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October 23, 2019

Notes and Changes since last report

  • It was 60°F, partly cloudy and breezy at 1:00 PM on October 23, 2019.
  • Katydids and spring peepers were still calling.
  • One butterfly was out today: a cabbage white along the edge of the front Old Hayfield.
  • This is the last trail report of the season. It covers the Cary Pines Trail side of the trail system.
  • The grounds close Nov. 1 and should open again April 1.

The Trails

  • A lot of leaves were down when looking out from the Gifford House trailhead.
  • Invasive burningbush was easy to spot now.
  • The sun was actually warm over the Little Bluestem Meadow.
  • Our native little bluestem was waving like grain.
  • Along the Scots Pine Allée, poison ivy was handsome in yellow.
  • And it ranged to red.
  • The snag by the cedar in the corner will often be a bird perch, but not today.
  • One last view of Gifford House across the meadow before diving into the woods.
  • A few mixed flocks of chickadees and kinglets slowed our passage but we arrived at a sunny Fern Glen.
  • The pond begged for a closer look.
  • Golden leaves on black water were striking.
  • Bright spicebush was draped over the rocks along the edge.
  • The path at the back of the pond passed through a glowing mass of sweet pepperbush.
  • Care needed to be taken on the bridges: some were a bit slippery.
  • By the deck along the Wappinger Creek, striped maple was still holding on to its leaves.
  • The view upstream off the stone bridge was pleasant.
  • And a look downstream included the new deck.
  • Delicate maidenhair spleenwort was poking out of the cracks between the rocks.
  • Out of the 'Glen on the Cary Pines Trail, something looked not quite like sumac.
  • Sumac doesn't have leaves with spines...
  • ... nor stems like that - this would be invasive Japanese angelica tree. Beware, there is a similar native plant, devil's walking stick.
  • Farther along, a shelf fungus blended in and was easy to miss .
  • Partridgeberry was abundant.
  • The color of maple-leaved viburnum seems pretty consistent.
  • Out at the "Appendix", the timing was just right to catch the little maple in the sun.
  • Once upon a time a bob cat strolled along that log as I watched from the bench here.
  • Along the Wappinger Creek Trail now, a dark spot on the bark of an ash tree suggested a click beetle.
  • No, it was a chrysalis. With luck, it will spend the winter here and produce a spicebush swallowtail in late spring.
  • We'll look for it then.


  • 1 Turkey Vulture
  • 1 Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • 1 Downy Woodpecker
  • 1 Northern Flicker
  • 5 Blue Jay
  • 2 American Crow
  • 12 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 2 Tufted Titmouse
  • 2 White-breasted Nuthatch
  • 1 Carolina Wren
  • 1 Golden-crowned Kinglet
  • 3 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
  • 1 American Robin
  • 5 White-throated Sparrow
  • 1 Dark-eyed Junco