Along the Air Line... 2019-2020 - Winter, Part 7
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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February 2nd. Beech leaves persist through the winter and rustle in any breeze.
















Crisp ice crystals from a few days ago have aged. (I can relate.)






Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos).







































February 4th. A walk west from River Road near the beaver pond. Sorry, many of the pictures that follow are not the most photogenic, but I wanted to present the trail in Winter from a different perspective. Checking under bark, I found this moth cocoon, mostly constructed from its body hairs.



Here's the pupa inside. I'll rear to to identify the species, but it's gotta be one of only a couple of hairy white caterpillars in our region. Best guess would be the American Dagger Moth, Acronicta americana, though it seems too small for that.



Continuing to hunt under bark of downed trees, I found this spider silk egg case...



...filled with eggs.



A large round bodied beetle larva...



...and this flat beetle larva, probably the Red Flat Bark Beetle (Cucujus flavipes).



Another beetle larva, probably the same as the last one, but this one has been overwhelmed by fungus.



A Darkling Beetle (Family Tenebrionidae).



A palm tree under bark?



Um, no. Looks like a young Cinquefoil heading for the light.



A fair number of mushrooms around.including this bright orange Cinnabar-red Polypore (Pycnoporus cinnabarinus)...



...growing from the same log as several of these Trametes hirsuita relatives of Turkey-tail. (Thanks, as always, to Terry Stoleson for IDs.)















Pink Earth Lichen (Dibaeis baeomyces).



The Blackledge River Bridge, looking west.






West of the Brownstone Bridge, one of two clumps of Trailing Arbutus (Epigaea repens) is doing very well. (The other clump is nearly gone.)



Buds are already set. It blooms in early May as I recall and is pollenated by Bee Flies (Family Bombyliidae).



February 7th. Leaden skies and light misty drizzle.






Three Hooded Mergansers (Lophodytes cucullatus) interacting. (Full telephoto, mist, low light, and ISO 1600 make for noisy pictures.)