Along the Air Line... 2013 - Summer, Part 1
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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Stan Malcolm Photo



June 21st.  First day of summer.  Poke Milkweed (Asclepias exaltata).



Crown Vetch (Coronilla varia).  Lots of flowers in the pea family blooming now, as follows.









White Sweet Clover (Melilotus alba).



Yellow Sweet Clover (Melilotus officinalis).



Purple Vetch (Vicia americana).



Ox-eye Daisy (Chrysanthemum leucanthemum).



A particularly pink Daisy Fleabane (Erigeron annuus).



The unfolding seed head of Goat's Beard (Tragopogon pratensis).  The flower vaguely resembles a giant Dandelion.



Pasture or Carolina Rose (Rosa carolina).



Rough-fruited Cinquefoil (Potentilla recta).



Beetle - to be determined.



A Leaf Beetle (Family Chrysomelidae).  Although perched on Milkweed, it probably originated on nearby Alder and is an Alder Leaf Beetle (either Chrysomela mainensis or C. interrupta).



A vaguely wasp-mimetic Longhorn Beetle (Family Cerambycidae).



The dead-leaf undersurface of a summer-form Questionmark (Polygonia interrogationis).



The much brighter upper surface.



Another (or perhaps the same) grasshopper nymph that I photographed yesterday.



A Shield or Stink Bug (Family Pentatomidae).









June 23rd.  I saw two Spring Peepers (Hyla crucifer) on dewy leaves.  Neither one more than a centimeter in length.



This one more clearly shows the dark bar between the eyes and X on the back that confirm the identity.






A Spreadwing Damselfly (Lestes sp.).  (It had its wings spread until I approached for the photo.)






Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) has just started blooming.






The five black structures are corpuscula.  Two golden yellow pollinia (pollen sacks) are joined to each corpusculum.  The whole structure becomes attached to a passing insect and is transported to another flower, affecting pollination.  In flowers that have been open for awhile, the corpuscula and pollinia would be absent.



This Honeybee (Apis mellifera), for instance, has long chains of corpuscula and several pollinia stuck to its feet. 
See for more about milkweed poillination.



Northern Bush-honeysuckle (Diervilla lonicera) is not very showy.  It differes from typical honeysuckles by having toothed leaf margins.



Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) mom and seven "teen" chicks.



An Alder Leaf Beetle (Chrysomela sp., either C. mainensis or C. interrupta).  On Alder.



June 24th. At 7:30 AM, just east of Old Colchester Road, I heard the unmistakable call of a male 17-year Cicada.  Just one, but perhaps more will emerge soon.  However, we are on the fringe of their range so this might have been a fluke. There are 3 species in this "Brood II" emergence, but the male I heard today was Magicicada septendecimHear it for yourself.  Learn more.  See a marvelous video.
(Note, I took this photo in Meriden on June 5th.  I never saw today's cicada.)



June 25th.  Meadowsweet (Spiraea latifolia).



Grass in bloom.  Puffs of pollen at the slightest touch.



June 26th.  Can't resist more pictures of Poke Milkweed (Asclepias exaltata).









On the same milkweed plant, an Orb-weaver spider has captured an Asiatic Garden Beetle (Family Scarabaeidae).



June 29th.  Hot and humiid but a breeze to moderate the Mosquito Experience.












Ox-eye Daisy (Chrysanthemum leucanthemum).



Tall Meadow-rue (Thalictrum polygamum) close up.






Bracted Plantain or Buckhorn (Plantago aristata).