Along the Air Line... 2020 - Summer, Part 14
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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September 9th. Closed Gentian (Gentiana andrewsii), the only one I've seen in bloom this year.

 

 

The same three Great Blue Herons (Ardea herodias) in roughly the same spots as yesterday morning. Here's 1....

 

 

...2...

 

 

...and 3.

 

 

In case there was any doubt about how dry the marsh has gotten, grass has sprouted amid the lily pads.

 

 

The only open water I saw on the south side was at this spot near a culvert under the trail.

 

 

Swimming at the surface was a school of little Bullhead Catfish (Ameiurus nebulosus) roughly 3" long.

 

 

(I only know this because in previous years I've seen them in better light where I could make out their barbules.)

 

 

An almost tame Eastern Cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 11th. The usual three Great Blue Herons (Ardea herodias) in the same spots. One...

 

 

Two...

 

 

 

 

 

Three.

 

 

September 13th. A short walk from the Route 2 commuter parking lot west parallel to Route 149. Locust Borers (Megacyllene robiniae) are common on Goldenrod (Solidago sp.) at this time of year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Woodland Sunflower (Helianthus divaricatus).

 

 

 

 

 

I was surprised to see some Chicory (Cichorium intybus) blooming so late in the day and season.

 

 

Another flower nearby with a distinct purple cast.

 

 

Several species of Aster in bloom. This and the next flower appear to be species of Symphyotrichum.

 

 

Aster with Crab Spider (Family Thomisidae, Mecaphesa sp.).

 

 

Males have large paddle-shaped pedipalps.

 

 

Two Assasin Bugs (Family Reduviidae) and a bright orange phoretic mite.

 

 

A mated pair of Broad-headed Bugs (Alydus eurinus) on Bush Clover (Lespedeza sp.).

 

 

A Sun Moth (Family Noctuidae; Subfamily Heliothinae; probably Corn Earworm Helicoverpa zea) also on Bush Clover.

 

 

September 14th. At Cranberry Bog in East Hampton, Turtlehead (Chelone glabra).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The flowers age quickly.

 

 

Honey Bees (Apis mellifera) busy working the Goldenrod (Solidago sp.)

 

 

 

 

 

September 15th. High smoke from the west coast fires is coloring the sky mornings and evenings when the sun is low.

 

 

 

 

 

An afternoon visit under the Blackledge River Bridge, leading to a large open field.

 

 

Look between the tree trunks and you can see the large sewage pipe leading from Colchester to the East Hampton treatment facility.

 

 

Three species of Aster. All Symphylotrichum species I think.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lots of Goldenrod (Solidago sp.).

 

 

Not many butterflies though. In addition to the two pictured below, I saw a Clouded Sulphur and a Viceroy.

 

 

Honey Bee (Apis mellifera).

 

 

This is one of only a couple of places where I can reliably find American Coppers (Lycaena phlaeas).

 

 

A male Eastern Tailed Blue (Everes comyntas).

 

 

Butter-and-eggs (Linaria vulgaris).

 

 

 

 

 

An Eastern Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa virginica) "stealing" nectar from Bouncing Bet (Saponaria officinalis).

 

 

They slit the base of the flower to extract nectar, rather than entering past the stamens. (You can see a slit made by a previous bee.)