Along the Air Line... 2020-2021 - Winter, Part 8
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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February 11th. Mid morning and the trail is in great shape.



Another sad snow-person.



Sun trying to peek through.






Back out in the afternoon for a short walk west from Bull Hill Road to the Lyman Viaduct.



The trail in that area was still in pretty rough shape.









I'd gone hoping for lots of icicles but found only this one cluster.



February 12th. Charles Darwin's 212th birthday. I imagine he'd enjoy the trail. If you'd like to add Darwin to your own desktop or Zoom background, all you need to do so is here:



Seven degrees and the sun just reaching the trail around 7:20.



A pair of Downy Woodpeckers (Picoides pubescens). Can't imagine what food they were finding.












Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor), one of several flitting around.



Dried short stalk of (2nd growth, previously mowed) Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus carota).


















February 13th. The Air Line railroad bridge over the Connecticut River looking from Portland towards Middletown.



The bridge and the short section of track serving Portland businesses represents the last bit of the Providence and Worchester Railroad here.



Looking east, you see the businesses it serves. The tracks end before the Air Line Trail crosses Route 66.




The swing bridge is left open unless a train needs to cross.






The Arigoni Bridge just upstream carries vehicular traffic.






February 16th. At 43 degrees, Winter Stoneflies (Family Capniidae, Allocapnia sp., most likely A. pygmaea) out atop the warming snow. This appears to be a female full of eggs.



Another individual.



February 17th. The trail looks good but is a tough walk after Monday's heavy rain turned to slush, then refrose last night. More snow coming soon.



February 21st. Thirteen degrees. Back on the trail after several days of light snow and bitter cold. The trail is in good shape at the marsh, though there is ice under the compacted snow. However, the trail through the woods from Route 85 to the marsh is very uneven with snow obscuring deep footprints made when the surface was slushy. Be careful.



I heard several doves and saw/heard winter birds like chickadees and juncos. Blue Jays (Cyanocitta cristata) were camera shy.



This Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) was constantly on the move.






I turned back when I got to the shaded section near Old Colchester Road.



February 22nd. Cloudy and 18 degrees. Rain expected later.






Intrepid cyclists.






Fruticose Lichen, "Old-man's Beard" (Usnea sp.).



I went looking for interesting shapes and textures. Dried flower head of Self-heal (Prunella vulgaris).









I can't count how many pictures I've taken of this tree, but never up close.



A little more Darwin fun.






Another frequently photographed tree.