Along the Air Line... 2017- Spring, Part 11
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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Stan Malcolm Photo

 

 

June 7th.  Checking on the Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) and goslings at Cranberry Bog.

 

 

Five goslings remain of the original six.

 

 

They've grown a lot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blue-eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium sp.).  (Not a grass; it's in the Iris family, Iridaceae.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common Speedwell (Veronica officinalis).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stargrass (Hypoxis hirsuta).

 

 

Ox-eye Daisies (Chrysanthewmum leucanthemum).

 

 

 

 

 

Multiflora Roses (Rosa multiflora).  Their scent is strong.

 

 

 

 

 

Unraveling folded leaves on grape vines, I found these Grapvine Epimenis (Psychomorpha epimenis) caterpillars.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In other folded leaves I found another type of caterpillar.  A hunch and some internet sleuthing led me to the Grape Pume Moth (Pterophorus periscelidactylus).

 

 

They make quite a dense silk nest.  Perhaps this passes as a cocoon; the caterpillar looked about full grown.

 

 

June 8th.  Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula) not far from the nest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Leaf-footed Bug (Acanthocephala terminalis).  Note the oval white speck on its right "shoulder".  That's an egg of a parasitic fly.  When the egg hatches, the maggot will burrow into the bug's body and consume it from within.

 

 

June 9th.  A bee-mimetic Flower Fly (Family Syrphidae, probably Eristalis sp.).  Sorry for the poor quality photo.

 

 

Slugs were out, crossing the trail.

 

 

June 10th.  Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina) laying eggs.

 

 

Stinkpot musk turtle (Sternothaerus odoratus).

 

 

Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) is blooming

 

 

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), covered in dew.

 

 

Froth of Meadow Spittle Bugs (Philaenus spumarius) on Cinquefoil.

 

 

Spittlebug nymphs, like aphids, extract nutrients from plant juices which are low in nutrients.  After extracting what nutrients there are, excess fluid is secreted from the anus.  In spittlebugs, this fluid is mixed with air to create a froth covering the insect.  It serves as a defense against parasitoids and predators, and also keeps the nymph moist.

 

 

Wiping away the froth reveals the nymph.  It is head down in this photo.  You can see a brownish eye at the left, along with yellowish wing buds and the segmented abdomen.

 

 

 

 

 

In side view, you can see the legs.

 

 

A mature Eastern Tent Caterpillar (Malacosoma americanum).  These are usually found on cherry.  Compare it...

 

 

...to the much more common Gypsy Moth caterpillars (Lymantria dispar) defoliating our oaks and many other trees and shrubs.

 

 

June 11th.  A male Common Whitetail dragonfly (Plathemis lydia).

 

 

Three White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) far across the marsh.

 

 

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodius).

 

 

First American Beaver (Castor canadensis) I've seen in a long time.  Unusual for it to be out in bright sunshine.

 

 

A fruiticose Lichen (perhaps Usnea sp.).

 

 

Yellow Sweet Clover (Melilotus officinalis).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 12th.  Snapping Turtles (Chelydra serpentina) are taking advantage of warm weather (at last!) to lay eggs.

 

 

 

 

 

Reared up on its hind legs in defensive (see how big I am!) posture.

 

 

First Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta) I've seen searching for a place to lay her eggs.

 

 

Note the squiggly leach and small snail above and to the left of the turtle's head.

 

 

A White-taild Deer (Odocoileus virginanus) doe far across the marsh.

 

 

I've been spotted.

 

 

Multiflora Roses (Rosa multiflora) climbing high into a maple at the Route 85 trailhead.  The scent is strong.