 1 Pileated Woodpecker
  • 2 Eastern Wood-Pewee
  • 1 Red-eyed Vireo
  • 3 Blue Jay
  • 5 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 2 White-breasted Nuthatch
  • 1 Eastern Bluebird
  • 1 American Robin
  • 1 Gray Catbird
  • 1 Field Sparrow
  • 1 American Goldfinch
  • 1 Lilac Borer Moth
  • 1 Spicebush Swallowtail
  • 5 Cabbage White
  • 1 Clouded Sulphur
  • 5 Pearl Crescent
  • 1 Eastern Comma
  • 1 Northern Pearly-eye
  • 8 Common Wood-Nymph
  • 2 Monarch
  • 1 Helleborine
  • 1 Horse-balm
  • 1 Square-stemmed monkey-flower
  • 1 Tall bellflower