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October 21, 2020

Broad Beech Fern

Notes and Changes since last report

  • It was 65°F, cloudy and windy at 2:15 PM on October 21, 2020.
  • By the end of the walk it would be clear and warm with katydids and spring peepers still calling.
  • There were few birds, no butterflies, but finer fall colors than we've had in perhaps several years.
  • This week's trail report covers the Wappinger Creek Trail side of the trail system.
  • Note that the grounds close November 1st. This week's trail report is the last of the season.

The Trails

  • Now is the time of year when the spread of burningbush throughout our woods can really be seen.
  • Japanese barberry was finally getting its color up to speed.
  • The overall effect is more orange and less pink than burningbush. The eye can learn to distinguish between them even at 55 mph.
  • Ah, the maples below Trail Marker 10 were lit up just right today. I was waiting for this.
  • At the head of the Cary Pines Trail, an electric glow turned out to be a leaf in the sun.
  • Other colors in the shade looked unnatural as well.
  • By now the sun was full out on the ridge above the gorge.
  • A peek over the edge revealed mad waters carving a hole in the rocks.
  • The texture of hemlock bark in the afternoon light was stark.
  • In the background, a sapling was glowing for just a few minutes in a beam of sunlight.
  • Shadows across the road above the Fern Glen suggested it might be later than imagined.
  • It was still shining by the parking lot.
  • Some shrubs at the corner were getting some sun.
  • Azalea had buds ready for spring.
  • American hazelnut catkins were prepared as well.
  • The water of the pond was almost black.
  • It made a great mirror along the edge.
  • The path behind the pond made a tunnel through the sweet pepperbush.
  • I might describe the leaves as a pale lemon yellow.
  • A perfect, white broad beech fern stood out against the chaos of fallen leaves.
  • Witch hazel could be smelled from the road.
  • It seemed to be at peak bloom with dense clusters of blossoms.
  • The stone bridge had such a graceful arc across the water.
  • Staghorn sumac leaves seemed to answer the texture of the stones.
  • A seedling in the mortar was reaching out as far as it could.
  • The run through the Old Gravel Pit let out to the classic view of Gifford House across the Little Bluestem Meadow.
  • Maples and oaks along Rt. 44 were catching some last rays of sunlight.
  • The Scots Pine Allée was finished, as was I.
  • Next season: The Wappinger Creek Trail side of the trail system.


  • 1 Great Blue Heron
  • 1 Blue Jay
  • 2 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 12 European Starling
  • 1 Katydid
  • 1 Spring peeper