Along the Air Line... 2021 - Summer, Part 16
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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September 4th. Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe) about to capture a Midge (Family Chironomidae) in flight...

 

 

...before returning to its perch to look for the next one.

 

 

A young Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum)...

 

 

...about to be joined by another one.

 

 

 

 

 

Four Northern Flickers (Colaptes auratus). A family?

 

 

 

 

 

Great Crested Flycatcher (Myiarchus crinitus).

 

 

 

 

 

A sinkhole at the trail edge that has expanded since storm Ida.

 

 

September 7th. Two days later the sinkhole is larger, but at least now marked by a cone.

 

 

A humid morning of fog and mosquitoes.

 

 

Later, a walk east from Route 207. Dock-leaved Smartweed (Persicaria lapathifolia).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some interesting creatures under the bark of a dead tree fallen part way across the trail. Sowbug or Pillbug, a terrestrial Isopod.

 

 

Large Millipede (Family Spirobilidae, Narceus americanus-annularis-complex). About 4 inches long.

 

 

 

 

 

The pellets are its feces. They're vegetarians, protected from predators by glands in most segments that can release foul-smelling Benzoquinones.

 

 

 

 

 

Heading down, to hide in the leaf litter for now.

 

 

I disturbed a colony of Ants (Family Formicidae) under the bark.

 

 

I wasn't sure what the creature on the right was until I edited my pictures.

 

 

It's another Large Millipede that has just shed its skin. The new skin will darken in color in a few hours. The old skin is almost white, its pigments salvaged to be recycled in the new skin. I've seen lots of caterpillars shed their skins, but can't imagine the complexity of a millipede molt.

 

 

In this rock cut, note the pale round structure that looks like a golf ball.

 

 

Looks like a Pigskin Poison Puffball (Scleroderma citrinum) amid Haircap Moss (Polytrichum juniperinum) and another moss.

 

 

 

 

 

Another Large Millipede (Family Spirobilidae, Narceus americanus-annularis-complex), this one crossing the trail.

 

 

A Meadowhawk Dragonfly (Sympetrum sp.).

 

 

Some early-turning Red Maple (Acer rubrum) leaves, but what's that big grey thing hanging over the water?

 

 

A wasp nest; specifically of Bald-faced Hornets (Dolicovespula maculata).

 

 

My turning point, the power lines about a mile east of Route 207.

 

 

 

 

 

Slender Gerardia (Agalinus tenuifolia) on the path beside the power lines.

 

 

Back to the marsh near Route 207.

 

 

 

 

 

September 8th. As fog evaporated, low clouds were revealed above.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Large Bur-marigold (Bidens laevis) well out in the marsh not far from Old Colchester Road.

 

 

 

 

 

September 10th. The sink hole continues to expand.