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.
- 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.