Along the Air Line... 2009 - Spring, Part 6
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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May 6th. Today after days of rain I explored a less travelled section of the trail in Colchester.













Mosses were lush after the rain.



This is Peat Moss (Sphagnum sp.).






A small American Toad (Bufo americanus) blends in with fallen oak leaves.






Dwarf Ginseng (Panax trifolius).






Duskywing Skippers (Erynnis sp.) are common along the trail at this time of year.



Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodius).









May 11th. Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula).



Two Orioles interact.



A Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) stands guard a few feet from the nest hole.






The male Red-winged Blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) seem more tolerant of (or less distracted by) passersby lately.



Pink Lady's Slipper Orchids (Cypripedium acaule) are just opening.



Some have begun to color up but are still not fully mature.



Canada Mayflower (Mianthemum canadense).



Morrow's Honeysuckle (Lonicera morrowii), a common invasive plant.



Buttercups (Ranunculus acris).



Solomon's Seal (Polygonatum biflorum) has two flowers originating near each pair of leaves on the stem. It's less common than False Solomon's Seal (Smilacina racemosa) which has a terminal inflorescence.



Several species of Cherry (Prunus sp.) are blooming now.






Cherry attracts lots of insects...



...such as this bee.






...and this striking metallic Halictid bee.









A female Spring Azure (Celastrina argiolus).



The larvae of this Harvester (Feniseca tarquinius) feed on Wooly Alder Aphids. The adults spurn flowers and feed on aphids' "honeydew." A first sighting for me on the trail.



Pond Lily (Nuphar varieagata).









Dandelions (Taraxacum officinale) also attract bees as pollinators.



The common name Dandelion is a corruption of the French "tooth of the lion", named for the jagged tips of each ray flower.






Bluets (Houstonia caerulea).



Fleabane (Erigeron sp.).