Along the Air Line... 2021 - Summer, Part 17
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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September 12th. Deep red sky as I approached the trail.












Decaying logs from trees that fell last year.



Turkey-tail fungi (Trametes versicolor).






A lot of the Red Maples (Acer rubrum) have gone autumn red in just the past couple of days.

































The usual Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe).



A male Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens).









Bumble Bee (Family Bombidae) stayed out overnight and got covered in dew.



No one fixing this yet.



September 14th. Closed Gentian (Gentiana andrewsii).



A nice cool morning but humid and plenty of mosquitoes.



It has gotten very hard to see the marsh. Invasive Common Reed (Phragmites australis) and various shrubs and young trees block the views.






A large Old Man of the Woods fungus (Strobilomyces sp.)...



... with Hypomyces or other white fungal mold growing on the pores.



Thanks to Heather and Tee for identifications.



September 15th. Three Northern Flickers (Colaptes auratus) far out in the marsh, plus another bird...



...maybe an Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe) which hasn't been on it's Wood Duck house perch lately.



Noisy long distance low light closeup of a Flicker.



One of the swarm of mosquitoes at and near Raymond Brook Marsh lately.



John Shepard of the Connecticut Agriculturtal Experiment Station writes that "This mosquito appears to be Ochlerotatus (aka Aedes) trivittaus, which is a species that develops in "floodwater" pools. It been abundant this summer following the heavy rainfall that the state has received in July and August."






An afternoon walk at two spots along River Road, first near the Blackledge River bridge. A late bloom of Spotted Knapweed (Centaurea maculata).



Red Clover (Trifolium praetense)...



,,,with a visitor...



...a Spotted Cucumber Beetle (Diabrotica unidecimpunctata).



A dead female Monarch (Danaus plexippus) on the path. No obvious cause of death; perhaps the victim of a crab spider.









I often see American Coppers (Lycaena phlaeas) on this path. This one allowed me to get very close for photos. Why?



I should have known; it has been captured by an Ambush Bug (Phymata pennsylvanica)...



...which injected a toxin that paralysed the butterfly in seconds. The bug will spend hours sucking the butterfly dry.



Next, the pond at Day Meadow Brook on the trail.



I've seen this Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina) poking its head out at the same spot before.






Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) on Goldenrod (Solidago sp.).



A male Northern Paper Wasp (Polistes fuscatus). The yellow face and curled antennae confirm its sex.



I only see males late in the season. They're only necessary then to fertilize females which overwinter and start new colonies in the spring.



Males cannot sting since it's the females' ovipositor which serves as a stinger.



Various fall Asters in bloom (Symphyotrichum spp.)