Along the Air Line... 2020 - Spring, Part 17
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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May 16th. A tiny white Speedwell (Family Scrophulariaceae, Veronica sp.).

 

 

 

 

 

Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think this is Robin-Plantain (Erigeron pulchellus), a Fleabane.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Mustard (Brassica sp.).

 

 

 

 

 

Dwarf Cinquefoil (Potentilla canadensis).

 

 

 

 

 

Identifying little flies is not something I can do so I reached out to BugGuide for help. It's in the Family Empididae, the Dance Flies. They get their common name for bobbing around in a swarm in sunlight over an "environmental marker". You can create your own artificial marker by putting out a white sheet or towel on a sunny lawn. In a short time, flies will gather in the air above it. Move the towel and the flies will soon follow. Often, the purpose of such swarms is as a gathering point for mate selection.
Here's my post and the reply I got: https://bugguide.net/node/view/1816845#3022034 (It was Yurika Alexander who helped me. Check out her brief bio: https://bugguide.net/user/view/38836) From her reply, I followed a link to the genus Rhamphomyia and the species group R. scolopacea: https://bugguide.net/node/view/301040 Finally, at the genus Rhamphomyia page I learned that there are 150 named species in North America and at least 400 known but as yet undescribed species. Interestingly, the one I photographed seems to be a species that specializes in Dwarf Cinquefoil ((Potentilla canadensis) as most of the other photos of it are on that flower.

 

 

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale).

 

 

...with two Cuckoo Bees (Nomada sp.).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hooked Crowfoot (Ranunculus recurvatus).

 

 

The invasive Morrow's Honeysuckle (Lonicera morrowii).

 

 

White Baneberry or Doll's Eyes (Actaea pachypoda), distinguished at this stage by the thicker stems below the flowers as visible in the next photo of a different plant.

 

 

 

 

 

Common Strawberry (Fragraria virginiana).

 

 

Nodding Trillium (Trillium cernuum).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Bedstraw (Galium sp.).

 

 

Violet (Viola sp.)

 

 

The Lady's-slipper Orchids (Cypripedium acaule). still aren't fully open.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ground Ivy of Gill-over-the-ground (Glechoma hederacea).

 

 

 

 

 

Poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans).

 

 

Shining Club-moss (Lycopodium lucidulum) and Partridgeberry (Mitchella repens).

 

 

Eastern Tent Caterpillar (Malacosoma americanum) nest.

 

 

Black specks are "frass". Caterpillars are lined up inside under layers of silk.

 

 

Nearby I found the egg mass they hatched from.

 

 

One of the caterpillars was out. Note the half eaten cherry leaves.

 

 

Fungi of several genera are carried from tree to tree by wood-boring beetles and cause this blue staining.

 

 

A few scenery shots. This taken on a side trail.

 

 

A cellar hole just off the trail near Judd Brook.

 

 

Falls under the Judd Brook bridge.

 

 

From the high bridge over the Jeremy River.

 

 

May 19th. Back to Raymond Brook Marsh. Color of the Pink Lady's-slipper orchids (Cypripedium acaule) has darkened.

 

 

 

 

 

Photos only from a distance as they're amid Poison Ivy.

 

 

 

 

 

Bullhead-lilies (Nuphar variegatum) are blooming all across the marsh.