Along the Air Line... 2011 - Summer, Part 1
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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Stan Malcolm Photo



June 25th.  Pasture or Carolina Roses (Rosa carolina).






Meadowsweet (Spirea latifolia).






Red Lily Leaf Beetles (Lilioceris lilii) are an invasive species introduced from Europe and spreading through New England after first being sighted in Cambridge, MA in 1992.



The larvae look for all the world like dissolving caterpillar poop.



They're attacking Canada Lilies on the trail.  (They've wiped out my garden lilies for several years now.)



Yellow-throated Vireos (Vireo flavifrons) are active on a nest near the marsh.



The nest exterior features lichen and spider silk.



A better view of the bird.



Elsewhere, a Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum) sits on its nest.



An early instar Cecropia Moth caterpillar on cherry.  The odds of its survival are slim, given the many predators, parasitoids, and diseases out to get it. 
(See my Cecropia Moth life cycle pages.)



American Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis).



Marvelous flowers close up.






Carrion-flower (Smilax herbacea) berries will turn dark blue-black when ripe.



June 25th.  Sweet Peas (Lathyrus odoratus) at Cranberry Bog in East Hampton.









Great Knapweed (Centaurea scabiosa).






Round-leaved Pyrola (Pyrola americana).



The delicate white blossoms don't hold up well in the wet weather we've had recently.



Just west of Smith Street, I found two shrubs that I think are Raspberries (Rubus sp.), though each differs from the other.  This first one was very spiny and still in bud...



...while this one had far fewer thorns and berries that were nearly mature.



Crown Vetch (Coronilla varia) has also suffered from the lousy weather.



East of Cranberry Bog, the forested trail is very lush.



Ferns are especially nice.









An afternoon walk from the commuter lot on Rt 149 near Rt 2, west to the brownstone bridge over River Road.  A Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis) feeding on fresh dog poop.



Birdfoot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) in the pea family.



White Sweet Clover (Melilotus alba).



Cultivated Day-lily (Hemerocallis fulva).






Cattails (Typha latifolia) are blooming.



Bright yellow wind-borne pollen is produced above the pale green female flowers.  The latter expand and turn brown as the seeds mature.



Shinleaf (Pyrola elliptica), the second Pyrola species I've seen today.






Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) blossoms are very elaborate.



Common St. Johnswort (Hypericum perforatum).



Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta).



Blue Toadflax (Linaria canadensis).



A Hog-nosed Snake (Heterodon platirhinos) beginning its defensive display.



They flatten their body...






...curl their tail, and hiss.  (If that doesn't work, they will often roll over and play dead.)



Listen for the hiss towards the end and watch as the body deflates.