Along the Air Line... 2010 - Spring, Part 1
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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Stan Malcolm Photo

 

 

March 20th.  Spring!  Leaves are popping on Morrow's Honeysuckle.

 

 

Partridgeberry (Mitchella repens) came through the winter in good shape...

 

 

...as did these submerged fern fronds.

 

 

Moss beside the Jeremy River was lush.

 

 

The river was flowing well - a pleasure to see and hear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wood Frogs (Rana sylvatica) by the hundreds were calling in vernal pools along the trail just east or Old Hartford Road and Route 2.

 

 

Mating ("amplexus") finds many males jockying (unfortunate term) for position against rare females.

 

 

Amplexus

 

 

 

 

 

Water Striders (Family Gerridae) cast marvelous shadows as the hydrofuge pubescence of their feet dimples the water surface.  Their jerky motion causes radiating ripples.

 

 

Water Striders and their shadows.

 

 

March 22nd. A foggy morning on the marsh. A pair of Hooded Mergansers.

 

 

Listen to the sounds of Spring Peepers and Red-winged Blackbirds as a Canada Goose paddles by.

 

 

Promptly at 8:00 A.M., Hebron town trucks arrived with material to resurface the Colchester Spur.

 

 

March 24th.  Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara) is in bloom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wood Frogs (Rana sylvatica) egg masses.

 

 

 

 

 

Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus) leaves are starting to unfurl, despite the high water.

 

 

March 25th. Red Maple (Acer rubrum) is in flower.

 

 

 

 

 

Stamens are red when they first open, then elongate and reveal yellow pollen as they mature..

 

 

Pussy Willow (Salix discolor) flowers have opened to spread their pollen.

 

 

Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia).

 

 

 

 

 

Canada Geese (Branta canadensis).

 

 

A pair of Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) males crusing by.

 

 

 

 

 

Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus) leaves are maturing fast.

 

 

Inside this flower sheath ("spathe"), you can see a mature Skunk Cabbage flower cluster ("spadix").

 

 

Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) flowers give a yellow cast to the understory in wet woods.

 

 

Only a few of the flowers have begun to open.

 

 

American Robin (Turdus migratorius).

 

 

I don't recognize these evergreen leaves.  Any ideas?  They remind me of Pyrola.

 

 

This I do recognize, unfortunately. These are the early leaves of invasive Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata).