Along the Air Line... 2008 - Spring, Part 3
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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Stan Malcolm Photo

 

 

April 19th. Afternoon. Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris), also called Cowslip.

 

 

 

 

 

The Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) flower clusters are now fully open.

 

 

Looking back towards the trail from the far side of Raymond Brook Marsh.

 

 

 

 

 

Green Frogs (Rana clamitans) are out in ditches beside the trail.

 

 

 

 

 

A Stinkpot (Sternothaerus odoratus) crossing the trail.

 

 

From below you can see how "fitted" the legs and tail are to the shape of the plastron - maximizing both movement and protection. (The turtle's head is to the right.)

 

 

A leach was attached near the turtle's hind leg.

 

 

April 20th. Eastern Tent Caterpillars (Malacosoma americanum) have just begun spinning their webs - usually on cherry, apple, or other members of the rose family.

 

 

These caterpillars are less than 1/4" long but will soon grow larger and attract Baltimore Orioles.

 

 

When you see webs in the crotches of trees at this time of year, check the nearby stems to find the egg masses deposited by adult moths last year.

 

 

American Sycamore trees (Platynus occidentalis) have marvelous peeling bark.

 

 

Trout Lilies (Erythronium americanum), also called Dogtooth Violets) are in bud. Note the mottled leaves characteristic of this species.

 

 

April 22nd. The Trout Lilies (Erythronium americanum) are now fully in bloom.

 

 

Growing with these Trout Lilies are Wild Leeks, also called Ramps (Allium tricoccum).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wood Anenome (Anenome quinquefolia).

 

 

Violet (Viola sp.).

 

 

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis).

 

 

I noticed this wasp dragging a spider much larger than itself.

 

 

The paralysed spider was left for awhile as the wasp flew off. As I recall from Fabre's writings, it's typical for wasps to alternate between dragging their prey and working on a burrow some distance away. The spider will serve as food for a developing wasp larva.

 

 

Gill-over-the-ground (Glechoma hederacea).