Along the Air Line... 2022 - Spring, Part 15
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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May 18th. Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) on the hunt at Raymond Brook Marsh.












A White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) far across the marsh. Same animal as seen yesterday, I'd guess.






A walk west from Grayville Road to Judd Brook to see the orchids blooming near there. Wild Geraniums (Geranium maculatum) in full bloom now.









Common Fleabane (Erigeron philadelphicus).



Note the early instar Katydid (Family Tettigoniidae) nymph at the top.



One of two Juvenal's Duskywing Skippers (Erynnis juvenais) I saw along the way.









Nodding Trillium (Trillium cernuum).












Finally, the Pink Lady's-slipper Orchids (Cypripedium acaule).

































May 23rd. False Solomon's-seal (Smilacina raacemosa) is in full bloom.









Pink version of Morrow's Honeysuckle (Lonicera morowii).



Greater Celandine (Chelindonium majus). Introduced from Europe; invasive here. Read about it:



Pink Azalea or Pinxter-flower (Rhododendron nudiflorum) is now past prime.






Pink Lady's-slipper orchids (Cypripedium acaule) are still doing well.






The yellowish-green "peas" at the top are Pollinia, massed balls of pollen.



Ornamental Iris at the Route 85 trailhead.



Wool Sower Galls on White Oak (Quercus alba), made by the Cynipid wasp Callirhytis seminator.






Clavate Tortoise Beetles (Family Chrysomelidae, Plagiometriona clavata).






An Inchworm caterpillar (Family Geometridae).






This is a Fall Cankerwom (Alsophila pometaria), unique in having a small pair of prolegs on the fifth abdominal segment.



Another inchworm; this one is the caterpillar of The Half-wing moth (Phigalia titea).



Not a lepidopteran caterpillar; rather the larva of a Sawfly (in the hymenopteran Family Tenthredinidae).



Snipe Fly (Family Rhagionidae, probably Rhagio sp.).



Nifty spider on Ox-eye Daisy (Chrysanthemum leucanthemum).






I would expect this to be a Northern Water Snake (Nerodia sipedon), but it seems too slender and with no sign of patterning. Instead perhaps a smallish Northern Black Racer (Coluber constrictor constrictor). In spring, they sometimes venture up into shrubs, hunting birds.