Along the Air Line... 2009 - Spring, Part 3
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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April 17th, afternoon. Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara) is in bloom - one of the earliest spring flowers, it blooms before the leaves develop.






Ornamental Daffodils (Narcissus sp.) were planted in many spots along the trail. While I applaud the sentiment, they seem jarringly out of context to me.



The first Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris) blossom of the year. (Why does it seem that so many spring flowers are yellow?)



A weedy plant in the Mustard family (Brassicaceae). The flowers are about 1/8th inch across.






With temperatures around 70 degrees, Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta) were basking in the sun.



All were posed with their backs to the sun.









A Green Frog (Rana clamitans) submerged in a trail-side ditch.



This Mourning Cloak (Nymphalis antiopa) overwintered as an adult, having emerged from its chrysalis late last summer or early fall. They find shelter in crevaces or hollow trees, emerging on the earliest warm days. Ragged condition reveals its advanced age (for a butterfly).



Common Blue Violet (Viola sororia).



April 19th. Small White Violets (Viola macloskeyi) first in bloom today.






Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) make pretty reliable weathervanes, always seeming to perch facing the wind.






April 22nd. A Beaver (Castor canadensis) heads for its lodge as the day brightens up.






Spider webs are yet another sign of spring.






A resident Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) pair.



Multiflora Roses (Rosa multiflora) are leafing out. Note how the jagged edges of each leaflet attract rainwater and dew away from the main leaf surface. Such structures are called "drip tips."