Along the Air Line... 2021 - Summer, Part 18
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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September 17th. A small Eastern Cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus). Mosquito swarms since the rain must make it miserable.

 

 

It seems to be feeding on fallen acorns.

 

 

September 18th. Carpenter Ants (Camponotus sp.) tending their herd of Woolly Alder Aphids (Prociphilus tessellatus).

 

 

The ants protect the aphids from predators and parasitoids and in return feed on "honeydew" (excess sugary plant fluid expelled from the aphids).

 

 

September 19th. A cool, pleasant morning.

 

 

A look "behind the scenes" - the same photo before edfiting. Take your pick.

 

 

Nice light. Could do without the mosquitoes.

 

 

Twenty-two Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) arriving from the north.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They flew low over the trail, circled around...

 

 

...flew back across the trail to the north side...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

...before wheeling around to the south side...

 

 

...and landing.

 

 

 

 

 

They didn't stay long. A few minutes later, they were gone.

 

 

American Beaver (Castor canadensis). I had just a few seconds for pictures...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

...before it was gone.

 

 

A few late flowers of Bouncing Bet (Saponaria officinalis)...

 

 

...near a few late Butter-and-eggs or Toadflax (Linaria vulgaris).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 20th. A sparkling morning at a cool 49 degrees at 7 A.M.

 

 

September 21st. Clear and 49 degrees again. No mosquitoes (until later).

 

 

Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis).

 

 

Counting the one flying in, 12 Eastern Bluebirds (Sialia sialis).

 

 

(I think the Tree Swallows are gone until spring.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A small, late blooming New York Ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis), probably mown a month or more ago.

 

 

 

 

 

Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe).

 

 

 

 

 

More barricades on the sink hole. (But good news! I saw a repair crew coming in from the parking area.)

 

 

Back to the marsh in the afternoon. The sinkhole has been filled in...

 

 

...as to some extent was another washout further west, though this one will soon wash out again.

 

 

A male Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus) perched where the Eastern Bluebirds were this morning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Northern Water Snake (Nerodia sipedon) warming up.

 

 

 

 

 

Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta) were out sunning too.

 

 

Reminds me of an opera scene maybe, where the turtle at the right is singing to an audience of one.

 

 

This one trying to impress with feats of balance? (I just noticed a third turtle in this photo. Can you find it?)

 

 

Silverrod (Solidago bicolor), the only Goldenrod that isn't bright yellow.

 

 

 

 

 

I'm guessing Strangulated Amanita (Amanita inaurata).

 

 

Purple-bloom Russula (Russula mariae).

 

 

I'm guessing Silvery-violet Cort (Cortinarius alboviolaceus).