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: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_gall_ink

 

 

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).