Along the Air Line... 2014 - Spring, Part 7
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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Stan Malcolm Photo



May 31st.  After last night's rain, a number of insects were resting while they dried out.  This is a Band-winged Crane Fly (Epiphragma fasciapenne).



Family Limoniidae (formerly a subfamily of Tipulidae).



A Dragonfly, possibly a female Clubtail (Gomphus sp.).






An Assasin Bug (probably Zelus luridus).



Glands on the front tibiae (roughly the shins of humans) exude a sticky substance onto fine hairs.  This arrangement is used to trap prey, much like the sticky hairs of sundews.



The Eastern Tent Caterpillars (Malacosoma americana) are nearly mature - and will stop eating cherry.



Misc spider with what might have been a caterpillar.



Lesser Stitchwort (Stellaria graminea).



Hawkweed (Hieracium sp.) is in bud.



(Sorry, I don't know the grasses well at all.)



A common garden slug (Class Gastropoda).



Lots of them devouring fungi.






Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) on cherry... but this one is a bit different.



A bald channel across the top of its head.



Perhaps the result of a fight?



The Eastern Kingbird nest is mostly obscured by leaves.



Oak "Apple" Galls are caused by a tiny cynipid wasp (Amphibolips quercusspongifica).  The mature, dry galls were used to produce ink from the 5th to through the 19th century in Europe.  See:



Sweet Cicely (Osmorhiza claytoni).  Easily overlooked; the flowers are tiny.



Carrion-flower (Smilax herbacea) is in bud.



June 5th.  An afternoon walk after a night and morning of rain.  A female Cecropia Moth (Hyalophora cecropia), our largest native silk moth.



I reared this moth from the egg stage last year and today placed it along the trail in hopes that it will attract a mate.  (I've found wild cocoons nearby in past years.)  Optical Illusion: watch the moth's abdomen as you scroll the image up and down slightly.  Does it seem to roll?



A male Fragile Forktail damselfly (Ischnura posita).






Nearby, I found a female Fragile Forktail.



Lots of Large Blue Flag Iris (Iris versicolor) this year.












White Fragrant Water-lilies (Nymphaea odorata) have started to bloom.


















Red Clover (Trifolium praetense).



A species of Lightning Bug or Firefly (in the beetle family Lampyridae) that lacks light organs.  Instead, males find mates by scent.  This is a female; males have larger, broader antennae.



Peppergrass (Lepidium virginicum).



Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) is in bloom.



Carrion-flower (Smilax herbacea) is in bloom.






A Mirid Plant Bug (Family Miridae).



Yarrow (Achillea millifolium) is also blooming...



...and hosting a number of Thrips (Order Thysanoptera).