Along the Air Line... 2011 - Summer, Part 6
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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Stan Malcolm Photo

 

 

July 19th.  A White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) near the Route 85 trailhead.

 

 

Hedge Bindweed (Convolvulus sepium).

 

 

Grapes (Vitus sp.) are full sized but won't be ripe for months.

 

 

A summer brood of Red-spotted Purples (Limenitis arthemis astyanax) has begun emerging.

 

 

The red spots are on the underside of the wings.

 

 

The small Tiger Swallowtail caterpillar has doubled in size and changed from brown to mostly green.  I can't tell if it molted or just changed color as the skin stretched.

 

 

 

 

 

The large Tiger Swallowtail caterpillar was active on its silk mattress, nodding its head from side to side.

 

 

A few minutes later, it was gone...

 

 

...but only up the stem to another leaf...

 

 

...where it began feeding.

 

 

 

 

 

Also on Cherry, I noticed this tiny Lace Bug (Family Tingidae).  The body is flared and reticulated, somewhat resembling lace especially in lighter colored species.

 

 

Small yellow flowers atop tall stalks of deeply cut leaves make this Wild lettuce (Lactuca canadensis).

 

 

Looking closely at the flower, you can see the resemblance to Dandelion.  They're in the same family.  Like Dandelion, the seeds expand into a miniature puff.

 

 

Evening-Primrose (Oenothera biennis) has begun blooming.  The flowers close by mid-morning usually.

 

 

Sweet Pepperbush or Summersweet (Clethra alnifolia).

 

 

A White-tailed Deer in the warm evening light.

 

 

Groundnut (Apios americana).

 

 

 

 

 

Heat haze sunset.

 

 

July 21st. The cast nymphal skin of a Buffalo Treehopper (Stictocephala sp.). 
Click here to see the adult form.

 

 

The large Tiger Swallowtail caterpillar is preparing to transform into a chrysalis.  The color has changed to brown.  It has attached itself to a cherry twig by a loop of silk around the first abdominal segment and a button of silk at the tip of the abdomen.

 

 

The head capsule and thoracic true legs appear to be empty now, and the abdominal prolegs are pretty much contracted into the body wall.  These structures will be radically transformed or absent in the chrysalis and butterfly.

 

 

July 22nd.  The Tiger Swallowtail caterpillar transformed into a chrysalis overnight.

 

 

Many of the adult butterfly structures are now visible on the surface...

 

 

...as identified here.

 

 

 

 

 

A White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) doe and fawn breakfast on an aquatic salad.  Barely 7:30 and heat haze partly obscures them.

 

 

 

 

 

July 23rd. Bouncing Bet (Saponaria officinalis).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Young male Wood Ducks (Aix sponsa) squabble.

 

 

 

 

 

Possibly a female or young Scarlet Tanager (Piranga olivacea).

 

 

A Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodius) beside the beaver lodge.

 

 

July 23rd. A Primrose Moth (Schinia florida) on, what else, Evening Primrose (Oenothera sp.).

 

 

 

 

 

They always rest head down in the blossoms, looking a bit like a flower themselves.

 

 

 

 

 

Eggs are laid and larvae feed on flower buds exclusively.

 

 

 

 

 

Bees find Evening Primrose attractive...

 

 

...and the flowers are attractive too, at least early in the day.

 

 

The moths remain inside through the day when the flowers close up.  Then they're very hard to detect from any distance at all.

 

 

 

 

 

Tiny Weevils (Family Curculionidae) were all over the Evening Primrose buds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wild Lettuce (Lactuca sp.) seed heads...

 

 

 

 

 

...open up to reveal their affinity with other Asteraceae like Dandelions.

 

 

Back for an evening walk.  A chance to see the Evening Primrose Moth's head, now that yesterday's blossom has shriveled away.

 

 

Sunset over the marsh.

 

 

July 24th.  Chicory (Cichorium intybus).  Look for it early in the day; the flowers fade to white later.

 

 

July 25th. A female Katydid (Family Tettigoniidae) performs a high wire act...

 

 

...before moving on to a White Oak leaf.