Notes and Changes since last report
- It was 85°F, partly cloudy and breezy at 1:30 PM on July 27, 2021.
- Butterflies were out in number today, notably tiger swallowtails, but bird activity was low.
- New flowers were few, but wild bergamot was still going strong and there was still some common milkweed blooming.
- This week's trail report covers the Wappinger Creek Trail side of the trail system.
- It was a surprise to find some common milkweed still blooming behind Gifford House.
- Several monarchs found it too.
- The path into the Old Hayfield had been recently mowed.
- Indeed, only a moment ago.
- The wild bergamot was open for business, but strangely unattended.
- Regulars eventually drifted in starting with hummingbird clearwing.
- Of course silver-spotted skipper showed up.
- And great spangled fritillary stopped in.
- A red-bellied woodpecker was buried in ripening cherries over the Sedge Meadow Trail.
- Goldenrod was getting ready to bloom below.
- The cool shade of the boardwalk was welcome by now.
- The view of the Sedge Meadow was getting crowded.
- Invasive purple loosestrife was the main culpret, but it was beginning to flower and that attracts a few insects including silver-spotted skipper.
- Joe-Pye weed would soon be opening its buds.
- The back Old Hayfield was busy with butterflies.
- Eastern tiger swallowtails were looking very fresh.
- Common wood-nymphs were plentiful and active - one finally perched and leaned over to soak up some sun.
- New to this field was thimbleweed. It had already flowered and was forming its namesake fruit.
- Shade in the back of the field was welcome, but not usually to butterflies.
- None the less, a large tiger swallowtail ventured in and gave a great view of its upper side.
- Out in the open again, a well worn eastern tailed-blue perched with wings open to receive some sun.
- Back on the Sedge Meadow Trail, something darted out, circled, then landed on a leaf in the sun. It took several tries get it in the lens.
- It was a northern pearly-eye. They've been hard to find this year.
- Banded hairstreaks were down to one last week; none was expected this week, but the "usual spot" in the Old Pasture had one - a female at that. Males' forelegs are reduced and not usually obvious - she was using all six.
- The forest of red chanterelles above the Wappinger Creek had expanded a little.
- A search in a usual haunt of the northern pearly-eye turned up one.
- Again, even with a clear landing on a tree trunk, it took several attempts to get it in the lens.
- However, the full creek below was easy to locate.
- A screaming red mushroom was hard to miss.
- Again, something rose from the trail, circled, and dropped back into a seedling in a sunny patch.
- It was an eastern comma.
- This one had been around for a while and was apparently the survivor of a bird attack.
- As the trail descended towards the floodplain, afternoon sunlight angled into the water of the Wappinger Creek.
- Off the side of the trail, enchanter's nightshade was waiting for a passing pant leg. The sticky little fruit are so easy to remove compared to others, it's almost a pleasure to find them on one's socks.
- Wood nettle is another matter. It is not as common as stinging nettle, but it is as easily remembered...
- The ground seemed to move in front of the last little foot bridge.
- It was a good size bull frog that had ventured several leaps away from the edge of the creek.
- A little time at the bench at the "Appendix" yielded no banded hairstreaks at this earlier hot spot.
- But the burrowing wasp mounds were still active.
- On the way out, the light was perfect on a little spotted wintergreen.
- Next week: the Cary Pines Trail side of the trail system.