Notes and Changes since last report
- It was 77°F, mostly clear and windy at 1:00 PM on June 16, 2021.
- The Little Bluestem Meadow has been mowed.
- The first great spangled fritillary of the season flew through the front Old Hayfield.
- This week's trail report covers the Wappinger Creek Trail side of the trail system.
- At the Gifford House trailhead, common milkweed was almost ready to pop.
- Bedstraw looked like it was peaking now.
- In the meantime, yarrow had come up.
- Under foot, patches of birdsfoot trefoil were in mowed areas.
- Occasionally rough-fruited cinquefoil was reaching up through the tall grass.
- Along the side, invasive privet was blooming.
- Honeysuckles were way ahead and their fruit had started ripening.
- Not far behind, multiflora rose petals were dropping from swelling rose hips.
- Out in the back, another of our dogbanes, Indian hemp, was starting to bloom.
- Yellow goatsbeard had come and gone. Both its flower and seed head are like giant versions of dandelion.
- Shiney, metallic long-legged flies were hanging out in the sun.
- Those caterpillar webs were still in the shrubs at the corner of the field.
- So were the caterpillars themselves.
- A parasitic wasp had noticed as well.
- She would curl her abdomen and insert her long ovipositor into the nest to lay her eggs.
- It is possible that ants were getting "honeydew" or something from the caterpillars, for they would drive the wasp away if they detected it.
- Around the corner, on the Sedge Meadow Trail, mock orange was still blooming.
- Something tried to land on my head; it may have been this silver-spotted skipper.
- A little farther along, the call of a prairy warbler could be traced to top of a cedar.
- Below, a dragonfly was basking in the sun.
- As the trail dropped into the woods, a mound of tussock sedge was perfectly lit by a sun beam.
- A very loud wood thrush was very rusty brown in the bright understory.
- Farther along, an obscure moth was lounging on a leaf.
- The distinctive, but always on the move white-striped black broke form and paused just long enough for a photo.
- Out along the edge of the back Old Hayfield, a grape was starting to flower.
- On the way down the hill on the Wappinger Creek Trail, a pair of mating, bumble bee mimicing robber flies landed in the sun.
- Closer to the water, shinleaf was developing buds - they seem to take quite some time to open.
- Down in the floodplain, aniseroot had finished flowering and was now developing fruit.
- A caterpillar was parked on a fruit. That it didn't blend in well suggested it was on the wrong plant. Plus there were no signs of feeding.
- Stinging nettle was close to blooming.
- Overhead, an American redstart was calling and foraging.
- The bench over the creek at trail marker 10 was a good spot for birding today.
- Next week: the Cary Pines Trail side of the trail system.