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September 25, 2019

Notes and Changes since last report

  • It was 71°F, calm and partly cloudy at 12:30 PM on September 25, 2019.
  • A perfect early Fall day but cicadas and katydids were still calling.
  • Leaves were beginning to accumulate on the ground and those above were getting a little more color.
  • This week's trail report covers the Cary Pines Trail side of the trail system.

The Trails

  • It was warm sun and cool air on the way to the Carriage House.
  • Leaves collecting around the corner were a surprise.
  • At the head of the Scots Pine Alée, Virginia creeper was turning red.
  • The Little Bluestem Meadow was full of clouded sulphurs.
  • They seldom open their wings, so backlighting is often the best way to observe the dark forewing margin. The clear spots in the margin ID this as a female.
  • Something small went by... an American copper.
  • Somehow it is the gray underside that is seen in flight. A little gray blur can be really tricky to follow.
  • A cabbage white settled in the sun for a moment. Side by side it is distinct from the sulphur, but on the wing it can be less obvious, especially when the sulphur is a white form female.
  • Off to the other side of the trail, the tree line was taking on more hints of color.
  • In the Old Gravel Pit I found myself surrounded by a dozen black-capped chickadees.
  • A scan for other species in the mix turned up a pair of downy woodpeckers.
  • At the edge of the mob an ovenbird played hide and seek.
  • Eventually it gave a better view.
  • Along the road to the Fern Glen, a blur of orange settled on a Queen Anne's Lace seed head. It was a zabulon skipper.
  • It would dart out and return repeatedly, and at least once for a field guide pose.
  • Shadows and reflections with the low sun on the pond were a study.
  • It was ostrich fern that was responsible for the ladder shadows.
  • The tiny flowers of lopseed were no longer to be found.
  • Instead, the loosely hinged seeds would find a passing leg.
  • The whole plant of enchanter's nightshade is hard to see now.
  • Its seeds seem bigger than the flowers were and stick to legs too. In both species the seeds just brush off and are not as annoying as others that have to be extracted.
  • Out of the 'Glen on the trails again it was easy to spot even the smallest seedling of burning bush.
  • Next week: the Wappinger Creek Trail side of the trail system.


  • 2 Mourning Dove
  • 2 Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • 2 Downy Woodpecker
  • 3 Blue Jay
  • 23 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 2 White-breasted Nuthatch
  • 2 Brown Creeper
  • 1 Gray Catbird
  • 1 Ovenbird
  • 4 American Goldfinch
  • 16 Cabbage White
  • 27 Clouded Sulphur
  • 1 Eastern Tailed-Blue
  • 1 Monarch
  • 1 Zabulon Skipper