Along the Air Line... 2013 - Spring, Part 7
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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Stan Malcolm Photo

 

 

May 13th.  Pink Lady's-slipper Orchid (Cypripedium acaule).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Various detailed views:  Note all the sticky-tipped hairs, reminiscent of sun-dews.

 

 

One of the paired pollinia (pollen balls).  These are transferred to a bee as it is forced through the nattow exit of the flower, then deposited on another flower.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The pouch is split to act as a one-way entrance for pollnators.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Same photo, adjusted for aesthetics versus accuracy.

 

 

Ditto.

 

 

 

 

 

Red Chokeberry (Photinia pyrifolia).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Golden Alexanders (Zizia aurea).

 

 

Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapilla) amid unfurling Hickory leaves and flowers.

 

 

Beaver "lollipops" (see beaver video below for demonstration).  Yellow Pond Lilies (Nuphar variegatum).

 

 

 

 

 

May 14th.  A Beaver (Castor canadensis) out in broad daylight.  Unusual, but perhaps there are kits to feed.

 

 

 

 

 

Swimming, then feeding on a pond lily, and finally a couple of splashes. Beavers eat yellow pond lilies much like we eat a popsicle: holding it in their paws by the stem, eating the blossom, and discarding "the stick".

 

 

May 15th.  Morning at Raymond Brook Marsh.  A male Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula) searching for insects on highbush blueberry.

 

 

His mate was nearby.

 

 

Lots of Gray Catbirds (Dumetella carolinensis) around.

 

 

This male was singing high above me.

 

 

 

 

 

Nearby, his mate (presumably) held a paper-thin dry leaf in its beak, perhaps to incorporate into a nest.

 

 

 

 

 

How different from just weeks ago.

 

 

Fiddleheads unfurling.

 

 

A male Mallard in the channel.

 

 

I could use some help IDing this bird.

 

 

Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula)...

 

 

...one of a pair.

 

 

Later in the morning, a walk west from Grayville Road to Judd Brook, checking on another Lady's-slipper Orchid patch - hoping it would be free of poison ivy so that I could get closer for photos.  Lots to see along the way, like this Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nodding Trillium (Trillium cernuum).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rue Anemone (Thalictrum thalictroides).

 

 

Hooked Crowfoot (Ranunculus recurvatus) or a similar small flowered buttercup.

 

 

 

 

 

Dandelion puff.

 

 

Dwarf Ginseng (Panax trifolius).

 

 

So easily passed by along the trail; so pretty close up.

 

 

 

 

 

I'm pretty sure this is Red Baneberry (Actaea rubra).

 

 

Grove Sandwort (Moehringia lateriflora).

 

 

Bud scales and expanding leaves of Hickory.

 

 

Finally, the Pink Lady's-slipper Orchids I came for. Most of them still pale; I'll have to return in a few days.

 

 

The orchid patch was poison ivy free, thankully, but elsewhere it's rampant and lush.

 

 

This bee had been feeding in a Dandelion flower; can you tell?

 

 

A small Caddisfly (Order Tricoptera).

 

 

 

 

 

Several kinds of beetle larvae under loose bark.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A scrap of barbed wire tangled in a fallen tree.  A little internet digging identifies it as Thomas V. Allis "Narrow Width Buckthorn Ribbon", patented July 26, 1881.