Along the Air Line... 2016 - Summer, Part 4
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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Stan Malcolm Photo



August 26th.  A walk east from Route 207 to the power lines where many wildflowers bloom that I rarely see elsewhere.  This is Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis).









White Wood Asters (Eurybia divaricata), among the first asters to bloom as we approach fall.



Field Milkwort (Polygala sanguinea).  The flowers are tiny and yellow.  Most of what you see are pink bracts.



Wild Sensitive Plant (Chamaecrista nictitans).



Flowers are really tiny.



Note the circular, dark "extra-floral nectaries" which attract ants.



Naked-flowered Tick-trefoil (Hylodesmum nudiflorum).



Violet Bush-clover (Lespedeza virginica).






Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis).






Amanita sp., I think.






Boletes common.  This one has a bright yellow underside.



Carolina Grasshopper (Dissosteira carolina).



Ferns looking great after recent rains.






Hops (Humulus lupulus) growing over the large boulder at the Route 207 trail head (amid grapevines).






Hedge Bindweed (Calystegia sepium).



August 28th.  Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) at their favorite gathering point.



No Purple Martins recently.  Assume they just passed through earlier this month.



I stand corrected.  Russ Smiley picked out at least two Purple Martins in that photo.  Thanks, Russ!  He does concur that the numbers of Purple Martins are down: "I saw 200 the other day; now there are only a handful.".






August 29th.  Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodius) with a catfish breakfast.



Testing for fit.



Not ready yet.



More stabs to "tenderize".






August 31st.  Two young hawks, possibly Cooper's Hawks (Accipter cooperii)?  Russ Smiley suggests that they are juvenile Red-shouldered Hawks (Buteo lineatus).  He goes on to say..."The juvenile’s chest is full of light brown teardrops will transform to a uniform field of rusty orange as it matures. The same thing happens with the cooper’s and sharp-shinned hawks, however, “coops”and “sharpies” are accipeters (lankier) whereas red-shouldered hawks are buteos (bulkier) as are red-tailed hawks, the latter being bigger raptors. Also, accipeters have long tails with wide barring and narrow white tips.  Red-shoulders are relatively common in our part of the state. Broadwing hawks appear to be similar when perched, but when flying you can see the differences. I see fewer of the broad-wings here in our area but there are more in Old Lyme, Moodus, and Haddam for some reason. They will be migrating out of the Continental US very soon. Red-shoulders and red-tails will hang around through our winter."



September 1st.  Possibly Chicken Mushroom (Laetiporus sulphureus), growing on a root.



September 10th.  Most likely a Destroying Angel (Amanita virosa).  Deadly if not treated after ingestion.






September 15th.  Beaver (Castor canadensis).