Along the Air Line... 2010 - Spring, Part 6
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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April 12th.  Red Trillium or Wakerobin (Trillium erectum) just west of Route 85 Lumber.



The Darth Vader of the flower world?









Sweet White Violet (Viola blanda) has flowers barely 3/8th inch across.






Eastern Tent Caterpillars (Malacoasoma americanum) have hatched and begun spinning their sheltering webs.



Northern Water Snakes (Nerodia sipedon) have right away on the trail in Raymon Brook Marsh.






Wood Frog (Rana sylvatica) eggs have hatched into tadpoles.






Fern fiddleheads are up.



Continuing my explorations of the Air Line Trail in Lebanon, this is the Kingsley Road crossing looking east towards Willimantic.  Completion is scheduled for this summer.  A short section has been roughly graded but some of it is muddy.



The Lebanon section ends at the Willimantic River bridge.






Decking by Willimantic trail advocates is still in the planning stages.



Along that final section of trail, I saw Common Blue Violets (Viola papilionacea)...



...and perhaps the last Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) flower of the year.  Usually the flowers are long gone before the leaves unfurl... in this case where the flower stalk and developing seed head rests between lobes of the plant's unusual leaf.



A Mayfly (Order Ephemeroptera) landed on the back of my hand.  This is a "sub-imago": essentially an adult capable of flight, it will molt once more to become sexually mature. The true adult's wings will be transparent.  Mayflies are the most ancient order of flying insects with ancestors dating to the Carboniferous (300+ million years ago).  Their nymphs live in water and breathe through gills.  The adults do not feed and live only hours to days at most - thus the Latin translation "brief-wings" for Ephemeroptera.



April 17th.  Back on the trail after a few days off.  Highbush Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum) is blooming.



While many Blueberry bushes show flowers in spring, few produce berries.



Grape (Vitus sp.) leaves are dramatically colored as they unfurl.



Lots of other new leaves are springing from their buds.  The trail is looking green at last.



Looks like Birch (Betula sp.) to me.



April 18th. Almost as colorful as Fall, Spring is a time of pastels.






April 20th. Red Trillium or Wakerobin (Trillium erectum).






Strawberries (Fragaria virginiana).



Various Violets (Viola sp.) are at their peak.









Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema sp.).












Wood Anemone (Anenome quinquefolia).



Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) leaves are expanding; more noticable now.