Along the Air Line... 2014 - Fall, Part 4
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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October 15th.  At the Route 85 trailhead in Amston.



October 16th.  Late afternoon, after a day of heavy rain.  Oaks are starting to color up.









October 17th.  Lots more leaves down after yesterday's rain.















October 18th.















Nice to see...



...and hear! Red-winged Blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) at the marsh as they stop by on their journey south.  They won't return to the marsh until mid-February.



The basal rosette of Common Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) is well adapted with thick "furry" leaves that repel water and protect the plant from frost.  They'll survive the winter like this and send up bloom stalks next spring.



October 21st.  An afternoon walk west from Bull Hill Road past the Lyman VIaduct.









Trees on both sides of the viaduct have grown up, obstructing miuch of the view.



The original iron trestle was buried under rock and gravel fill as trains became heavier.  Remnants of the early structure poke through in several places.  (There's also a large sewer pipe running through the structure.)






The arid top of the viaduct is well suited to grasshoppers and some dry-loving plants.


















The common invasive Oriental Bittersweet (Celastrus orbicularis).




































October 22nd.  Tar Spot fungus (Rhytisma sp.) is common on maple leaves at this time of year.



Curious?  Lean more about it here.



Someone took down the large wasp nest above the trail at the Route 85 trailhead.  It's broken open and resting a couple of yards downhill from the trail.



Remains of dead larvae in some of the cells.