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September 06, 2018

Notes and Changes since last report

  • It was 87°F, partly cloudy and breezy at 1:30 PM on September 5, 2018.
  • Caterpillars and things that look like them were around today...
  • This week's trail report covers the Wappinger Creek Trail Trail side of the trail system.
  • The Fern Glen will be closed for several weeks while the deck is being replaced.

The Trails

  • The grounds between Gifford and the Carriage House had been mown.
  • The closest shade was at the trail head in the Old Hayfield.
  • A monarch paused for a moment with me.
  • Two monarch caterpillars had reduced a small milkweed to little more than stems. They were moved to a bigger plant.
  • A pair of mating pearl crescents paused on a stalk then flew away together.
  • Something else flew by. It didn't quite look like a grasshopper - it was a praying mantis.
  • Nearby, the bright white of a dogwood sawfly larva was hard to miss.
  • In the shade of the Sedge Meadow Trail, bare hickory leaves were silhouetted against the sky.
  • A casual search turned up a hickory tussock moth caterpillar. There has been recent hype about these venomous creatures invading from Canada and threatening us with pain and injury. The truth is they are common natives of the Northeast. Their hairs may be irritating and some people may have alergic reactions. This is the case with many hairy caterpillars - even the wooly bear. Just treat them all with respect.
  • The Gifford Tenant House Barn was just visible from a rise on the trail.
  • In the back Old Hayfield, puffball was growing in the path.
  • Something white moved in one of the goldenrods along the path.
  • That it had legs was about the only thing one could tell. This needs more research when it's a little cooler.
  • Something else to look into is a common gall on goldenrods.
  • Inside the little ball is a screaming orange larva.
  • Screaming red leaves were in the back of the field: burning bush, an escaped ornamental from Asia.
  • An interesting fly was sunning itself.
  • It was calm enough to allow a front view.
  • A 3/4 size monarch cruised by a little too fast... it had to be a viceroy.
  • Back in the shade of the Sedge Meadow Trail was another familiar caterpillar: that of the white-marked tussock moth.
  • Out on the Wappinger Creek Trail, patches of Japanese stilt grass were getting big.
  • Know this roadside invasive by the shiny mid-rib of the blade.
  • Flower stalks were forming on some. Now is a good time to mow or string trim them down before seeds have a chance to form.
  • Next week: the Cary Pines side of the trail system.
Sightings
Mammals Birds Butterflies Moth Insects Caterpillars Arthropods Fungus Herp Plants Other
1 Great Blue Heron 4 Cabbage White 1 Dogwood Sawfly 1 Hickory tussock moth 1 Japanese stilt grass
1 Red-tailed Hawk 11 Clouded Sulphur 1 Praying mantis 1 Monarch
2 Downy Woodpecker 1 American Copper 1 White-banded tussock moth
1 Eastern Wood-Pewee 2 Spring Azure
1 Red-eyed Vireo 4 Great Spangled Fritillary
2 Blue Jay 17 Pearl Crescent
2 Black-capped Chickadee 1 Viceroy
4 White-breasted Nuthatch 4 Monarch
1 House Wren 3 Silver-spotted Skipper
1 Eastern Bluebird 4 Peck's Skipper
1 Veery 1 Zabulon Skipper
1 American Robin
1 Gray Catbird
4 Eastern Towhee
5 Chipping Sparrow
1 Northern Cardinal
1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
5 American Goldfinch