Along the Air Line... 2020 - Summer, Part 8
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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August 2nd. Bunny 1: Eastern Cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus).






Bunny 2:



Animal anatomy note: Predators have eyes facing mostly forward (and with great binocular vision for range finding) while "prey" have eyes facing sideways to better warn of threats (and only a small forward area of binocular vision).



























Mourning Doves (Zenaida macroura). Adult left; juvenile right.






Psst! We're being photographed.



Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) in a favorite resting perch. (I sure hope they're not already preparing to leave the marsh.)



Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias), statue-like on a stump.






New York Ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis).



Ants tending an aggregation of Woolly Alder Aphids (Paraprociphilus tesselatus). The ants provide protection in return for sweet honeydew.



Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) is blooming on the south side of the marsh not far from Old Colchester Road.



Cameras have a hard time capturing the intense red. With manipulation, this is close.



Closer, but still wrong.



Another patch of Cardinal Flower right by the bridge over Old Colchester Road.









Woodland Sunflower (Helianthus divaricatus).









Poison Sumac (Toxicodendron vernix) is showing fall color...



...hopefully due to drought, not impending end to summer.






August 3rd. Young Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpenitina).



August 4th. Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) female and five "teenagers"...



...still wet from washing up.






August 5th. The morning after tropical storm Aisias passed through, downing trees and power lines throughout the region. The trail was a mess, but fallen trees in the section I walk had already been cleared enough to allow passage by them.



I spent most of my walk kicking sticks and leafy twigs to the side.



Hundreds and hundreds of sticks.



It was a beautiful morning.



(As I write this, it's nearly noon on August 11th and our neighborhood just got cable back. We got power on the afternoon of August 9th, after a full five days without it.)






A good year for Northern Water Snakes (Nerodia sipedon) but you have to look closely.



Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta).



An afternoon walk to the marsh on the same day. Kicked more sticks. The marsh looks more like a meadow every year.



The resident Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias).















A favorite perch for it.



It was a hot and humid afternoon. When I passed by again a little later it was panting ("gular flutter" in birds).






Closer to Old Colchester Road, two Ruby-throated Hummingbirds (Archilochus colubris) were working the Cardinal Flowers and Sweet Pepperbush. This is a female (no ruby throat).



Bumble Bee (Family Bombidae) on Spotted Joe-Pye-weed (Eupatorium maculatum).






Eastern Cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus).



Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta).