January, 2012 - Trail Report Archive

Notes and changes since last report:

  • It was cloudy, 50° and calm at 1:30 PM on October 31, 2012.
  • There was a fair amount of damage from hurricane Sandy, mostly on the Cary Pines Trail.
  • Today was the last day of the season the grounds were open to the public. Grounds reopen April 1, 2013.

The Trails

  • It was cool and gray as I looked back while heading towards the Scotch Pine Alleé.
  • I knew picking up sticks from the storm would warm me up and I could see the first up ahead.
  • The bigger ones I would leave for the guys with equipment.
  • As I continued, I could see more ahead.
  • Close up, it was bigger than it had appeared.
  • It was actually picturesque from some angles.
  • The rest of the way to the Fern Glen was just sticks.
  • There I could hear the water under the bridge, but it wasn't that high really - we'd only had 1/2 inch of rain.
  • The wind, however, had removed all the leaves of last week's interesting Solomon's seal.
  • Continuing out on the Cary Pines Trail, I came upon the next large tree down.
  • So intent was I on clearing branches from the path that I was almost startled when I noticed another knot of fallen trees in front of me.
  • Then I came upon the biggest pile of the day.
  • Even the view from the other side doesn't convey the size; this was several double or triple trees that fell across each other... centered on the path.
  • This was just uphill from the Acid Rain kiosk - on one side of which lie a dead tree...
  • ... and on the other, a fallen hemlock.
  • There was nothing sizable along the Wappinger Creek Trail or through the Old Pasture until the Sedge Meadow Trail where lie the last piece of an elm that had been collapsing all summer.
  • An optimistic note to end this last walk of the season was in the front Old Hayfield: a single yarrow with fresh, untouched blossoms.
Gifford grounds
Storm damage on the Scotch Pine Allee
Storm damage on the Scotch Pine Allee
Storm damage on the Scotch Pine Allee
Storm damage on the Scotch Pine Allee
Storm damage on the Scotch Pine Allee
Bridge at the Fern Glen
Solomon's seal leafless
Storm damage on Cary Pines Trail
Storm damage on Cary Pines Trail
Storm damage on Cary Pines Trail
Storm damage on Cary Pines Trail
Storm damage on Cary Pines Trail
Storm damage on Wappinger Creek Trail
Storm damage on Wappinger Creek Trail
Storm damage on Sedge Meadow Trail


  • 1 Mourning Dove
  • 3 Downy Woodpecker
  • 2 Blue Jay
  • 3 American Crow
  • 13 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 5 Red-breasted Nuthatch
  • 5 White-breasted Nuthatch
  • 1 Brown Creeper
  • 4 Golden-crowned Kinglet
  • 1 Eastern Bluebird
  • 5 Fox Sparrow
  • 3 Dark-eyed Junco
  • It was overcast, 55° and calm at 2:00 PM on October 24, 2012.
  • Peepers continued to peep this week. Katydids I didn't hear until night fall.
  • Bull frogs were still active in the Fern Glen pond.
  • The colors of Japanese barberry and burning bush dominated the landscape.

  • Fans of old barns should like the Old Pump House with Japanese barberry, a bush honeysuckle and burning bush - both of Asian origin - in front of it.
  • The calls of a couple crows drew my attention overhead; a loose cloud of about 75 passed westward.
  • In the back Old Hayfiled was barberry in a more usual red.
  • But scattered through the woods, were all shades between orange and red.
  • The view from the bluff above the Wappinger Creek was worth stopping for.
  • Down in the flood plain was the best witch hazel blooms I'd seen this year.
  • Close and relax your eyes; when you open them try to focus on the main branch for a 3D view.
  • Burning bush was striking along the creek.
  • A favorite spot of the Ecology Camp kids provided access to the Creek and a bench for the weary.
  • I found myself looking back up through the same barberry that I'd looked down at earlier from the edge of the back Old Hayfield.
  • The path up to the Carriage House was thick with burning bush of a paler pink.
  • But it was the Cary Pines Trail that I followed, where a pair of oak seedlings caught my eye.
  • One had intricate patterns highlighting its veins.
  • The other's leaves were drab until the bright red petioles.
  • More bright red was poking out of the pine needles on the forest floor: partridge berry.
  • In the Fern Glen, hobblebush leaves were subtile in their beauty.
  • The view of the pond was interesting from across the limestone cobble.
  • Great Solomon's seal provided an exotic texture.
  • Finally, a maple-leaved viburnum with berries!
  • A surprise was all the bullfrogs out around the pond.
  • Except for the family of red-breasted nuthatch, the path was quiet all the way through the old Gravel Pit until opening to the Little Bluestem Meadow... under a bough of burning bush.
Old Pump House
Japanese Barberry
Japanese Barberry
View from the bluff over Wappinger Creek
Witch hazel and burning bush
Witch hazel in 3D
Favorite Ecology Camper destination on Wappinger Creek
Burning bush
Japanese barberry
Burning bush
Young oak
Young oak
Young oak
Fern Glen pond
Great Solomon's seal
Maple-leaved viburnum
Bull frogs
Little Bluestem Meadow


  • 1 Red-tailed Hawk
  • 1 Downy Woodpecker
  • 75 American Crow
  • 12 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 7 Red-breasted Nuthatch
  • 7 Golden-crowned Kinglet
  • 2 American Robin
  • 4 White-throated Sparrow


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