Along the Air Line... 2018 - Fall, Part 7
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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December 4th.  First group of overnight Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) this Fall.  I count 28. Spectacular in V'ed flight a few minutes later.









I discovered a new beaver lodge and food cache on Raymond Brook, past the last (now failed) beaver dam.  Well screened from the trail.



December 9th. Fresh Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) damage to a dead tree at the Route 85 trailhead.



Older damage below.



December 11th.  Very frosty.



Heavy, feathery frost where warm humid air comes up from holes in the banks of Raymond Brook.


















Icicles formed from spatter above the outlet stream.






December 12th.  Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) has expanded a feeding hole on the
dead tree at Route 85.



The tree has a double trunk, the other half shattered.





















Artsie edits of sedges through ice.












December 14th.  Snow flurries yesterday afternoon left a coating on the trail...



...and on the ice of the marsh.






Three Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) on the open water of the channel.



A far distant male Belted Kingfisher (Ceryle alcyon). 






December 16th.  American Beaver (Castor canadensis) in low light and light rain.






December 18th.  At the pond just east of River Road in Colchester, a flock of Eastern Blurbirds (Sialia sialis).









December 20th.  The last day of Fall.  An afternoon walk east of Route 207 to the powerlines. Vibrant green moss.






Icicles in the rock cuts, despite temps in the mid-40s.



Up to 3 inches of rain predicted for tomorrow, the first day of Winter.



Birch Polypores (Piptoporus betulinus).  I learned them long ago as Birch Conks.



They formed when the birch trunk was erect.  If more form here, they will be parallel to the ground.  (How do they "know?)



Pretty bleak out by the powerlines.  A touch of red Winterberry (Ilex verticellata) in the foreground.












(Similar photo; different aspect ratio.)