Along the Air Line... 2022 - Summer, Part 4
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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July 12th. At Cranberry Bog in East Hampton. Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata).









All the Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) look like adults now.









Common Pondhawk dragonfly (Erythemis simplicicollis).



Unlike holometabolous insects like beetles, wasps, butterflies, and flies, dragonflies have flight muscles directly attached to plates at the base of the wings in a complex arrangement shown here. The holometabolous insects have muscles that deflect the body wall and indirectly flex the wings.
Read and see diagrams here:



Spotted Touch-me-not or Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis) just starting to bloom.



Sweet Pea (Lathyrus odoratus) is in prime condition.



Honey Bee (Apis mellifera).












Japanese Beetles (Popillia japonica) do a number on the blossoms.



The same flowers photographed in shade. Vast color diofference.












July 13th. At the marsh. Momma Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) and four of her ducklings on the old beaver dam.



Two (of three) young male Wood Ducks (Aix sponsa).









July 14th. Bouncing Bet (Saponaria officinalis), now with many more flowers open.









An elderly (based on wing tatters) Little Wood-satyr (Megisto cymela).



Fun fact: Based on several switches associated with the Distal-less gene, that same gene is active in placement and development of caterpillar abdominal pro-legs, and in the placement and degree of development of eye-spots in butterfly wings.



Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias), grooming.



Ah, see the beak and top of its head?






More grooming.









Bunny 1. Eastern Cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus).









Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta).



Back to the Heron about 20 minutes later.






Yup, still grooming.



July 15th. Three near-adult male Wood Ducks (Aix sponsa).






Not far away, a mother Wood Duck led a number of ducklings into hiding as I walked nearby. (Glad to get even this poor photo shot on the fly.)



Young Eastern Cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus).






Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) peering into the vegetation.



Ah, it has stabbed a huge Brown Bullhead Catfish (Ameiurus nebulosus). From observing previous situations like this, I know the bird will pulverize the fish before attempting to swallow it. This can take quite awhile, with the bird alternating a series of stabs with attempts to swallow the fish. The fish must go down head first to slick back the barbules and fins.