Along the Air Line... 2018-2019 - Winter, Part 7
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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Mid-afternoon, February 5th.  Sixty degrees!  Pink Earth Lichen (Dibaeis baeomyces) on waste ground east of the Blackledge River bridge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reindeer Lichen (Cladonia sp., most likely C. rangiferina) with Haircap Moss (Polytrichum sp.).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some small animal perished here.

 

 

Back across the Blackledge River bridge, heading west (though the photo looks east).

 

 

Some ice remains in ther rock cuts.

 

 

Trailing Arbutus (Epigaea repens).  A couple of decent clumps, but much of what I remember photographing in past years is gone.

 

 

Buds are set, protected by the leathery leaves.  Trailing Arbutus is one of the earliest spring bloomers.

 

 

February 6th.  Black-capped Chicadees (Poecile atricapella) were busy foraging, though I heard some spring "fee-bee" courting calls too.

 

 

Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) were enjoying some limited open water on the channel side during this brief thaw.

 

 

February 7th.  Various Fungi on downed limbs "enjoying" the damp, warm (almost 40 degrees) temperatures.

 

 

On these Veiled Panus (Tectella patellaris - Thanks Terry Stoleson for the ID), gilled undersides...

 

 

...on sticky, incurved bracketed caps.  See the slug?

 

 

Aptly named Turkey-tail (Trametes versicolor).

 

 

What's that on the lower rim?

 

 

Yup, a spider.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 8th.  Mid-afternoon short walk at 49 degrees.

 

 

Trail is ice free and firm wherever the sun hits; mud and standing water in some wooded areas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wind expected soon with significant chill overnight.

 

 

February 9th.  Brutal wind chill at 21 degrees.  After walking some of Raymond Brook Marsh, I visited the pond just east of Route 207.  Behind the beaver lodge, one of four trees first damaged by March 2018.

 

 

Scroll down on this page from March 2018 to see how much more work the beavers have accomplished recently: https://performance-vision.com/airline2018/airline-spring-18a.htm

 

 

The comparison of this tree to its state last year is particularly dramatic.

 

 

Lest there be any doubt, these are very large trees.

 

 

On the trail near where I took the beaver-tree photos, the deep erosion damage remains unrepaired.

 

 

February 10th.  17 degrees and ice surfaces refrozen in patterns.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) found some open water.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Retreating to privacy.

 

 

February 11th.  A lone male Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos).

 

 

Ice patterns change daily.

 

 

At the exit stream on the south side.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 12th.  More ice at the same spot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foliose Lichen and 'shrooms past their prime.