Along the Air Line... 2012-2013 - Winter, Part 2
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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Stan Malcolm Photo

 

 

January 8th.  As yet unpaved, the last section of trail in Lebanon between Cook Hill Road and Village Hill Road is now accessible.  This photo looks east from Cook Hill Road.

 

 

A fence has been erected to form a clear border with a neighboring dairy farm.

 

 

The trail passes through a short wooded section...

 

 

...before reaching a marsh.  Note the eight Great Blue Heron nests atop the dead trees on the right.  Last year, these nests were all active. 
(See: http://www.performance-vision.com/airline2012/airline-spring-12i.htm)

 

 

Beyond the marsh, the trail is mostly wooded (except for a power line crossing) as far as Village Hill Road.

 

 

Heading back west, there are a couple bof nice views towards open pastures.

 

 

Approaching the farm, and Cook Hill Road.

 

 

A few of the dairy cows.

 

 

Only one seemed vaguely interested in my passing.

 

 

January 9th.  Frost on a pine near the bridge over the Blackledge River.

 

 

January 11th.  Temps a bit above freezing brought insects and this Sow Bug (Order Isoptera) out and active atop the recent snow.

 

 

Winter Stoneflies (Family Nemouridae) are among the most common insects atop the snow.

 

 

January 11th.  Some nice pre-dawn color.

 

 

Princess or Ground Pine (Lycopodium obscurum) - not a pine at all; rather a surviving member of an ancient plant lineage.  In the early days of photography, Lycopodium spores were collected in huge quantities.  Portions were placed in a metal pan with a reflector and set alight.  The bright burst of light marked the earliest flash photography.

 

 

Moss does well at these near freezing temperatures and serves as home for a number of insects which may become active on warm winter days.

 

 

A spider was active on the snow, as were...

 

 

tiny Snowfleas (Order Collembola), also called springtails.

 

 

At times, snowfleas can be so common that they cover large patches of snow so densely that the snow appears black.  But, move your hand close and the masses spring away from you.

 

 

Plenty more winter Stoneflies were out...

 

 

...as well as this inchworm caterpillar (Family Geometridae).

 

 

Moments after I picked this guy up, he started inching along in my hand.

 

 

January 19th.  A little predawn color.

 

 

 

 

 

I thought I was going to see a sun pillar, but it never quite developed.

 

 

A warm dawn glow on sculpted marsh ice.

 

 

January 20th.  Lots of Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) gather in the flowing open water of Raymond Brook at the far end of the marsh.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 24th.  On a very cold morning, contrails as a plane turns from east to south.

 

 

January 26th.  A dusting of snow on the trail.

 

 

 

 

 

Before any human prints marred the trail, a canid crossed the ice, the trail, and the marsh on the north side.  A dog, a coyote, or a fox?

 

 

 

 

 

Dawn coming...

 

 

...now.

 

 

Life Star marks a hard day for someone.