Along the Air Line... 2010 - Summer, Part 7
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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Stan Malcolm Photo

 

 

September 5th. Closed Gentian (Gentiana andrewsii).

 

 

Nodding Ladies'-tresses orchid (Spiranthes cernua).

 

 

 

 

 

Sawfly larva (Family Tenthredinidae).

 

 

You can tell sawfly larvae from caterpillars because the former have more pairs of abdominal prolegs.

 

 

Small fall Asters (Symphyotrichum sp.).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An unidentified hawk.  Help?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 8th. Turtlehead (Chelone glabra).

 

 

 

 

 

Jewelweed or Spotted Touch-me-not (Impatiens capensis).

 

 

 

 

 

Short-winged Blister Beetle (Meloe angusticollis).  Females have expecially large abdomens and all antennal segments similar.

 

 

The elytra (wing covers) are short and there are no flight wings.  There were at least seven of these beetles within a square meter area beside the trail just west of Raymond Brook Marsh.

 

 

Males have an oddly-shaped segment midway along the antenna.  Both sexes feign death and "reflexively bleed" from their leg joints if disturbed.  Pick one up and you risk blisters to your skin.

 

 

These beetles are clumsy walkers.  (Best viewed fullscreen and at 720p HD quality.)

 

 

(Best viewed fullscreen and at 720p HD quality.)

 

 

A mated pair; larger female at left. The pair remain active in copulo with the female walking forward and the male doing its best to follow walking backward.  (Sorry, no video of this comical act.)  Larvae of these beetles parasitize bees.

 

 

Eastern Ribbonsnake (Thamnophis sauritus), tongue out tasting my presence.

 

 

Monarchs (Danaus plexippus) are fueling up for their long journey.

 

 

Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) seed heads.

 

 

September 11th. Two female Wood Ducks (Aix sponsa), among a dozen or so that frequent the marsh each morning before being spooked by passers by.

 

 

A Great Egret (Ardea alba), the first I've seen on the marsh since August-September 2008.

 

 

I hope this one sticks around for awhile.

 

 

September 12th. Pre-dawn color over the marsh at 5:50 A.M.

 

 

Time-lapse view of pre-dawn colors.

 

 

Listen to the sounds of the marsh as dawn approaches.  Wood Duck calls predominate.  (Earlier, I heard a distant Great Horned Owl.)

 

 

A male Wood Duck (Aix sponsa).

 

 

A strange marsh visitor.  As the sun warms it, perhaps it will float away.