Along the Air Line... 2019 - Spring, Part 4
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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April 12th. Male Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola)...

 

 

...with the female.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura).

 

 

 

 

 

April 13th. Early afternoon. Spring Azure (Celastrina ladon).

 

 

(Upperside is pale blue.)

 

 

Female Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris) grooming...

 

 

...as was the male...

 

 

...as a pair of Buffelheads (Bucephala albeola) motored by.

 

 

Striking metallic colors on the male's head.

 

 

Beginning a dive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta) undaunted by a female Ring-necked Duck sharing its log.

 

 

Male nearby not a problem either.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 14th. Mute Swan (Cignus olor) far across the marsh.

 

 

American Beaver (Castor canadensis) in the channel. So glad trapping season is over and the remaining beavers can get on with life.

 

 

 

 

 

April 16th. Red Maples (Acer rubrum) adding color.

 

 

Spring pastel greens will soon follow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I found a badly weathered Promethea Moth (Callosamia promethea) cocoon and guessed that the moth had emerged last year. However, I gave it a shake and it felt heavy, in the way such cocoons feel when the pupa inside is alive. Sure enough, I carefully opened the cocoon and found this pupa very much alive, wiggling its abdomen as proof. I'll allow it to eclose here in hopes of pictures of the moth. Don't care to wait? See my Promethea Moth pages here: https://performance-vision.com/promethea/index.htm

 

 

April 17th. Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) taking a break from insect hunting on the wing.

 

 

I count 43.

 

 

Afternoon, east of Grayville Road. Wild Leeks or Ramps (Allium tricoccum).

 

 

False Hellebore (Veratrum veride).

 

 

Pleated leaves distinguish it from...

 

 

...Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Seedlings of Spotted Touch-me-not or Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis).

 

 

Watercress (Nasturtium officinale).

 

 

Tiny blossoms of Spicebush (Lindera benzoin).

 

 

 

 

 

East of Old Colchester Road, some interesting invertebrates in the trailside ditch, starting with this Caddisfly larva in a case made of scraps of vegetation.

 

 

Lots of snails.

 

 

Snails have a magical ability to locomote on the underside of water's surface tension.

 

 

At Raymond Brook Marsh, lots of Whirligig Beetles (Family Gyrinidae, Dinutes sp.) on the surface.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whirligig beetles' eyes are divided, half below and the other half above the water surface, each pair adapted to their medium.

 

 

Lotas of Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta) sunning.

 

 

 

 

 

The large turtle has a deformed shell.

 

 

 

 

 

Lily pads have risen to the surface.

 

 

Flies and a mated pair of Water Striders (Family Gerridae, Gerris sp.) hanging out on this pad.