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

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August 23rd. Back from a working "vacation" in New Hampshire.  (Pictures here.)  I watched a Marbled Orbweaver (Araneus marmoreus) spin her web.


















August 24th.  Another orbweaver, this one only a few millimeters in size.






A few late Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis) blossoms remain.






A Woolly Oak Gall caused by Callirhytis sp., a minute Cynipid wasp (Family Cynipidae).



Gray Dogwood (Cornus racemosa) berries have matured.



The Eastern Comma (Polygonia comma) caterpillar first observed on August 15th (See Summer 2013, Part 6) has about doubled in size and changed color.






August 25th.  A brief, midday visit to Cranberry Bog in East Hampton.  A Primrose Moth (Schinia florida) on Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis).






An ant on Queen-Anne's Lace.



A male Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis), perhaps the most common dragonfly at Cranberry Bog.



Large ommatidia atop the eyes; smaller and more numerous ones below.  Presumbly much clearer vision of prey lower in its field of vision.



A White-spotted Redectis Moth (Redectis vitrea), briefly ensnared in a spider web.  It to freed itself.



Wood-Sorrel (Oxalis sp.).



August 26th.  A Dock (Rumex sp.).  I think more like Greater Water Dock (Rumex britannica) than our common Curly Dock (Rumex crispus), but the plant is inaccessible across Raymond Brook, precluding a closer look.






The Spotted Apatalodes (Apatalodes torrefacta) caterpillars are still growing.



The Eastern Comma (Polygonia comma) caterpillar first observed on August 15th (See Summer 2013, Part 6) has suspended itself by a button of silk from the midrib of a leaf, preparatory to transforming to the chrysalis stage.



By late evening, it had shed the larval skin to reveal this remarkably sculpted, pearlescent chrysalis.



As orientation in this side view, the abdomen is at the upper left, marked with dark brown horizontal spiracles (openings to the respiratory system).  At the right you can see the slightly scalloped outer edges of the mature butterfly's wings.  The eye and head are at the lower right.



August 29th.  Today I found the retreat where the Marbled Orbweaver (Araneus marmoreus) awaits...



...the vibrations of its web that signal a captured prey.  The spider sits on an oak leaf which it has curled over and bound with silk to form a shelter.



August 30th.  A walk to the power lines east of Route 207 in Hebron.  Hops (Humulus lupulus) grow on the boulder right where the trail crosses Route 207 - the only place I've seen it on the trail.






Closed Gentian (Gentiana andrewsii), a plant that has pretty much disappeared from Raymond Brook Marsh as trailside shrubs and small trees have crowed it out.



Hog-peanut (Amphicarpa bracteata), common at several points on the trail but I seldom see it in bloom.



Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaemia atrorubens) berries have ripened.



Lots of fungi.  This is probably Amanita sp.
























A nice population of Cardinal Flowers (Lobelia cardinalis) by the small marsh under the power lines.












Nursery Web Spider (Pisaurina mira), lurking on Goldenrod.






Fern-leaved False Foxglove (Gerardia pedicularia), a first for me bon the trail.  Lots of it under the power lines just south of the trail.






Field Milkwort (Polygala sanguinea).  I haven't seen it near the trail in years.



Meadow Beauty, also called Handsome Harry (Rhexia virginica), one of a very few North American species of the mostly tropical family Melastomataceae.  The large curved yellow anthers are diagnostic.



I've seen it on wetland edges elsewhere, but never on the trail.



Indian-tobacco (Lobelia inflata)...



...and an unidentified female muscoid fly.



Slender Gerardia (Gerardia tenuifolia), another first for the trail.



This view better shows the diagnostic long slender flower stalks.



Wild Sensitive Plant (Chamaecrista nictitans, formerly Cassia nictitans)



Panicled Tick Trefoil (Desmodium paniculatum), another first for the trail. Also under the power lines.






Slender Bush-clover (Lespedeza virginica), yet another first for the trail.