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June 23, 2021

Banded Hairstreak

Notes and Changes since last report

  • It was 65°F, Partly cloudy and breezy at 14:45 PM on June 23, 2021.
  • The butterfly magnet, common milkweed, is blooming and some spreading dogbane survived the mowing of the Little Bluestem Meadow.
  • Banded hairstreaks were back in force and the first least and european skippers of the season had appeared.
  • This week's trail report covers the Cary Pines Trail side of the trail system.

The Trails

  • Something orange darted in and out of the sun off the side of the Cary Pines Trail.
  • It was an eastern comma.
  • Something else had been haunting sunny patches, but higher up off the ground. Sometimes you wouldn't see much more than a silhouette.
  • At the top of the Fern Glen was a perfect view of a banded hairstreak.
  • Viewing angle, or angle of the sun can really change the background color.
  • Twinleaf's seed pod lasts much longer than its flower.
  • The pod is even more amusing than the flower is pretty.
  • A rather ornate green spider was lounging in the sun on its web.
  • On the way back towards the fen, red baneberry was indeed red.
  • At the turn into the fen, purple-flowering raspberry was opening a few blossoms.
  • Off the end of the boardwalk, poison sumac was a small, unassuming tree.
  • The equally unassuming flower helps distinguish it from non-poisonous staghorn sumac, which has the familiar bright red cones of flowers.
  • Elderberry was growing along the bank.
  • Its flower had been blooming since the week before.
  • Back along the boardwalk, maleberry was another easy to miss shrub.
  • Its tiny flowers were like miniature blueberry flowers.
  • Tall, whispy panacled hawkweed was deeper in the back of the 'Glen.
  • It's not every year that whorled loosestrife blooms.
  • What's that on top? A soldier beetle, a non-luminous relative of fireflies.
  • Around the corner, by the deck, invasive crown vetch had crept in. Any attemp to dig this out will remind one that it was introduced for erosion control.
  • Along the stone bridge, shinleaf, a pyrola, was up.
  • The waxy looking little bells take a while to open.
  • There were touches of scarlet on leaves of the river birch at the front of the pond.
  • It was the velvet gall, caused by a tiny mite larva.
  • Out in the Old Gravel Pit section of the Cary Pines Trail was a stand of wild basil, just starting to bloom.
  • The Little Bluestem Meadow behind Gifford House had been completely mowed by now.
  • Happily, some of the spreading dogbane had survived. This milkweed relative is also quite attractive to butterflies.
  • Behind the Carriage House, big peonie-like flowers dangled from a tree with bark like a sycamore. It was a Stewartia - a tree from Asia that's considered non-invasive.
  • Near the base, pokeweed was rising above everything else.
  • Its inconspicuous flowers would soon enough turn into the familiar black berry clusters.
  • Off to the side was a colony of bird feeder the escapee, Canada thistle.
  • Goldfinch will be all over the flowers when they later turn to fluff and seeds.
  • Mixed in was a familiar "weed", our native daisy fleabane.
  • Back at the parking lot, a screech came from two white dots on the tree line across the road.
  • It was a pair of red-tailed hawks. But by the time the camera woke up, there was only one. It seemed as surprised as I was annoyed at the disappearance of the other.
  • The other was above, but soon out of sight.
  • Next week: the Wappinger Creek Trail side of the trail system.


  • 2 Mourning Dove
  • 2 Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
  • 1 Downy Woodpecker
  • 2 Pileated Woodpecker
  • 1 Eastern Wood-Pewee
  • 1 Eastern Phoebe
  • 4 Red-eyed Vireo
  • 1 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 1 White-breasted Nuthatch
  • 2 House Wren
  • 1 Eastern Bluebird
  • 5 Veery
  • 3 Wood Thrush
  • 1 American Robin
  • 3 Ovenbird
  • 1 Chipping Sparrow
  • 1 Field Sparrow
  • 2 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
  • 1 Red-winged Blackbird
  • 2 Brown-headed Cowbird
  • 1 Cabbage White
  • 2 Banded Hairstreak
  • 1 Eastern Comma
  • 1 Canada thistle
  • 1 Crown vetch
  • 1 Pokeweed
  • 1 Purple-flowering raspberry
  • 1 Shinleaf
  • 1 Stewartia
  • 1 Whorled loosestrife
  • 1 Wild basil