Along the Air Line... 2018 - Summer, Part 4
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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July 5th (continued).  Sweet Peas (Lathyrus odoratus) just east of Route 2 and west of Old Hartford Road.









See the mite?



How about this one?



No, not a tick but superficially similar.



Similar to a Bumble Bee, this is a Leaf-cutter Bee (Family Megachilidae, Megachile sp.).



Unlike Bumble Bees that carry pollen on their hind legs, Leaf-cutters carry pollen on the underside of their abdomen.






These solitary bees line narrow cavities in wood or soil with pieces of leaves, provisioning the cells with pollen for the larvae.












July 6th.  A double Day Lily that has bloomed at the marsh for about 3 years now.  An ornamental "escape", planted, or a genetic sport?






Check out the bug!



It's an Assassin Bug (Pselliopus cinctus).



Eastern Cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus).



Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) taking a break.






Chicory (Chicorium intybus). at the Route 207 crossing.



An honest to goodness Bumble Bee collecting Chicory pollen.



But this Syrphid Flower Fly is an excellent Bumble Bee mimic.  (There are at least three genera of flies that look like this.  I'm not expert enough to tell the difference.)  The orange spot may be a phoretic mite, along for a ride.



Another Flower Fly.  I'm more confident that this is a male Transverse Flower Fly (Eristalis transvera).






(In many flies, males' eyes meet at the top of their heads.)



I'm pretty sure this is another Leafcutter Bee (Family Megachilidae).









July 7th.  Little Wood-Satyr (Megisto cymela).



Daily Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) gathering.






Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodius) at the first beaver dam as you head west.









Stalking...  and then a beaver splashed just a few feet ahead of it.  Heron was startled, and wet.  Probably offended.



Same spot a little later.  The Heron has moved a few yards away and a Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) family motored by.



Ducklings getting big.  I see some white at the back of the head - probably a male.



The Belted Kingfisher (Ceryle alcyon) female was back on the beaver lodge.  Looks like it had just taken a dive.



The white spots ahead of the eyes intrigue me.  I wonder if they play a role in judging the distance to the water surface as the bird dives.






In the far distance, a Green Heron (Butorides virescens).






A male Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis) dragonfly.



July 15th.  Back from a week in New Hampshire.  While I was away, the Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) caterpillar I found on the trail doubled in size.  It's nearly full grown and should form a chrysalis soon.



The eye spots are obviously fun, but I like the countershading and the subtle blue and lavender spots - not to mention the yellow spiracles.






It's resting on a pad of silk by day.  It feeds at night.



The silk pad lifts it slightly off the leaf surface, perhaps diminishing its shadow in strong light..