Along the Air Line... 2011 - Summer, Part 3
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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Stan Malcolm Photo



June 30th. An afternoon walk down the Colchester Spur.  Great-spangled Fritillaries (Speyeria cybele) were active on Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca).















This Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) has multiple Milkweed pollinia stuck to each hind foot.  As I took this photo, the bee was temporarily stuck to the flower until another pollinium broke free.



This Plume Moth (Family Pterophoridae, probably the Grape Plume Moth - Geina periscelidactylus) is missing its left rear leg.  The leg probably could be found wedged into a Milkweed flower, having broken off the moth in a "struggle" with a firmly attached pollinium.



I'm guessing a Tortricid moth, but I can't determine which one.  Help?



A budding Fly Agaric (Amanita muscari).



A Bolete.  (Doesn't it look like a juicy peach?)



Prunella or Self-heal (Prunella vulgaris).



An orchid; perhaps the introduced Helleborine (Epipactis helleborine).  If so, it's a pretty scrawny specimen.



Helleborine buds open as mauve and green flowers.



Indian Pipes (Monotropa uniflora).






Two species of Hawkweed.  This one had leaves ascending the stem and is probably Panicled Hawkweed (Hieracium paniculatum).



This species had a basal rosette of leaves (Hieracium sp.).



Hog Peanut (Amphicarpa bracteata) is harmless (though it spreads rampantly in disturbed ground), despite superficially looking like Poison Ivy.



July 1st.  A lovely early evening at the marsh.



Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) is anything but common.  Who could ask for more beauty and scent in a flower?



A couple of Canada Lilies (Lilium canadense) have escaped the Lily Leaf Beetles, though their leaves are gone.






This time of year, it's a jungle out there.  In this backlit photo, Wild Lettuce, Fern, and Grape predominate.



Sumac (Rhus sp.) looks fantastic with light coming through it.






A Loosestrife.



Oriental Beetle (Anomala orientalis), an introduced species of scarab that feeds on grass roots as a larva, similarly to Japanese Beetles.



The Tiger Swallowtail larva remains still.  I've yet to catch it feeding.  (See earlier pictures at Summer 2011, PART 2.)



July 2nd. The caterpillar has molted.  That's its previous head capsule off to the left.  Presumably the remaining shed skin has fallen away.



The capsule preserves all the detail - hairs, mouthparts and attachment collar of the head anatomy.



July 3rd. A Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodius) retreats from the camera...






...but not very far.






A female Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) perched above the marsh.






A little later, another female (or the same one?) swims near her nearly full grown brood.  (Most of the young show the beginnings of male markings.)



A young Eastern Cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus).



A Northern Water Snake (Nerodis sipedon) crossing the trail (to get to the other side).



Red Lily Leaf Beetles (Lilioceris lilii) continue to destroy the Canada Lilies.



A female Meadowhawk dragonfly (Sympetrum sp.).  Females of three species are essentially indistinguishable.



The Tiger Swallowtail caterpillar remains secure on its silken mattress.



Delaware Skipper (Anatrytone logan).



July 5th.  The Tiger Swallowtail was off its silk mattress.  Now where is it?



Ah, on a new mattress in a bit more secluded spot.  It's clearly bigger now, and size can be judged by the nearby Flower Fly.  I'd guess that it's nearly large enough to transform into a chrysalis.  I wonder if I'll be able to find it then.



July 6th. An Eastern or Red-spotted Newt (Notophthalmus viridescens).  Juvenile versions, called Red Efts, are terrestrial and serve as a dispersal stage.  They're bright orange with the same black-bordered red spots as the adults.  Newts are adult Salamanders of the subfamily Pleurodelinae and are mostly aquatic.  (This species spends most of its time in water.)



Goat's-beard (Tragopogon pratensis); a first for the trail.



The seed head resembles a Dandelion puff - only much larger; roughly 3" across.



Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus carota).



July 7th.  The Tiger Swalowtail caterpillar is larger every day.  Surely it will transform to a chrysalis soon. (Continued on Summer 2011, PART 4.)



Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) take a morning coffee break.