Along the Air Line... 2018 - Summer, Part 13
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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September 2nd.  Bumble Bee (Family Bombidae) spent the night on a Woodland Sunflower  (Helianthus divicariatus).

 

 

Later, a Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos), also on Woodland Sunflower.

 

 

 

 

 

Horse-nettle (Solanum carolinense).  Spiny stems and leaves; same genus at tomato and potato, among others.

 

 

Plenty of pollen to attract insects, accessed via pores at the stamen tips.

 

 

Bumble Bee (Family Bombidae) on a dewy Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis) blossom.

 

 

 

 

 

Telltale shadow of a...

 

 

...Monarch (Danaus plexippus) caterpillar.

 

 

Another Monarch.  Its presence was revealed by the frass (poop) that had fallen onto lower leaves.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A dewy Yellow Bear (Spilosoma virginica), relative of the Woolly Bear.

 

 

Fall Webworms (Hyphantria cunea) cover the ends of branches with their webs at this time of year.

 

 

Early instars generally feed on leaves inside the webs, thus gaining protection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Late instars leave the web behind and feed openly.

 

 

Helmeted Squash Bug (Euthochtha galeator).

 

 

Spotted Knapweed (Centaurea maculosa).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 3rd.  More pics of yesterday's Monarch (Danaus plexippus) caterpillars...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

...plus a new smaller one a bit further from the trail edge.  A total of four within a few yards of each other.

 

 

September 4th.  Heat haze and high himidity by 7 A.M.

 

 

Dewy spider webs.

 

 

Indian Pipes (Monotropa uniflora), a parasitic plant lacking chlorophyll.

 

 

The two large Snapping Tuirtles (Chelydra serpentina) were at it again; though what "it" was I'm not so sure.  Pretty rough if courtship; looked more like a territrorial battle.

 

 

Much of the action took place underwater.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Incredible beasts.  (Have I said that before?)

 

 

Lots of blowing bubbles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More bubbles.  By this time, one turtle had left the scene.

 

 

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodius) stalking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The largest of the Monarch (Danaus plexippus) caterpillars still hasn't pupated.

 

 

A brief afternoon stop at Cranberry Bog.  Wild Sensitive-plant (Cassia nictitans) has developed its "pea-pods".

 

 

Pearl Crescents (Phyciodes tharos) are around from late spring well into fall.  Several broods at least.

 

 

Spotted Touch-me-not (Impatiens capensis) also is in bloom for a long period.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yellow Aphids (Aphis nerii) on Common Milkweed (Asclepias seriaca).

 

 

Think of them as Ant Cattle.  (Ants collect sugary "honeydew" from the aphids and are protected in return.)  The white objects are cast off nymphal aphid skins.

 

 

September 7th.  Turtlehead (Chelone glabra).  The common name comes from the way a portion of the flower (the "head") extends beyond what somewhat resembles a turtle's carapace.  Best seen in the side view flower at the left.