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

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Stan Malcolm Photo

 

 

August 23rd.  A couple of Cedar Waxwings (Bombycilla cedrorum) passing through Raymond Brook Marsh.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The prominent caterpillars that were black threads on willow a week or so ago have matured.  I think this one is in the penultimate (next to last) instar: it still has spiny tubercles on the prothorax.

 

 

This one has just molted to the last larval instar: coloration has changed and the spiny tubercles are gone.  I can confirm that they are Black-etched Prominents (Cerura scitiscripta).

 

 

This mystery beast was found on willow.  It took me a few minutes, but I figured out what it was.  Note the maroon head end and striped hind end, all protected under a thin skin.

 

 

August 24th.  Today, the adult insect emerged.  The "skin" was what remained of the last maggot-like larval instar.

 

 

It's a syrphid Flower-fly.

 

 

Great Ragweed (Ambrosia trifida).

 

 

An Evening Primrose (Oenothera sp.), but I don't think it is the common one I see at the marsh.

 

 

This one was blooming in the morning at the Route 207 crossing.

 

 

August 25th.  Concord Grapes (Vitus sp.) are nearly mature.  Won't be sweet until we have some very cool nights; that's okay, no rush.

 

 

August 26th. A female Arrow-shaped Micrathena (Micrathena sagittata).

 

 

She had begun spinning an orb-web between my truck and the trail head guard rail...

 

 

...when I relocated her.

 

 

At Cranberry Bog in East Hampton, an Olive-green Swamp Grasshopper (Paroxya clavuliger).

 

 

August 27th.  An afternoon walk east of Cook Hill Road in Lebanon.  A flock of American Goldfinches (Carduelis tristis) was feeding on thistle seeds.

 

 

Looks like they were molting.

 

 

 

 

 

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus).

 

 

Significant blue on hindwings indicates that it's a female.

 

 

A Viceroy (Limenitis archippus) in the same spot where I photographed one several weeks ago.  I still haven't seen a Monarch this year.

 

 

A mated pair of Eastern Tailed Blues (Everes comyntas).

 

 

Looks like a young Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) atop the dead trees in the marsh.

 

 

A nice pale pink Smartweed (Polygonum sp.).

 

 

 

 

 

A Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) that has fallen prey to an Ambush Bug (Phymata sp.).

 

 

A Marsh Fly (Family Sciomyzidae, probably Tetanocera sp.).

 

 

Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana) berries.

 

 

A male White-faced Meadowhawk dragonfly (Sympetrum obtrusum).

 

 

August 28th.  Five large American Crows (Corvus brachyrhyncos) far across Raymond Brook Marsh.

 

 

The Viceroy (Limenitis archippus) caterpillar found on willow on August 20th is ready to transform into a chrysalis (the butterfly term for a pupa).

 

 

Hanging from a bit of silk spun onto the twig, it should shed its caterpillar skin later today or tomorrow, assuming it doesn't turn out to be parasitized.

 

 

Mid-afternoon, mostly along the Blackledge River under and near the trail.

 

 

Sumac (Rhus sp.).

 

 

 

 

 

A few remaining blossoms of Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis).

 

 

 

 

 

A few remaining blossoms of Butter-and-eggs (Linaria vulgaris) too.

 

 

Nursery Web Spider (Pisaurina mira).

 

 

The small marsh where the trail crosses River Road.

 

 

The Viceroy (Limenitis archippus) caterpillar has become a chrysalid. Still looks a lot like a bird droping though.  The butterfly's right antenna and forewing are at the lower left in this view; its back to the right; abdomen top.

 

 

Gradually rotating it, now you're looking at the butterfly's back, head at the bottom.