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October 14, 2020

Sugar Maple

Notes and Changes since last report

  • It was 65°F, clear and breezy at 1:00 PM on October 14, 2020.
  • Leaf color had continued to improve over the week.
  • Finally some birds and even a few butterflies today.
  • This week's trail report covers the Wappinger Creek Trail side of the trail system.

The Trails

  • Four red-tailed hawks were calling in the sky over the Gifford House parking lot.
  • It's amazing how in a moment they can disappear in clear skies. It took a while to find just one.
  • From the trailhead, it could be seen that some trees were already bare.
  • The trail along the side still had plenty to offer.
  • Hickory stood out brightest.
  • Scattered all along was brilliant burningbush.
  • In between were clusters of multiflora rose rose hips.
  • Towards the corner of the field, gray dogwood was deep and dark.
  • Nannyberry, a viburnum, was actually a mix of colors.
  • Amazingly, a ruby-crowned kinglet was still there when the camera clicked.
  • A moth was on the wing today, one dropping conveniently on a contrasting leaf. It took a couple passes through the old black & white field guide pages to narrow it down to green clover worm moth.
  • Just a few butterflies were out today - the familiar clouded sulphur and one monarch.
  • Over the Sedge Meadow Trail, cherry trees were showing an overall peach color.
  • It seemed to be the result of a mix of colors and lighting angles.
  • The Gifford Tenent House Barn is always a nice sight across the little meadow.
  • Even oaks were beginning to show some color as the trail dropped into the woods.
  • The boardwalk was getting burried under leaves.
  • Birds were very active and again it was a stroke of luck to to get just one yellow-rumped warbler.
  • The view across the back Old Hayfield had everything from green to bare trees.
  • Zooming in on the turning leaves showed burningbush and a variety of others.
  • The other side of the field looked like a lot of burning bush under maples.
  • Indeed, a stroll along the back side went by a hedge of burningbush.
  • A burst of yellow over them was chestnut oak.
  • At the exit, a little sugar maple was very handsome.
  • The Wappinger Creek Trail went through the Old Pasture to the bluff over the Creek.
  • Afternoon light on the trail made for a warm fuzzy.
  • At the bottom of the slope, long shadows parallelled the Creek.
  • Gold was reflected in the water and seemingly in the shadows as well.
  • Down in the floodplain, Japanese barberry was finally showing a little color - it's just seemed meager this year.
  • The berries were having no problem.
  • Bare branches over the creek actually held low hanging fruit.
  • The odd fruit of musclewood.
  • From the top of the knoll at trail marker 10, the view around the bend still needed a little more time.
  • It's worth checking the little sunny spot for the turning of the maples.
  • Next week: The Cary Pines Trail side of the trail system.


  • 4 Red-tailed Hawk
  • 1 Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • 2 Eastern Phoebe
  • 4 Blue Jay
  • 1 Common Raven
  • 7 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 2 White-breasted Nuthatch
  • 3 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  • 2 Eastern Bluebird
  • 4 American Robin
  • 7 Yellow-rumped Warbler
  • 3 Palm Warbler
  • 1 Chipping Sparrow
  • 4 Clouded Sulphur
  • 1 Monarch
  • 1 Green cloverworm moth