Along the Air Line... 2007 - Spring, Part 2
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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April 13th. Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus) is in bloom, with leaves just starting to emerge on some plants. The flowers are on the yellow globe-like structure (spadix) inside the maroon sheathing spathe. The maroon color mimics rotting meat. Combined with a foetid odor, the plants attract flies as pollinators. (Flies are among the earliest insects around in the spring.)



Skunk Cabbage flower sheaths vary widely in color.



April 16th. Heavy rains of a "Nor'easter" have raised the marsh to flood stage.



I hope the beavers' sleeping platform is still above water. I fear many marsh birds have lost their eggs; the third year in a row that abnormally high spring floods have affected broods.



The beaver dam is all but submerged.






Grayville Falls is roaring!









The rushing water and roar are mesmerizing.



Hard to believe I've walked across Raymond Brook at this point in summer.



April 19th. Sunshine and high sixties. Dramatic changes in 3 days. Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara) in bloom today for the first time this year.



Flowers appear long before leaves.



Turtles out sunning...



...and swimming the channel.



April 20th. Seventytwo degrees. Wood Frogs (Rana sylvatica) calling...



...and listening.



Note the circular ripples fore and aft as this frog calls. Note too the mosquito biting its knee.



Red Maple (Acer rubrum) flowers are opening...



...and Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus) leaves are expanding.



April 21st. Male Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) excavating a nest hole.



Elsewhere on the same dead tree, tree swallows were examining old woodpecker holes as nest sites.



April 22nd. A pair of Ring-necked Ducks (Aythya collaris) take flight.



April 24th. A male Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis).






April 25th. A male Yellow-rumped "Myrtle" Warmbler (Dendroica coronata). Lots of them in the marsh today.