Notes and Changes since last report
- It was 74°F, mostly clear with light winds at 1:15 PM on October 20, 2021.
- There were almost no mosquitos today!
- Reminder: Lovelace Drive - past the Fern Glen - has been opened to traffic again.
- Note that the grounds close Nov. 1 for the winter.
- This week's trail report covers the Wappinger Creek Trail side of the trail system.
- A stroll along the Carriage House Drive produced no butterflies, but numerous smaller things were in the air around that tall tree.
- They were ladybugs, which are beetles actually, and not one species, but a whole family with some 450 species in North America. This may have been a winter congregation forming.
- The view from the Gifford trailhead was of many bare trees and few leaves with any color.
- Some color was on the Sedge Meadow Trail in the form of rose hips on multiflora rose.
- A little farther along, old gray dogwood berries were no longer plump and creamy white.
- Orange splashed the side of the path as it headed into the woods.
- Invasive Oriental bittersweet was just winding up for its autumn display.
- Behind it, invasive burningbush was well under way.
- On the other side of the path, a dragonfly soaked up some sun.
- Leaves were down on the boardwalk, but there was no color to speak of.
- Among a mob of chickadees and kinglets were several yellow-rumped warblers.
- "Confusing fall warblers" can be frustrating, but sometimes there is confirmation.
- A search for color in the Sedge Meadow yielded some good yellow in the back.
- That was typical of maple - or it usually is.
- Closer was an all but bare red maple.
- The remaining dozen leaves were doing a nice job against the clear blue sky.
- Bare trees bordered the back Old Hayfield.
- Something bright dropped into the grass in front: a clouded sulphur, a female by the spotted black margin.
- Among the half dozen or so of them were a few orange sulphurs as well.
- A song sparrow was intently examining a goldenrod.
- Then it was off to the trail through the Old Pasture.
- Color was scant in the leaves, but bright red was in gray dogwood berry stems.
- Texture, more than color, was the appeal of little bluestem - especially with the lighting.
- Of course, winterberry was still lurking at the far edge.
- It seems under rated in spite of its long lasting, handsome fruit.
- A hand lens was useful in examining the hairy veins on the leaves below, as described in the books.
- The view from the bluff over the Wappinger Creek is always nice regardless of the foliage.
- At the bottom of the hill, witch hazel was in the air and was providing some color.
- A search for the flowers was challenging, but something in the background was interesting.
- The peculiar fruit of ironwood - the one also called musclewood for the appearance of its trunks and branches.
- Finally, a lone witch hazel flower. By the smell in the air, there must have been more around...
- In the floodplain, bare stalks of invasive Japanese stilt grass had shed their seed. The telltale leaves remained to help distinguish them from other grasses.
- At trail marker 10, the witch's butter was finally showing its age.
- The biscuit-like mushrooms still looked fresh out of the oven.
- Next week: the Cary Pines Trail the side of the trail system.