Along the Air Line... 2012 - Summer, Part 1
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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Stan Malcolm Photo

 

 

June 21st.  The first full day of summer and temps close to 100 degrees anticipated.  My first sight of an adult Wood Turtle (Glyptemys insculpta); a species of special concern in Connecticut.

 

 

The raised shell-like scutes are distinctive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The black splotch in the center left of its plastron is a tarry substance, perhaps acquired crossing fresh pavement?  (Head end is at the left.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 23rd. A Great-spangled Fritillary (Spyeria cybele).

 

 

The "spangles" are silver markings on the underside of the hind wings.

 

 

Hey look, a Long-horned Beetle with four antennae...

 

 

...and twelve legs.  Oh.  (Seriously, these pollen-feeding Cerambycid beetles are credible wasp mimics.)

 

 

A Robber Fly (Family Asilidae).

 

 

A male Blue Dasher dragonfly (Pachydiplax longipennis).

 

 

Check out those eyes!

 

 

Poke Milkweed (Asclepias exaltata), a woodland species growning at the Route 85 trail head and several other shady places.

 

 

Morrow's Honeysuckle (Lonicera morrowii) berries are ripe.

 

 

June 24th. Poke Milkweed (Asclepias exaltata); a bit better color than yesterday's photo.

 

 

 

 

 

St. Johnswort (Hypericum perforatum).

 

 

Little Wood-Satyr (Megisto cymela).

 

 

June 25th.  A female Belted Kingfisher (Ceryle alcyon).

 

 

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodius).

 

 

Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta).

 

 

A few Canada Lilies (Lilium canadense) are blooming.  Better than last year when virtually all buds and leaves were consumed by...

 

 

...Lily Leaf Beetles (Lilioceris lilii).  I imagine the young of pairings like this will consume every leaf on these wild lilies, as well as many garden lilies.

 

 

The upper wing surfaces of a Little Wood-Satyr (Megisto cymela).

 

 

A Flower Fly (Family Syrphidae).  Nearly invisible freom a distance on a slender gress stem.

 

 

I count at least three hungry beaks in the Eastrern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus) nest on the old beaver lodge.

 

 

 

 

 

Spreading Dogbane (Apocynum androsaemifolium).

 

 

June 26th.  Lots of activity at and near the Eastrern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus) nest.

 

 

 

 

 

Chicks are still at the fuzzball stage.

 

 

 

 

 

An Eyed Brown (Satyrodes eurydice).

 

 

A bit larger and with a different spot pattern than the Little Wood-Satyr that also is active along trail margins now.

 

 

Both share an erratic "hopping" flight pattern, usually low amid vegetation.

 

 

June 27th.  More Chicory (Chicorium intybus) where the trail crosses Route 207.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 28th. A female Common Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicicollis)  Rarely in insects, the females are brighter colored than the males (which, nevertheless, are a distinctive slate blue).  In this case the bright green is cryptic.

 

 

Looks like an orange phoretic mite deuteronymph clinging to the right metathorax.

 

 

June 30th.  Spotted Touch-me-not or Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis).

 

 

July 1st.  I don't often see Green Herons (Butorides virescens) at Raymond Brook Marsh; typically once or twice a year.

 

 

They may be there, stalking the marsh, but not often where I can see them.

 

 

 

 

 

The Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus) chicks appear about ready to fledge, though still with some baby fluff on their heads.

 

 

July 2nd.  Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodius).

 

 

Some Highbush Blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum) are ripe enough to eat.  Not coincidentally, I'm seeing a lot of chipmunk activity on the trail.

 

 

Comings and goings at the Kingbird nest.  Poop disposal, then food arrives.  Lots of grooming.  Best viewed fullscreen.

 

 

 

 

 

The invasive Tick Trefoil (Desmodium canadense) has started to bloom.  It's "ticks" or seeds will soon be sticking to our clothing and shoes.