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October 06, 2020

Witch Hazel

Notes and Changes since last report

  • It was 68°F, partly cloudy and windy at 12:15 PM on October 6, 2020.
  • Leaf color had continued to improve over the week.
  • Again few birds, but no butterflies at all today.
  • This week's trail report covers the Cary Pines Trail side of the trail system.

The Trails

  • The sun was in and out but it had warmed up to t-shirt temps at the Wappinger Creek by trail marker 10.
  • On the banks, the striped blade of invasive Japanese stilt grass was recognizable from a distance.
  • A closer look showed some seeds getting ready for dispersal.
  • Native spicebush was turning bright yellow.
  • New York fern was turning pale.
  • A green blur went across the path and stopped on a stalk in the sun: a stink bug.
  • Below, partridgeberry would soon be covered by needles and leaves.
  • The woods opened up a bit as the trail went over the ridge above the Creek.
  • A look in that direction found birch and beech taking on some color.
  • The exit to the Fern Glen was glowing - let's see how this area looks in another week or two.
  • Some big gnats - or little crane flies - were flying around today.
  • Along the road down to the 'Glen, clearweed was making seeds now.
  • Here and there, white snakeroot was still blooming.
  • With the decay of leaves, the pond was getting dark.
  • A dragonfly found ample sun on the emergent vebetation.
  • Back in the shrub swamp, winterberry was turning ghostly white.
  • In the rich fen, poison sumac was at peak color.
  • What passes for a flower on witch hazel seems always to be smelled before being seen.
  • In the back of the 'Glen, whorled aster was going to seed.
  • Near by, one of the yellow lady's slippers was forming a seed pod.
  • With a look back at the stone bridge, it was off to the Old Gravel Pit section of the Cary Pines trail.
  • A pocket of chickadees and nut hatch passed through, including a brown creeper.
  • What sounded like an insistant downy woodpecker turned out to be a red squirrel.
  • A fair size wasp nest was lying in the middle of the trail.
  • Apparently, it had not been there long. Not wishing to be questioned by a former occupant, I continued on my way.
  • That brought us to the splendid view across the Little Bluestem Meadow of Gifford House.
  • Somehow, it's not as difficult as it might seem to get a photo of the developing seed heads.
  • A good close up is another matter.
  • Color was creeping into the Scots Pine Allée.
  • It was Virginia creeper.
  • Next week: The Wappinger Creek Trail side of the trail system.


  • 1 Downy Woodpecker
  • 1 Blue Jay
  • 1 Common Raven
  • 4 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 1 White-breasted Nuthatch
  • 1 Brown Creeper
  • 1 Eastern Towhee