Along the Air Line... 2020 - Spring, Part 21
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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A female Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina).



Not remotely tempted to remove the pine needles from her head.



Usually, they dig their nests in soft soil at the side of the trail. This one was in the trap rock just below the stone dust surface layer.



Rainbow in dew on this orb-weaver's web.






A Crane Fly (Family Tipulidae). The tiny soup ladle on the left side of the body is one of a pair of haltares, remnants of flies' hind wings. Now they serve as gyroscopic balance organs that help maintain stable flight.






An Inchworm (Family Geometridae) on Maple.



Looks and acted like a young Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus).






June 6th. No news on the Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) nest.



The usual Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias).



Good crop of Highbush Blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum)... but chipmunks and others will get most of them.



Multiflora Roses (Rosa multiflora) are starting to bloom. Some have a pinkish cast.



Others white.



Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta) likely looking for a place to bury her eggs.



Half an hour later, barely a different position. I wonder how they occupy their minds.



June 7th. Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana). They've been really loud lately.









Far down the trail, a Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina).



As I got closer, it was coming towards me.









When I got really close, it hunkered down.






I walked on, but when I returned she had dug a nest for her eggs.



The ants I photographed a few days ago are still tending aphids on the same cherry leaves.



A Snipe Fly (Family Rhagionidae, Rhagio sp.).



A bumble bee mimicking Robber Fly (Family Asilidae, Laphria sp.). They prey on real bumble bees.



A female Blue Dasher dragonfly (Pachydiplax longipennis). The double line of bold yellow dashes is distinctive.






A male Black-winged Damselfly (Calopteryx maculatum).



The first (and I hope only) Gypsy Moth (Lymantria dispar) caterpillar of the year.



A Red-spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis astyanax). Further north, this subspecies is replaced by the White or Banded Purple, L. arthemis arthemis).



June 8th. A hovering Horse Fly (Family Tabanidae, Hybomitra sp., possibly H. lasiophthalma). Males hover in patches of woodland sunlight, defending the spot from other males while guarding terrestrial larvae or a nearby female.



Common Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) will flower soon.



Dew on Yarrow (Achillea millifolium).



Carrion-flower (Smilax herbacea). Later we'll seen dense clusters of green, then blue-black, berries on this vine, a relative of Catbriar.



Competition among juvenile Red-winged Blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) for food on lily pods.