Along the Air Line... 2023 - Spring, Part 16
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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May 23rd. Terminal clusters of False Solomon's-seal (Smilacina racemosa). blossoms are just about fully open.






Ox-eye Daisies (Formerly Chrysanthemum leucathemum, are now called Leucanthemum vulgare).









Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus) far across the marsh.



A pair of Wood Ducks (Aix sponsa)...






...and a spare male.



Two distant Red-shouldered Hawks (Buteo lineatus). Thanks, Russ, for the ID.)



Through this series of photos, their heads were always scanning around.





















A few minutes later, one of them had moved a bit.






A few Pink Lady's Slipper orchids (Cypripedium acaule) still blooming.



A couple of stops by the trail along River Road. Lesser Stitchwort (Stellaria graminea).






Take a moment to look at the tiny "weeds" around your yard. They're impressive close up.



Common Cinquefoil (Potentilla simplex).






With common names like snake spit or spider spit, this froth is produced by nymphal Froghoppers, also called Spittlebugs (Family Cercopidae).



The froth protects the nymphs from predators and dessication. It's made by whipping up excess plant juices passed from the anus. The nymphs need to process a lot of plant juice because its nutrient content is so dilute.



This is probably the Meadow Spittlebug (Philaenus spumarius), an introduced species known to feed on over 400 species of plants.



Great Solomon's-seal (Polygonatum canaliculatum).






I watched an American Robin (Turdus migratorius) bring loads of muddy plant debris to a nest it was building above where I parked.















May 24th. A female Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula) foraging.









An afternoon stop at Cranberry Bog. Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias). Later it flew off while being chased by a male Red-winged Blackbird.



Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) and goslings in the shade of a tree.



Goslings have grown a lot.









The usual female Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceeus) diving at me and telling me to scram.



Here it perched atop the garden shed at the east end of the pond.



Later it appeared with three teneral (newly emerged, unable to fly, lacking color or stiff integument) adult Dragonflies (Order Odonata) in its beak.



As I assumed, its nest seemed to be nearby along the edge of the pond.



May 25th. A male Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula).



A male Wood Duck (Aix sponsa).