Along the Air Line... 2019 - Summer, Part 7
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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July 19th. Berries of Carrion Flower (Smilax herbacea) before they ripen and turn black.






I think this is an abberant Common Mullein (Verbascum thapsus). Only a foot or so tall with just a few flowers. Will check the plant again the next time I'm on the trail: I'm guessing it was mowed and put up a second shot at a flower spike in response.



Bouncing Bet (Saponaria officinalis).












The Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodius) in its usual spot.






Fall Webworm caterpillar (Hyphantria cunea). Earlier instars make messy silk nests that persist long after older caterpillars like this one disperse.



Another Harvestman (Leiobunum vittatum).






July 20th. I went back for a closer look at what I thought was an abberant Common Mullein (Verbascum thapsus).



Although only a foot tall, it can't be anything else; the fuzzy leaves are definitive. Not in a spot that had been mown this year at least, so I'll speculate no more on a reason it is so small.



Most of the invasive Showy Tick-trefoil (Desmodium canadense) was mowed but a few plants escaped and are flowering now. (The mown plants will sprout again and flower late summer before spreading their "sticktight" seeds.)






Selfheal (Prunella vulgaris) covered in dew.



Morrow's Honeysuckle (Lonicera morrowii) berries are ripening fast now, especially where the sun catches them.



July 21st. Mostly Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) in their favorite tree.



I count roughly 70 birds in this view.



A Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) flying in from the right.






I've seen very few Pearl Crescents (Phyciodes tharos) this year. Normally they're abundant.



Highbush Blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum) continue to ripen, a few every day.



Two of four or five Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) ducklings racing away from me towards cover.



"Mom" was several hundred feet away, calling.



Spotted Joe-Pye-weed (Eupatorium purpureum) buds are opening now.



July 22nd. Green-striped Mapleworm, caterpillar of the Rosy Maple Moth (Dryocampa rubicunda), resting along a vein of a leaf it had been eating.



A Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodius) grooming on a diffeerent perch than usual.






After 4.5 hours at UConn rearranging weevils in their collection, I walked east from Cook Hill Road in Lebanon and found this female Common Whitetail dragonfly (Plathelmis lydia) resting on a boulder, flying off and returning repeatedly, a behavior called hawking.



The male Common Whitetail looks very different.



A male Eastern Comma butterfly (Polygonia comma)...



...approaching a dog turd...



...from which it attempted to extract nutrients important for egg development, to be passed to a female during mating.



A fresh male Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) taking minerals from the trail surface, also to be passed along to a female during mating.









July 24th. Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodius), looking like a lawn ornament.



Look at those feet!



New York Ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis).



July 25th. At Cranberry Bog, a Little Glassywing skipper (Family Hesperididae, Pompeius verna) on Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata), its favorite nectar source.









Indian Tobacco (Lobelia inflata).



A male Slaty Skimmer dragonfly (Libellula incesta).



A male Blue Dasher dragonfly (Pachydiplax longipennis).



Complex flower of a Bullhead-lily (Nuphar vareigatum).