Along the Air Line... 2016 - Spring, Part 3
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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Stan Malcolm Photo



April 18th.  Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) is blooming just east of Grayville Road.  Learn about it here:












Leaves emerge clasped to the stem, unfolding as the flower petals drop.  Flowers are very delicate.  The petals drop in a matter of days, soon after pollenation.



April 21st.  Thirtytwo degrees and heavy fog over the warmer water of the marsh.












Quickly burning off.






April 21st.  An afternoon walk east of Route 207 out as far as the power lines.  An Ant (Family Formicidae) on Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale).






Also a Cuckoo Bee (Nomada sp.).  Females lay eggs in the nests of other bees.  Their larvae eat the host bee larvae and their pollen supply.



Dog Violet (Viola labradorica), distinguished from other local violet species by the white hairs on the side petals.






Red Trillium (Trillium erectum).






A few Marsh Marigolds (Caltha palustris) in bloom.






Backlit Skunk Cabbage leaf.



Not much to see at the power lines, except...



...the first Tent Caterpillar (Malacosoma americanum) nest I've seen this year.






See Sam Jaffe's "The Caterpillar Lab" video of tent caterpillars defoliating cherry:



I assumed these Assasin Bugs (Pselliopus cinctus) were mating but no, look closer and see that the upper bug's proboscis has pierced the neck of the bug below.  (When not feeding, the proboscis is tucked back flat under the thorax.)



Note too the husk of a tent caterpillar stuck to the leg of the lower bug.  Its last meal.



April 24th.  Serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea) is blooming.



Male American Goldfinch (Carduelis tristis).



April 27th.  Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) over the marsh.  Hope they hang around.









High above, a large flight of Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) heading northeast.



April 28th.  Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) far out on the channel side.  Water too high for it to be on a nest, but there may be one nearby.



April 29th.  Fresh shoots of Serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea) after cutting in trail maintenance last fall.






Plenty of water flowing from the outlet stream.