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September 29, 2021

Silver-spotted Skipper Caterpillar

Notes and Changes since last report

  • It was 62°F, partly cloudy, and windy at 1:00 PM on September 29, 2021.
  • As last week, birds and butterflies were down, but mushrooms were around.
  • Mosquitos were not too bad today.
  • This week's trail report covers the Cary Pines Trail side of the trail system.

The Trails

  • The afternoon sun on the Wappinger Creek at trail marker 10 seemed much lower than the time of day justified.
  • On the rise above, witch's butter had expanded since last week.
  • Nearby, some mushrooms resembled English muffins.
  • Last week's weary Old Man of the Woods was hardly recognizable now.
  • By the ridge above the gorge, coral fungus was just getting started.
  • Off the side, a tall, tan mushroom looked familiar.
  • Another set of mushrooms might have resembled pancakes a little earlier.
  • Velvety texture and color made a lone mushroom stand out.
  • The gills were a nice touch too.
  • A patch of sunlight lit up a small fern at the base of a big tree.
  • One frond of hay-scented fern seemed to rise to embrace the last sun of the day.
  • The Fern Glen Pond was clear to the bottom.
  • A frog in the grass knew exactly which way to the pond.
  • Ostrich fern was leaking between the rocks and heading for the water, too.
  • Along the side of the pond, fake eye-spots of a silver-spotted skipper caterpillar peered out of its winter "hibernaculum".
  • Off the edge of the fen's boardwalk stood a poison sumac.
  • Its leaves were beginning to take on some color.
  • Around the corner, winterberry was getting bright.
  • Birds seem to favor other fruits, leaving these berries through the winter as a last choice.
  • Striped alder sawfly larvae were on witch hazel. They resemble caterpillars, but the typical curl of the abdomen is one clue that they are sawflies.
  • Just at the exit of the path through the Old Gravel Pit stood a pair of almost pure white mushrooms.
  • And across the Little Bluestem Meadow, Gifford House was dwarfed by its surrounding oaks and maples.
  • Next week: the Wappinger Creek Trail the side of the trail system.


  • 1 Downy Woodpecker
  • 3 Eastern Phoebe
  • 1 Blue Jay
  • 1 Golden-crowned Kinglet
  • 1 Clouded Sulphur
  • 1 Striped alder sawfly