Along the Air Line... 2019-2020 - Winter, Part 3
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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January 5th. Out early again, hoping for a colorful sunrise. Conditions mostly right but clouds just in the wrong place to capture light under them.



It was breezy though so I spent some time freezing ripple patterns on the water's surface where trees were reflected.



























See the face in profile? (Hint: big chin.)









A teeny bit of color developed - briefly - as I walked back.









January 7th. Fresh ice on the marsh.






January 8th. A crusty coating over overnight snow.


















I walked a little later than usual and there were a lot of people out.
























Rodent tracks with a tail drag.



I saw two of these Soldier Beetle larvae (Family Cantharidae) atop the thin coat of snow. They quickly warmed up in my hand and wandered around. (I photographed this one at home in a light box, then released it.)

A story: Fifty or so years ago, identifying this insect would have been a major chore for me, taking days to months to years of finding printed references and/or mailing the pickled larva to a specialist. Today, I posted this picture to the "Friends of Coleoptera" Facebook group managed by the Natural History Museum, London. I had the ID in under a minute, provided by Martin Fikáček from the Czech Republic. This astounds me; it seems miraculous. Thank you Martin. Thank you Internet.



January 9th. Fourteen degrees. Partial thawing and refreezing on the marsh resulted in some interesting patterns. This one is on the site of a long submerged beaver lodge.









Other anomalies in the surface.















After 45 minutes at 14 degrees. (Nose-cicles.)



January 14th. Thirtyfour degrees and very foggy. Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) on the south side of the marsh.









The outlet stream from the south side.