Along the Air Line... 2002 - July, Part 3
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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Stan Malcolm Photo

 


Just for a change, I'll pause in the parade of seasonal flowers to focus on some leaves. Seedling Oaks (Quercus sp.) have a lot of color to offer.

Wild Grapes (Vitis sp.) show a striking contrast in their upper and lower surfaces.

The wild Lettuce (Lactuca canadensis) has bolted into spikes taller than a person.

Spreading Dogbane (Apocynum androsaemifolium) is a great collector of dew.

And now for the sky.

Easing back into the summer's flowers, here are the buds of Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis).

And now its remarkable flowers.

Spotted Knapweed (Centaurea maculosa) is blooming near the Jeremy River bridge.

Steeplebush or Hardhack (Spiraea tomentosa), a close relative of Meadowseet which is lighter in color and with multiple flower clusters.

Like Meadowsweet, Steeplebush's flowers show their Rose family heritage when viewed close up.

Speaking of closeups, check out the remarkable flowers of this Milkweed
(Asclepias sp.).

And how about the subtle pink in this unusual example of Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus carota).

The seedheads are marvelous too. Note how they curve in, protecting the seeds as they mature.

The Spotted Wintergreen (Chimaphila maculata) is finally in full bloom.

As is Bouncing Bet (Saponaria officinalis).

A species of Beardtongue (Penstemon sp.) showing its last flowers of the season - the stems and leaves have mostly dried up. Beardtongues are in the Snapdragon family (the Scrophulariaceae) which are sometimes confused with mints.

Another member of the Scrophulariaceae, Square-Stemmed Monkey-Flower (Mimulus ringens).

Butter and Eggs or Toadflax (Linaria vulgaris) - yet another "Scroph". Note the resemblance to garden snapdragons.

Selfheal (Prunella vulgaris), a member of the Mint Family (Labiatae).

Common St. Johnswort (Hypericum perforatum).

Spotted Touch-me-not, or Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis) gets its common name because when the seed pods ripen they burst open at the slightest touch, spreading seeds for a fair distance. (It's great fun.) Gardeners will recognize the genus since there are many ornamental varieties.

Goldenrod (Solidago sp.) is already in bloom. My wife has always thought of Goldenrod as signaling the end of summer - but we're not there yet!

For me the red male Common Skimmers (Sympetrum sp.) always foretold the end of summer. Oh, oh, another sign that the season is marching along. (Female Sympetrum are brown-bodied.)

One morning after a too-rare rain, the spider webs were jeweled with water droplets. Note the rainbow coloration in this first picture.

Although there are a few more days in July, I'm off on a business trip for most of them. Here's a sneak preview of coming attractions.

Joe-Pye Weed (Eupatorium sp.) is in bud.

Ironweed (Veronica noveboracensis) has marvelous dark purple flowers in loose clusters. Its just starting to bloom.