Along the Air Line... 2022 - Spring, Part 17
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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May 26th. Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis).






Black Cherry (Prunus serotina).



A couple of stops near the trail along River Road. Star Chickweed (Stellaria corei).









Grove Sandwort (Moehringia lateriflora), a teeny thing, easily overlooked.



Yarrow (Achillea millefolium).



Miscellaneous male Muscoid Fly.



Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta).



May 27th. A female Orb-weaver Spider in her web.



The female genital opening (Epigynum) is just behind the 4th pair of legs.



The usual Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias).



Eastern Chipmunk (Tamias striatus).



A short way down the Colchester Spur, an Eastern Cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus).









Froth produced by a Meadow Spittlebug (Philaenus spumarius). The nyphal bug is protected from predators or parasitoids by the froth it lives within. The froth is essentially excess plant sap which has been through the bug's digestive system where nutrients were absorbed. The froth is sometimes called snake spit or spider spit.



May 28th. White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) far across the marsh.



Saw me and moved to cover.






Two male Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) resting on a log that would normally be well under water.



Female Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina) looking for a soft spot to dig a hole for her eggs.












The Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) crouched in the shallow water.



Upright a little later, look at how muddy its neck, legs, and belly are.















Lush greens at this time of year. In the video that follows, turn up your volume and listen to the chorus of Green Frogs (Rana clamitans) and an occasional Bull Frog (Rana catesbeiana).






A Speckled Oak Gall produced by the larva of a Cynipid wasp.



May 29th. Despite a little recent rain, the marsh remains near an all time low water level.



Pink Lady's-slipper Orchids (Cypripedium acaule) are still hanging in there.






Sparkling dew.



American Elder or Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis).



A female Ebony Jewelwing damselfly (Calopteryx maculatum). Females have a white "stigma" at the tip of each wing and lack the strong metallic green of the male body. (A little green can be seen on the head and prothorax.)



A parasitic wasp (Family Ichneumonidae, Polytribax contiguus)



An Assassin Bug (Family Reduviidae).



A Speckled Green Fruitworm (Orthosia hibisci). Note the two black spots on this side of the body...



...and two more on this side. The caterpillar has been parasitized, the spots marking points where eggs were inserted.



May 30th. Looks like the same Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina) in the same spot as yesterday, trying to lay some eggs.