Along the Air Line... 2017 - Fall, Part 4
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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October 17th.  Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) spent the night on  the marsh; first time I've seen them this fall.  Mallards nearby at right.






A noontime walk east from Route 207 to the power lines.






One of the Smartweeds (Persicaria sp.).  Possibly Mild Water-pepper (Persicaria hydropiperoides).












I found a nice patch of Downy Rattlesnake Plantain orchids (Goodyera pubescens).







It bloomed over the summer.  Hopefully, I'll remember where I saw it and find it blooming next year.



Tree Clubmoss or Ground Pine (Lycopodium obscurum).



Lycopodium spores were used in early flash photography.  Watch this demo, especially the last few seconds:



Reindeer Lichen (Cladonia rangifera) and Haircap Moss (Polytrichum sp.).



Power lines offer some interesting habitats as well as dispersal pathways for plants and animals.



Maple-leaf Viburnum (Viburnum acerifolium) turns a distinct color in the fall, unlike true maples.



The black berries confirm the ID if present.



Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum) leaves are distinctive.



The "perfoliate" (wrapping around the stem) leaves of this plant are a sure means of identification.  It's Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum).



A single plant of Field Milkwort (Polygala sanguinea) hanging in there.



Woolly Bear (Pyrrharctia isabella).



A Mason or Potter Wasp (Family Vespidae; subfamily Eumeninae).



Pupa of an invasive Multicolored Asian Ladybird Beetle (Harmonia axyridis).



Spider under bark.  ID help anyone?






October 18th.  Back to Raymond Brook Marsh.  Sunshine and Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) today, but no geese.






October 19th.  A young (about 8") Eastern Milk Snake (Lampropeltis triangulum triangulum).



Not moving but no obvious signs of injury.  Perhaps caught out in the cold overnight.



I tried warming it in my hands without success... left it in a sunny spot in hopes it might revive.  Read about this snake here:



October 22nd.

































Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata), proud owner of an acorn.






Sadly, much of Raymonmd Brook Marsh is well on its way to becoming Raymond Brook Meadow.



The invasive Giant Reed Grass (Phragmites australis) is one of many contributors to succession.





















October 23rd.  Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodius) with a very pulverized breakfast catfish.