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September 03, 2019

Notes and Changes since last report

  • It was 82°F, partly cloudy and calm at 2:15 PM on Septemper 3, 2019.
  • Rain was in the forecast for Wednesday, so today - Tuesday - was the walk.
  • There were a few signs of Fall, still small enough to ignore.
  • This week's trail report covers the Wappinger Creek Trail side of the trail system.

The Trails

  • I was greeted in the Gifford House parking lot with, "Did you see the hawk on the lamp post?"
  • Well, How about that? A red-tailed hawk!
  • The front Old Hayfield, having been mowed last week, didn't promise much.
  • But a tiny clump of wild bergamot had been noticed by a great spangled fritillary.
  • Then on the far side, a Peck's skipper was basking in the stubble.
  • At the beginning of the Sedge Meadow Trail there was something unfamiliar, maybe a dogwood? Have to keep an eye on this next season.
  • A little farther along, pokeweed berries were starting to ripen.
  • Looking out across the fields, one could see - or ignore - the first hint of color in the maple leaves.
  • Similarly, the few leaves on the boardwalk through the swamp could be simply due to a little dry spell...
  • After all, the white snakeroot was still flowering.
  • And the boneset looked fresh and perky, too.
  • The back Old Hayfield looked more green than yellow with goldenrod.
  • A little, day-flying White-banded toothed carpet was feeding on them.
  • Among the blossoms were little Goldenrod flower galls.
  • Inside each was the even tinier larva of a midge.
  • Along the back of the field, Japanese barberry was beginning to turn red.
  • The peculiar fruit of ironwood was still just being green.
  • A dead millipede on top of a stalk? They live in the leaf litter; no millipede in its right mind would climb up a... Wait, there's a fungus that takes over an ant's mind, makes it climb up high and when it dies the fungus erupts and releases its spores into the breezes... Yes, it turns out it's called summit disease and millipedes are susceptible too.
  • Not much farther along was a lively but elusive cricket, the handsome Trig so named after its subfamily, Trigonidiinae.
  • One part of the field was very popular with the dragonflies. Five are in this photo but dozens were in the air.
  • The return leg along the Sedge Meadow Trail included an encounter with an agrimony.
  • It's not just a couple burrs, the whole stalk of them breaks off onto you - usually in the shoe laces. Very annoying.
  • Here was a good view of a plant from last week, rough-leaved goldenrod: growing in a wetland, large lower leaves.
  • Down on the Wappinger Creek Trail was a treat: rattlesnake plantain, grape fern and coral fungus all in a little circle.
  • The view of the Creek from the Appendix, as I like to call Trail Marker 10, was a nice way to conclude this week's walk.
  • Next week: the Cary Pines Trail side of the trail system.
Sightings
Mammals Birds Butterflies Moth Insects Caterpillars Arthropods Fungus Herp Plants Other
1 Red-tailed Hawk 8 Cabbage White 1 Yellow-collared scape moth 1 Handsome trig
1 Mourning Dove 9 Clouded Sulphur
1 Red-bellied Woodpecker 2 Great Spangled Fritillary
1 Eastern Wood-Pewee 2 Monarch
2 Eastern Phoebe 14 Silver-spotted Skipper
3 Blue Jay 1 Peck's Skipper
1 Black-capped Chickadee
1 Carolina Wren
1 House Wren
1 American Robin
6 Gray Catbird
1 Ovenbird
2 Eastern Towhee
5 American Goldfinch