Along the Air Line... 2018 - Summer, Part 8
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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August 2nd (continued).  A walk east from Cook Hill Road in Lebanon.  Common Burdock (Arctium minus).












Square-stemmed Monkey-flower (Mimulus ringens).






A Jagged Ambush Bug (Phymata pennsylvanica) has captured and killed (by injection) a Bee Wolf (Philanthus gibbosus).



See the bug's piercing-sucking beak probing the wasp's thorax?



Carolina Grasshopper (Dissosteira carolina).



They also come in brown.



Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio troilus).






See the proboscis tip on the soil?  Male butterflies gather minerals from the solil to pass along to females during mating.  The behavior is called "puddling".  (Often, the butterflies gather at puddles or damp mud.)  The minerals are an important component of the female's eggs.



A male Red-spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis astyanax), also puddling.












August 3rd. Butt-crack Boletes?



Lots of mushrooms, many of them boletes (pores on the underside rather than gills).  I won't attempt to ID them.









And some gilled mushrooms.









Be sure to look right...



...and left...



...before heading out for a swim.  Female Wood Duck (Aix sponsa).



Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor).



The Viceroy (Limenitis archippus) caterpillar on Willow that I've been watching for awhile is nearly full grown.



Its head is tucked under, mostly out of sight.  I expect it will molt to the chrysalis stage (the butterfly term for the pupa of a moth) in a few days.

Meanwhile, the Tiger Swallowtail caterpillar first seen on June 24th (scroll down here: eclosed as an adult today and was released.  For more Tiger Swallowtail life cycle pictures, see:



August 4th.  Another update: The five Cecropia Moth caterpillars observed on July 20th ( have all spun cocoons.  We won't see the adult moths until next May or June.  Sneak preview of the entire life cycle here:



August 6th.  Primrose Moth (Schinia florida) on Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis).



The moths are always seen nestled in the flowers where they lay their eggs.  The caterpillars feed on blossoms, buds, and seed capsules.



August 7th.  Woodland Sunflowers (Helianthus divaricatus) are blooming...



...some hosting sleepy Bumble Bees (Family Bombidae).









Another day, another Primrose Moth (Schinia florida) on Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis).  This one more typically head down deep in the flower.









August 8th.  Two young male Wood Ducks (Aix sponsa), hanging out.



One stertches a wing...



...looks around...



...then the other stretches a wing.



Thinking about paddling off.