Along the Air Line... 2017 - Summer, Part 12
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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September 7th.  Closed Gentian (Gentiana andrewsii).  One of a very few left along the edges of the marsh as they're crowded out by shrubs.



Pale Beauty geometrid moth (Campaea perlata).  Guessing it escaped from a spider web, given the detritus and rubbed scales at the wingtips.  (There's good evidence that butterfly and moth wing scales serve as a means to slip out of webs, trading some loss of scales for survival.  Colors for mate recognition, warning of bad taste, or blending in to the background are additional roles for scales.)



September 7th, late afternoon.  A walk east on the spur from Sunshine Cycle in the old Colchester railroad station.  Grasshopper nymph...



...resting on Winged Sumac (Rhus copallina).






A patient male Monarch (Danaus plexippus) let me take a lot of pictures.















More pictures, these taken with flash.
























Bouncing Bet (Saponaria officinalis).



Underside of a Tulip Tree (Lipiodendron tulipifera) leaf, with aphids and Ladybird Beetle eggs, the latter soon to be larvae that feed on aphids.



Common Burdock (Arctium minus).






A few Black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta) still blooming.



Hyssop-leaved Thoroughwort (Eupatorium hyssopifolium); a new plant for me.






One of the Smartweeds (Polygonum sp.).



A diurnal, lightless Firefly (Pyropyga sp.) on Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum).






September 8th.  Distant Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodius) in morning fog.



Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) after the fog lifted.



(I don't need to caption this, do I?)









Ornamental Asters planted at the Route 85 trail head.



One ornamental Day Lily blooming there too.



September 8th.  A short walk on the Colchester Spur.  This pink Chicory (Cichorium intybus) was blooming not far from the Railroad Station terminus (now Sunshine Cycle).  Most Chicory is blue, fading to white in the sun.






Eastern Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa virginica) resting on Bouncing Bet (Saponaria officinalis).



Note the large pollen grains on its back.






Further along the trail, Winterberry (Ilex verticillata).



An Eastern Chipmunk (Tamias striatus) peeks out from his shelter.









Not sure what's up with this Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) coloration: Fall coming, or a virus.



Slender Bush-clover (Lespedeza virginica)... I think.






Tiny flower of Wild Lettuce (Lactuca sp.)



Asiatic Dayflower (Commelina communis).



Bluecurls (Trichostema dichotomum).






September 9th.  Bluecurls again, this time on the Lyman Viaduct.



This Pale Beauty moth (Campaea perlata) in the clutches of a cryptic Yellow Crab Spider (Mecaphesa sp.).



September 10th.  Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens).



Eyes closed in mid-peck.



Hickory Tussock Moth (Lophocampa caryae) caterpillars are commonly seen at this time of year.  Distinctive, and on the move.






Northern Flatid Planthopper (Anormenis chloris).



A female Meadowhawk dragonfly (Sympetrum sp.).



September 11th.  Two Beavers (Castor canadensis) this morning.  This was smaller and swimming in the channel.



This large one was working close the the western-most dam.



Just some nifty reflections.



September 12th.  Lots of Wood Ducks (Aix sponsa) far out on the channel side of the marsh.






September 13th.  Yet another American Copper (Lycaena phlaeas) near the Blackledge River bridge over the Air Line Trail.



September 14th.  A pair of Beavers (Castor canadensis) seemed to be playing in the channel.  As I took this shot, one at the left was diving.



September 18th. Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodius) very close to the trail.

I'm back on the trail after participating in the Greenwich Point Connecticut UConn BioBlitz 2017,
a 24 hour marathon to count the species in that locality. I was on the insects team.  Other teams counted plants, fungi, birds, mammals, fishes, reptiles and amphibians, mollusks, spiders, aquatic invertebrates, etc., etc.
My photos here:
Official web site:






Wood Ducks (Aix sponsa), two females and a male.