Along the Air Line... 2017 - Summer, Part 4
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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Stan Malcolm Photo

 

 

July 3rd.  Interesting quartet of birds in this photo.  At the upper right, a Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) is just leaving.

 

 

The Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodius) was periodically being harassed by a male Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)...

 

 

...and the Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) was unmoved by all the drama.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A warbler.  Maybe a young Pine Warbler (Dendroica pinus)?  (No!  Corrected to immature Orchard Oriole (Icterus spurius) by Russ Smiley.  Thanks, Russ!)

 

 

 

 

 

Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui).

 

 

Bracted Plantain or Buckhorn (Plantago aristata).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common Mullein (Verbascum thapsus)...

 

 

...with a Bumble Bee (Family Bombidae)...

 

 

...and a Solitary Bee (Family Halictidae) I think.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wild Indigo (Baptisia tinctoria).

 

 

Hoary Frostweed (Crocanthemum bicknellii).

 

 

Rabbit's-foot Clover (Trifolium arvense).

 

 

 

 

 

White Sweet Clover (Melilotus alba)...

 

 

...with an Ant.

 

 

Round-leaved Pyrola (Pyrola rotundifolia)...

 

 

...or Shinleaf (Pyrola elliptica).

 

 

Jewelweed or Spotted Touch-me-not (Impatiens capensis).

 

 

Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus carota) in bud...

 

 

...and a segment of the inflorescence in flower.

 

 

Tall Meadow Rue (Thalictrum pubescens).

 

 

A few days left, at most, for the Poke Milkweed (Asclepias exaltata) flowers.

 

 

 

 

 

On the underside of one leaf, I found these True Bug (Order Hemiptera) eggs...

 

 

...and these, with the addition of an Acanaloniid Planthopper nymph (Family Acanaloniidae)...

 

 

...and this silken spider egg case.

 

 

Yellow Goat's-beard (Tragopogon pratensis) in bloom on the Colchester spur.

 

 

 

 

 

After blooming, it will produce a dandelion-like seed head nearly 3" across.

 

 

A Sweat Bee (Agapostemon virescens).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three diseased Gypsy Moth (Lymantria dispar) caterpillars, dying in this case...

 

 

...dead...

 

 

...and more dead, if that's possible.  At home today, I began to see male Gypsy Moths flying, but so far not in great numbers.

 

 

July 4th.  Green Frog (Rana clamitans).

 

 

July 5th.  A male Blue Dasher dragonfly (Pachydiplax longipennis).

 

 

July 6th.  Canada Lilies (Lilium canadense) have just started blooming.  No sign of the invasive Red Lily Beetles that have devoured them in past years.

 

 

 

 

 

July 8th.  White-tailed Deer doe (Odocoileus virginanus).

 

 

July 9th.  Swallows gathered in a favorite dead tree in the marsh.

 

 

Mostly Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor), but a couple of Barn Swallows (Hirundo rustica) too.

 

 

Goldenrod (Solidago sp.) has begun to bloom.

 

 

 

 

 

A female Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) with a mouthful a bugs.

 

 

A male Blue Dasher dragonfly (Pachydiplax longipennis), one of many near the Route 85 trail head.

 

 

Nearby, a female Slaty Skimmer (Libellula incesta).

 

 

July 10th.  Again at the trail head, this time a male Slaty Skimmer (Libellula incesta).

 

 

Four pictures taken "off-trail" to finish up the Gypsy Moth story.  Near my home I've seen only a single adult female with an egg mass.  Dead caterpillars abound on tree trunks, withered to husks.  Many of the defoliated oaks are putting out a fresh flush of leaves.

 

 

I've seen a small number of males - typically in flight; they're rarely still.

 

 

This male is easier to see.

 

 

Check out the enormous (for the moth's size) plumose antennae, used to detect female pheremones.