Along the Air Line... 2017- Spring, Part 5
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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Have a look at this page, then enjoy the page of Digital Kaleidoscope Captures I've made using some of these photos as starting points.  At that page, you'll also find links and instructions allowing you to make your own digital kaleidoscopes using any photo you find on the web.




April 29th.  Wild Oats or Sessile Bellwort (Uvularia sessilifolia).






Pennsylvania sedge (Carex pensylvanica).  This quote from the New Hampshire Garden Solutions site ( "Most people never see the beautiful flowers of Pennsylvania sedge (Carex pensylvanica) that appear on tufts of grassy looking plants in mid-April. Creamy yellow male staminate flowers release their pollen above wispy, feather like, white female pistillate flowers but the female flowers always open first to receive pollen from a different plant. As the plant ages the male flowers will turn light brown and the female flowers, if pollinated by the wind, will bear seed. It’s a beautiful little flower that is well worth a second look. I see them just about everywhere I go."



Highbush Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum).



Common Strawberry (Fragaria virginiana).



Red (or Purple) Trilliums are still blooming (Trillium erectum).



New York Carpenter Ant (Camponotus noveboracensis).  Check out those jaws.



I try to ignore invasive Garlic Mustard but for some reason this one caught my attention.  I noticed something at the tip of the leaf (out of focus, sorry) at the left.



Hmm, those look like legs.



Turning the leaf over, I found a "questing" male American Dog Tick (Dermacentor variabilis).  Ticks find their hosts by climbing a plant and resting with outstretched legs until an animal brushes by, allowing the tick to grab on.



A slug, also on Garlic Mustard.






And an Assasin Bug nymph (Family Reduviidae), also on Garlic Mustard.



Completing today's rogue's gallery, Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) leaves have begun developing.



April 30th.  Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) over Raymond Brook Marsh.









Male Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos).



Norway Maple in bloom (Acer platynoides).



April 30th, afternoon.  A stop in East Hampton for pictures of Bluets (Houstonia caerulea).









Next I tried out one of the newly completed sections of the trail in East Hampton, heading west from Forest Street to the eastern end of Long Crossing Road.  Not far west of Forest Street I found several Jack-in-the-pulpit plants (Arisaema sp.).









Also near Forest Street I found another first for me, Yellow Archangel (Lamium galeobdolon), a garden escape in the Mint Family.












The Eastern Tent Caterpillars (Malacosoma americanum) are about half grown now.






May 1st.  Male Eastern Towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus); first of the year.









Spring Azure (Celastrina ladon) on Bastard-Toadflax (Comandra umbellata).



A male Ring-necked Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) near the Route 85 parking area..



Dew on a Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) seed head.



A wild Mustard (Family Brassicaceae).  Not sure of species.






Back to the plant in hopes of better species identifying features.  Still not sure though.









Concord Grape (Vitus sp.) buds are unfurling.



May 2nd.  Crab Apple (Malus coronaria).






May 3rd.  An afternoon walk east from Route 207 to the power lines.









Juvenal's Duskywing Skipper (Erynnis juvenalis).  Harbinger of spring and days to come.



This one was quite shy.  Took patience to get close to it.



A few Red Trilliums (Trillium erectum) still blooming.






Pink Lady's-slipper orchids (Cypripedium acaule) are coming up.



I spent some time looking for creatures under loose bark on downed trees.  I was rewarded with this bright metallic green Halictid "Sweat Bee" (probably Augochloropsis sp.).






A three inch long Spirobolus sp. millipede.  Soon, on damp mornings, these will be on the move, crossing the trail in this section not far from the power lines.  (See my video of this from 2012:



There were other Spirobolus millipedes about half the size of the one above.



I uncovered a colony of Carpenter Ants (Camponotus sp.).



Finally, a Cucujid beetle larva.  Everything uncovered was recovered with bark after photography.



In addition to arthropods, I saw this yellow Slime Mold.  This is Physarum polycephalum.



May 4th.  First adult Dragonfly I've seen this year.  Family Aeshnidae; I won't attempt a species ID as color pattern is probably not fully developed.  Still hardening its wings.  Note the nymphal skin just above it.



Close up of the nymphal skin.  The white threads are part of the old lining of the trachael breathing system, left behind as the new adult skin has fresh linings.