Along the Air Line... 2018 - Summer, Part 12
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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August 27th.  Bluecurl (Trichostema dichotomum).  A milestone: this is picture 19,000 at my Air Line Trail site.






Looks like an immature Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii).






A Basilica Orbweaver spider (Mecynogea lemniscata).









Harvestman (Order Opiliones, Family Sclerosomatidae, Leiobunum vittatum).



Harvestmen have a single body region - no separate head, thorax, or abdomen - and eyes that sit atop a tiny "turret" between the second pair of legs.



Leaf-footed Bug (Acathocephala terminalis).



Bumble Bee (Family Bombidae) deep in an Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis).



Multicolored Asian Lady Beetle (Harmonia axyridis), a rampant invasive that has displaced many native species.



Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) is starting to show Fall colors...



...and spots.



Ravenel's Stinkhorn (Phallus ravenelii).  This photo taken about 8:00 A.M.



By 5:00 P.M., it had matured.  The genus name Phallus tells you a lot.  Not just the suggestive shape; the distinctive odor cannot be mistaken.



There were a number of Vinegar or Fruit Flies (Drosaophila sp.) on it and buzzing around.  There's one you can distinguish by its red eyes, resting on the cap... or head.  Nature's sense of humor.



August 28th.  The Stinkhorn is fading away, following the course of the older one at the left.



A couple of closer views of the Drosophila sp. flies.  (Sorry for the digital noise in the photos.  I'm exceeding my camera's comfort zone.)






I count 98 Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) in this photo, plus two Mourning Doves (Zenaida macroura).















108 in this photo.



What's the bird in the top center, with the speckled breast?



Same photo, closer crop on the odd bird.  Best guess, an immature Purple Martin (Progne subis).



August 29th.  106 birds this morning (and many more on another nearby dead tree).  Mostly Tree Swallows, but I think there were three or four Purple Martins mixed in.



Newly hatched Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina) - one of about eight strolling across the trail near where they emerged from soft soil.









This will give you a sense of size.



Too hot for anything but a brief afternoon walk on the bypass west of Old Hartford Road, heading towards Route 2.  The invasiuve Common Reed (Phragmites australis).



Must be close to the last Sweet Pea (Lathyrus odoratus) blossom of the year.



Great Golden Digger Wasp (Sphex ichneumoneus).






August 30th.  Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodius).



My, what big claws you have!



Two very large Snapping Turtles (Chelydra serpentina), presumably canoodling.  (I could find no citations for territorial sparring.)






What a beast.  Turtles of this size are likely to be 40 years old or more.  Some are known to live 100 years.  Check out the spider on the lily pad.






Both turtles up for air.




September 1st.  Young male Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) about to fly off.



Harvestman (Order Opiliones, Family Sclerosomatidae).  Note the two tiny red phoretic mites hitching a ride on the legs.  On Woodland Sunflower (Helianthus divaricatus).



Sawfly larva (Macremphytus testaceus).  Not a fly, nor a Lepidopteran caterpillar, but a Hymenopteran.



An Assassin Bug (Zelus luridus) nymph sucking upthe body contents of an inchworm (Family Geometridae).