Along the Air Line... 2019 - Summer, Part 2
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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June 26th. Subtle colors of Poke Milkweed (Asclepias exaltata) make this one of my favorite wildflowers.

 

 

There are only three plants of it that I know of, all vulnerable at the Route 85 trailhead.

 

 

 

 

 

Green Frog (Rana clamitans).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lots of Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta) out on this warm sunny morning.

 

 

Several females looking for places to bury their eggs.

 

 

This one has a leech on its carapace. The leech's head is at the lower left; its caudal sucker at the upper right.

 

 

Pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata)...

 

 

...visited by a Bumble Bee (Family Bombidae).

 

 

Common St. Johnswort (Hypericum perforatum).

 

 

Black dots on petal margins are diagnostic.

 

 

Deerfly (Chrysops sp.) season has begun.

 

 

The psychedelic eyes are no compensation...

 

 

...for their nasty bites. Their mouthparts work like the electric carving knives that were once popular: two serrated blades oscillate past each other as they bore through your skin. Blood from the wound is mopped up by an absorbent pad at the tip of the proboscis. (What fresh hell is this?)

 

 

June 27th. A female Common Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicicollis) dragonfly.

 

 

A male Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis) dragonfly. Because of a distracting background, I had a hard time getting photos in focus but the dragonfly cooperated by "hawking" away from its perch and returning to the same spot time after time.

 

 

 

 

 

An Eastern Comma (Polygonia comma) drawing nutrients from a shriveled up earthworm.

 

 

The Comma gets its name from the comma-shaped mark on the underside of the hind wing. Otherwise, the underside mimics a shriveled dead leaf.

 

 

An Appalachian Brown (Satyrodes appalachia).

 

 

Carolina or Pasture Rose (Rosa carolina).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blue-eyed Grass (Sisyrinchium sp.) in the Iris family Iridaceae.

 

 

Canada Lily (Lilium canadense).

 

 

Queen Anne's Lace or Wild Carrot (Daucus carota) is just about to bloom.

 

 

Tall Meadow-rue (Thalictrum polygamum).

 

 

Probably the smallest Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta) that I've seen this year...

 

 

...while this one is the first I've ever seen resting on a lily pad.

 

 

June 28th. Particularly dark flowers of Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca).

 

 

 

 

 

June 29th. Canada Lilies (Lilium canadense).

 

 

They range in color from yellow...

 

 

...to orange or even red. Random...

 

 

...or reflective of growing in full sun or shade?

 

 

The female Polyphemus Moth (Antheraea polyphemus) that eclosed on June 16th mated and laid 366 eggs...

 

 

...each a flattened disk about 2mm in diameter. (I retained a small number of eggs. Most went to other Entomologists for rearing.)

 

 

 

The eggs hatched today, revealing caterpillars about 4mm long and very active. Mature caterpillars will be roughly 70mm long and as thick as a finger.

 

 

Several families Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) at Cranberry Bog in East Hampton.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cheek patches on young birds are not yet pure white.

 

 

Time for a Duckweed (Lemna minor) snack.

 

 

First Spotted Knapweed (Centaurea stoebe) of the year.

 

 

Sweet Pea (Lathyrus odoratus)