Along the Air Line... 2013 - Summer, Part 9
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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Stan Malcolm Photo

 

 

September 9th.  A chilly 43 degrees with mist rising from the marsh.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This hawk was swooping at some Mallards, causing a ruckus among them but doing no harm.

 

 

 

 

 

A bedraggled looking Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis).  Moulting?

 

 

September 15th.  At the Route 207 trailhead in Amston, the first Gray Treefrog (Hyla versicolor) I've ever seen.  I wouldn't have seen this one except for the sharp eyes of my daughter Jillian who spotted it while searching for wild grapes.  You can just see a bit of the bright yellow color of the inner hind legs.

 

 

Look at those sucker feet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This knuckle view will give you a sense of scale.

 

 

The frog was quite patient, moving little in response to my flash, crawling onto my hand, and allowing my to place it on a branch.

 

 

Further east, several species of bluish fall Asters have started to bloom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Russula emetica.  The name says it all; don't eat it.

 

 

An Amanita, perhaps the Strangulated Amanita (Amanita inaurata).

 

 

Pinesap (Monotropa hypopithys).  A close relative of Indian-pipes, Pinesap has multiple flowers per stalk and red/yellow coloration.  Without chlorophyll, it lives instead as a parasite on fungi associated with tree roots.  Interesting discussion here.

 

 

 

 

 

September 17th.  A midday walk east from Route 87 near the Lebanon-Columbia border.  This is Doll's Eyes or White Baneberry (Actaea pachypoda).

 

 

I photographed the same plant in flower last May 24th.  (Scroll down at Spring 2013, part 11.)

 

 

Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema atrorubens) fruits.

 

 

Turkey-tail bracket fungi (Trametes versicolor).

 

 

I'd guess this purple-ish mushroom is a species of Cort (Cortinarius sp.).  It was under hemlocks.

 

 

Beechdrops (Epifagus virginiana) is parasitic on Beech roots.  (It was under a large beech tree.)  Fagus is the genus of beech.  So Epifagus means "upon beech."

 

 

A spider on Beechdrops...

 

 

...and an Hemipteran (True Bug) nymph.

 

 

East of Cook Hill Road, Thistles (Centaurea sp.) were blooming in a cow pasture.

 

 

Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana) berries.

 

 

Still further east, lots of small Asters in the open area close to the marsh.

 

 

Honey Bees (Apis mellifera) working them...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

...as well as a few Bumblebees (Bombus sp.)...

 

 

...and Syrphid Fly (Family Syrphidae) mimics of bees.

 

 

 

 

 

A few larger Asters blooming too.

 

 

I hope the herons return next spring.  (And I hope the trail here gets surfaced this fall.)

 

 

A very cryptic Grasshopper.

 

 

A recently emerged Mourning Cloak butterfly (Nymphalis antiopa).  This generation will overwinter in treeholes and other sheltered places, and be among the first butterflies we see in spring - or even in winter on unusually warm, sunny days.

 

 

The underside resembles a dried up dead leaf.

 

 

The nymph of a Green Stink Bug (Chinavia hilaris).

 

 

What's going on with this curled up leaf?

 

 

Ah, an adult Green Stink Bug (Chinavia hilaris) is sheltering in it.

 

 

September 18th.  Clouds rising from the marsh: air at 37 degrees; water much warmer.