Along the Air Line... 2013 - Summer, Part 8
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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Stan Malcolm Photo



August 31st. Recent recutting of sight lines into Raymond Brook Marsh has offered views of several emergent water plants including Fragrant Water-Lilies (Nymphaea odorata)...









...and the last of this year's Pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata).



Spotted Touch-Me-Not or Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis).  Lighter colored than most Jewelweed, but not light enough or with a short enough spur to be Impatiens pallida.









New photos of the Eastern Comma (Polygonia comma) chrysalis, trying to capture the metallic spots on its back.  This gives you some idea, but hardly compares with the mirror-like gleam of the real thing.












September 1st.  Indian Pipes (Monotropa uniflora).




The plant lacks chlorophyll, getting its nourishment from decaying organic matter via fungi associated with its roots.  It has a single flower per stalk and leves reduced to scales.



Turkey-tail bracket fungi (Trametes versicolor).






September 3rd.  The Eastern Comma chrysalis has "colored up" - the pattern of the adult butterfly wings showing through the translucent chrysalis skin.  Usually, this means the butterfly will emerge within a day...



...but not this time.  The butterfly failed to emerge, even though you can see (e.g., at the abdominal tip) that it has pulled free of the chrysalis skin.  There's a crack in that skin between the antenna and front wing - the usual place where it's meant to open, but at that point the process went wrong.  Could be that the caterpillar was parasitized and killed the insect just before emergence - in which case one of these days, a wasp or flies will emerge from it.  We'll see.



September 6th. Sunflowers (Helianthus sp.) at the Rt 85 trailhead.






There's a bird about 2' up from the base of this tree.



An Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe) I think, on a stump at the base of the dead tree in the previous picture.



Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta) basking.  I count 14 in this photo.






Hazelnut husks are turning brown as the nuts inside mature.



A female Green Darner (Anax junius) dragonfly.









A mature Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) caterpillar, about ready to transform into a chrysalis.















September 7th.  Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) gathered on their favorite tree.  Nice to know they haven't gone south just yet.












Winterberry (Ilex verticillata) berries have ripened.



A mid day visit to Cranberry Bog in East Hampton.  Nice to see a rare Monarch (Danaus plexippus) nectaring on Joe-Pye-weed.
























A large patch of Turtlehead (Chelone glabra).









A common species of Smartweed (Polygonum sp.).



Another species of Smartweed (Polygonum sp.).



I see this species of Grasshopper in late summer every year at Cranberry Bog.



Seed pods of Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)...



...covered with Aphids.  (This orange species is very common on other milkweeds too.)






I think this is Canada Clearweed (Pilea pumila); certainly it is a member for the nettle family Urticaceae.