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September 30, 2020


Notes and Changes since last report

  • It was 58°F, partly cloudy and windy at 1:30 PM on September 30, 2020.
  • After a long warm and dry spell, 2 inches of rain and a temperature drop came last night.
  • Leaf color had improved over the week, but again birds and butterflies were very quiet today.
  • This week's trail report covers the Wappinger Creek Trail side of the trail system.

The Trails

  • Morning rain had given way to blue skies and the Old Hayfield by Gifford House was drying out.
  • It's hard to pass up a photo of a clouded sulpher - they are always on the move.
  • Toward the back of the field, an almost black squirrel bounded by with a mouthfull of hickory nuts.
  • Right near by were big hickory leaves beginning to turn color.
  • Invasive burningbush was next to them in almost gaudy contrast.
  • A lone milkweed pod stood at the top of an otherwise naked stalk.
  • Virginia creeper was amazingly bright on the side of a tree.
  • At the other corner of the field, dogbane stalks made a network of red.
  • The few remaining yellow dogbane leaves made an interesting contrast in color and texture.
  • Something orange was floating in a sea of yellow, that was goldenrods.
  • It was a monarch. Eventually, there were three.
  • They weren't alone. Among their companions was a dragonfly.
  • Cabbage whites came by occasionally. At one point three met and went up in a spiral and disappeared.
  • Leaves were starting to come down and the boardwalk at the Sedge Meadow made that obvious.
  • The moss had perked up with the rain and was looking lush in the afternoon light.
  • What?! Japanese stilt grass in the path that I have been walking every week?! The flower stalks of this late blooming invasive rise up like warning flags as other grasses die back at this time of year. These died too... they were few and it only took a few minutes to clear the colony.
  • The asters in the Sedge Meadow almost looked like snow at first glance.
  • A small maple out in the middle was showing great color.
  • In the foreground, cinnamon fern was no slouch.
  • Interestingly, bittersweet nightshade was positively purple in the right light.
  • Around the corner in the back Old Hayfield, grape leaves were bright lemon yellow.
  • Surely the path around the edge was all green grass the week before...
  • The sun and wind came and went and the view was of a perfect early autumn afternoon.
  • Sounds of rushing water came up from below the bluff over the Wappinger Creek, full from yesterday's rains.
  • The smell of witch hazel was in the air as the path ran down the hill to the floodplain below.
  • Along the way was a perfect wreath goldenrod. Many had been nipped off, presumably by deer.
  • All the way at the bottom the wind died down and the water smoothed out. It actually started to feel a little warm.
  • Next week: The Cary Pines Trail side of the trail system.


  • 2 Ring-necked Pheasant
  • 2 Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • 1 Blue Jay
  • 1 American Crow
  • 1 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 1 White-breasted Nuthatch
  • 1 Carolina Wren
  • 4 Gray Catbird
  • 1 Eastern Towhee
  • 1 American Goldfinch
  • 4 Cabbage White
  • 8 Clouded Sulphur
  • 1 Orange Sulphur
  • 4 Pearl Crescent
  • 3 Monarch
  • 1 Witch hazel