Along the Air Line... 2010 - Fall, Part 4
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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October 20th. The invasive Burning Bush (Euonymus alata) near the Route 85 trailhead.















Maples in multiple hues.









Oaks are starting to turn.


An afternoon walk east from Route 87 in Lebanon.











 a bridge abutment.



Walking on the trail above, this symmetry could easily be missed.  Thanks to the crew in 1918 who constructed this bridge.



Beechdrops (Epifagus virginiana) lack chlorophyll and have only scale-like leaves.  The plant is parasitic on the roots of Beech trees.



A few tiny flowers of Indian Tobacco (Lobelia inflata) reward patient observation.



Note the flower's similar structure to the far more showy Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis).






I came across some very healthy Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana) growing in the disturbed margins of a sandpit.









The end of the line in Lebanon for now: the bridge over the Willimantic River.















October 23rd. A pre-dawn walk by moonlight in to Raymond Brook Marsh... hopes of a sunrise that never really developed.



I did find some Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) in bloom - the first I've ever noticed on the trail.



Not the showiest of flowers.



Witch Hazel twigs are harvested to distill an aromatic astringent.  The largest producer of Witch Hazel is American Distillers in nearby East Hampton, CT.



October 26th.  A brief afternoon walk from Bull Hill Road to the Lyman Viaduct.



Canopy browns of oaks predominate now.






These late colors never fail to remind me of ancient tapestries.



In the sheltered understory, Maples still show color (as do Beechs with their bright yellows).






Remarkably, Morrow's Honeysuckle (Lonicera morrowsi) leaves are still green, contrasting nicely with wine red paired berries.



I was pleased to find several Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis) blossoms hanging in there.