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October 13, 2021

Mushrooms and Poison Ivy

Notes and Changes since last report

  • It was 70°F, cloudy, and calm at 3:00 PM on October 13, 2021.
  • There was a little more color in the leaves and the mosquitos were still out in number.
  • Lovelace Drive - past the Fern Glen - has been opened to traffic again.
  • This week's trail report covers the Cary Pines Trail side of the trail system.

The Trails

  • It appeared that some branches were down by Gifford House.
  • Actually, a car had come off the highway taking out a redbud and leaving it in the pathway as it passed between a big oak and Gifford.
  • Out at the "Appendix", as I like to call the area around trail marker 10, the witch's butter looked almost unchanged from the week before.
  • Biscuits - that's what the neighboring mushrooms look like. The browns and the texture.
  • Even the seedlings of burningbush turn red.
  • Mushrooms would be a common sight today.
  • Coral fungus was more frequently encountered than usual.
  • The expanse of one colony of brown mushrooms was surprising.
  • Shaggy stems below were interesting.
  • One clump of coral fungus was taking on unusual coloration.
  • Color was creeping in along the road past the Fern Glen.
  • Hobblebush always gets interesting in quiet ways.
  • Water was getting darker in the pond.
  • Seen from the other side, the ostrich fern was getting pale.
  • The path back to the fen was getting covered with leaves.
  • Back in the fen, poison sumac didn't have a lot of leaves to boast.
  • But they did have a unique red-orange that can be picked out of a crowd.
  • Fruit of speckled alder will eventually open as little cones to scatter their seed.
  • Chickweed was looking very fresh. Its five petals are so deeply notched they appear to be ten.
  • It always seems that witch hazel is easier to smell than to see.
  • The whispy little flowers choose this time of year to bloom.
  • Winterberry leaves were turning ghostly pale.
  • Perhaps the better to set off the red berries.
  • Out on drier soils, gaultheria had a few berries too. Teaberry is one of its common names.
  • Leaves of partridgeberry are much smaller and have that pale main vein.
  • The view downstream from the deck was opening up with the dropping leaves.
  • Upstream, a small witch hazel was hanging on to its yellow.
  • Shingle strips have improved wet traction on some of the walkways.
  • A cheerful find was caterpillars eating purple loosestrife. These look like Haploas - very handsome moths, perhaps LeConte's Haploa.
  • The Fern Glen was not lacking mushrooms.
  • Coral fungus was looking better here than anywhere else.
  • These look like the same as the large colony on the Cary Pines trail.
  • A splash of color was creeping up one of the members of the Scots Pine Alée.
  • The young leaves of Virginia creeper are sometimes made of three leaflets, looking too much like poison ivy.
  • In the field behind, a patch of dogbane was golden among the brown grasses.
  • Towards the end of the Allée, Virginia creeper was climbing high.
  • On the opposite side, poison ivy was not to be outdone.
  • Next week: the Wappinger Creek Trail the side of the trail system.


  • 1 Downy Woodpecker
  • 1 American Crow
  • 1 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 1 Haploa species
  • 1 Witch hazel