Along the Air Line... What's New
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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10th Annual Ghost Run/Relay - November 3rd, 2012

The Air Line Trail hosted the 10th annual Ghost Run/Relay on Saturday, November 3rd, 2012. As usual, the race started at 9:00 A.M. from Hebron Elementary School (92 Church Street - Route 85) and ended at Center Elementary School in East Hampton.
Follow these links for Photos at Raymond Brook Marsh and Race Results

Trail reaches "Downtown" East Hampton

July, 2012: The Air Line Trail extension west from Cranberry Bog now reaches Main Street, East Hampton - with ample parking and access to restaurants and shops!  This is great news: the first access to services of any kind adjacent to the trail. Full details here. 


9th Annual Ghost Run/Relay - November 5th, 2011

The Air Line Trail hosted the 9th annual Ghost Run/Relay on Saturday, November 5th, 2011. As usual, the race started at 9:00 A.M. from Hebron Elementary School (92 Church Street - Route 85) and ended at Center Elementary School in East Hampton.
Follow these links for Photos at Raymond Brook Marsh and the Finish Line and Race Results

Sample Photos from Ghost Run 2010

 

 


Walktober 2011 - October 15th

The Lebanon Rails to Trails Committee hosted a guided walk on the Air Line Trail on Saturday, October 15th from 9:00-11:00 AM.   Donna Koenig (in red, below) offered trail history while I provided nature photography tips. We met where the trail crosses Route 87 in Lebanon at the Columbia town line (4.7 miles north of Route 207).  The round trip of 1.5 miles was on a smooth stone dust surface, though some ventured a few yards off the trail for pictures.  More pictures here.


DEEP's 2011 Family Bike Day

October 8th was Family Bike Day on the Air Line Trail in Hebron, part of the DEEP's No Child Left Inside initiative that was very well attended last year.  Diane Joy organized the event.

Rachael signs up a young participant.  Lettered "bird houses" placed along the trail held stamps to be used to complete game sheets.
DEEP staff chat with riders.  Bicycles for adults and children were available for loan.  There were even adult bikes with "trailers" for young family members.


"Along the Air Line..." Gallery Showing at the Marlborough, CT Town Hall - May-June 2011

"Along the Air Line..." was on exhibit at my local Town Hall during regular business hours through the end of June. The exhibit was courtesy of the Marlbourough Arts Center.

Samples of what was on display.

Colchester Land Trust's Fine Art & Living Auction - April 2011

The Colchester Land Trust Fine Art and Living auction is complete.  Donations of fine art, crafts, and wine were accepted until March 15th.  Artwork was dropped off or shipped to: Barry Ford, 462 Westchester Road, Colchester, CT 06415. Call Barry 860-267-6751 to arrange for special pickup or directions.

The Artist's Reception at Cragin Memorial Library in Colchesterwas on Tuesday, April 12th from 6:00-8:30.  The gallery exhibit was open through April during library hours. As usual, all bidding was online. Follow links at the CLT web site to view fine art, photos, sculpture, and wine items that were up for bids.

I contributed three of my photos. All sold.

Ring-billed Gull
8x10" in 11x14" frame.
Ring-billed Gull
3x10" in 11x14" frame.
Ring-billed Gull
8x10" in 11x14" frame.

2010 Trail Advocacy Award

In November, I was honored by American Trails as recipient of their 2010 Trail Advocacy Award for Connecticut - primarily for my 9+ years work on this web site.  While pleased, I can't help but feel that others may have deserved it more. Their full announcement is here.  Also honored was a true pioneer of the Air Line Trail, Joe Hickey.


8th Annual Ghost Run/Relay - November 6th, 2010

The Air Line Trail hosted the 8th annual Ghost Run/Relay on Saturday, November 6th, 2010. As usual, the race started at 9:00 A.M. from Hebron Elementary School (92 Church Street - Route 85) and ended at Center Elementary School in East Hampton. Follow these links for Photos at Raymond Brook MarshPhotos at the Finish Line and Race Results

Sample Photos: (I took 479 photos and tried to get every runner.)

 

 


I've been asked to serve as a judge of the 2011 CT Audubon Society Photo Contest - Jan-Feb.
After much success as an entrant over the years, I'm looking forward to recognizing the work of other photographers.

Entries accepted Jan. 11-14 from 1-5 p.m., and on Jan. 15 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Contest is for amateur photographers only. All ages welcome.  Opening Reception for participants on Fri., Jan. 28, 4-7 p.m. (Snow date is Jan. 29, 4-7 p.m.)

"Our Natural World" Photo Exhibit and Sale runs from Feb. 1-26 during normal Center hours.  Contest Rules and Entry Forms here.

Along the Air Line... - Gallery Exhibit, Presentation, and Field Trip. 
March - May, 2011

Planning is underway for a major gallery exhibit and presentation at the Connecticut Audubon Society's Glastonbury Center.  Additionally, I will lead a field trip on the Air Line Trail.  Here are brief descriptions of each event:

Gallery Exhibit - Along the Air Line…
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut  -  Photos by Stan Malcolm
  March 23rd gallery exhibit opening, 5:00-7:00 P.M.  Running until May 6th or 7th.  I'll hang roughly 30 of my favorite and/or award-winning photos - mostly from the trail.  I'll also have a PPT presentation about the trail set to loop on a large screen monitor.

Nature Photography Along the Air Line…
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut  -  by Stan Malcolm
  April 6th PPT presentation, 7:00-8:30.  I'll describe trail features from East Hampton to the Willimantic River, discuss some fundamentals of nature photography, and comment on the gallery pictures.

Photoshoot Along the Air Line…
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut  -  Led by Stan Malcolm
  April 9th hike, 8:00 A.M., starting at the Route 85 trailhead near the lumberyard in Hebron.  There will be an experienced Audubon "birder" co-leading the walk with me.

----------------------------------------------------------
Details and admission costs, if any, will be posted at the CT Audubon Society's web page: http://www.ctaudubon.org/visit/glastonbury.htm 
Or you can call them at: 860-633-8402


Location:  1361 Main Street, Glastonbury, CT 06033
Hours:
Tuesdays through Saturdays: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sundays: 1-4 p.m. (please call first).
Closed Mondays.


"Along the Air Line..." Gallery Showing in Northampton, MA
opened July 7th, 2010 - Closed August 5th.

"Along the Air Line..." was on the road in July with an exhibit at the Trailside Gallery in Northampton, Massachusetts. It opened on July 7th and ran until August 5th.  On Arts Night Out, July 9th, the gallery hosted a wine and cheese reception from 5:00 until 8:00 PM.  There was be a Closing Reception on Thursday, August 5th from 5:00 until 8:00 PM.

View the opening reception in time-lapse video: 
QuickTime high-resolution version 
YouTube low-resolution version

The gallery is in the lower-level conference room of the real estate offices of long-time rail-trail advocate Craig Della Penna. I had 30 framed photos on display, and an array of matted prints also for sale.

Craig's business blends several passionate interests:  He's the Broker/Owner of Pedal to Properties: Della Penna’s Trailside Realty, where he specializes in matching trail enthusiasts with properties near trails. And he has been an advisor to rail-trail project committees throughout the northeast, bringing the experience necessary to steer dreams to reality. He also supports the arts in an art-friendly town.
The ground floor office area features a commissioned conference table as a center piece. "Built through a collaboartion of Stone Soup Concrete and SalmonStudio, this structure is sure to become famous around town as a touchstone of sorts.  A bridge from real estate past to real estate future."

Stairs at the right lead down to the gallery. Guests unable to negotiate the stairs were treated to a slide show of the exhibit on this level.

Downstairs is the spacious and well lit Trailside Gallery www.thetrailsidegallery.net The gallery is the idea of Jessica Lapinski, office manager at Pedal to Properties. On the second Friday of every month, Northampton hosts "Arts Night Out", a collaboration of area galleries, performers, and restaurants.

Regular Gallery Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday - 9:00-6:00.  Tuesday 11:00-6:00.

Click for directions.


If you missed attending in person, you can still view the exhibit through this Powerpoint presentation in PDF format (Adobe Reader required).

ADDRESS:
14 Strong Ave.
Northampton, MA 01060
413-584-1885

Located in Northampton's arts district and steps away from four acclaimed restaurants, Pedal to Properties and the Trailside Gallery also provide immediate access to a popular rail trail.  You're just a few steps away from the restored Union Station and the rail trail that parallels the still-active main line.


Wild Birds Unlimited offering my Photos

Next time you're in Glastonbury, CT, please stop by and see the nice display of my photos that they are offering for sale.  Prices are very reasonable.

UPDATE: I've pulled the display for now in order to display the matted prints at the Trailside Gallery.

 


Remarkable Progress on the Lebanon Section of the Air Line Trail!  - April 8th, 1010 update

As I was walking west of Leonard Bridge Road, I met Donna Koenig who heads the Lebanon Rails To Trails committee.  She gave me an update on their progress and I followed up with a tour on foot and by car. 

Briefly, the Lebanon section of the trail is complete from Hebron all the way east to Route 87.  The next section, from Route 87 to Cook Hill Road just needs stone dust but is perfectly usable as is.  Stone dust is scheduled for this year.  The east side entry from Route 87 appears to run through private property but in fact is part of the trail right-of-way.   On the east side of Cook Hill Road a farmer is using the trail property and further planning is necessary.  Beyond the farm to Village Hill Road the trail is passable but not improved.  I then went on via Rt 289 to Williimantic and found the trail crossing Kingsley Road close to the bridge over the river.   That area has been roughly bulldozed and should be passable but a bit muddy.  Donna tells me that they plan to complete the sections from Village Hill Rd. to Kingsley, and Kingsley to the Willimantic river this summer! Windham will be decking the bridge over the river.  They are still in the planning stages.

The view looking west from Route 87 along the completed section of the trail.  Very limited parking without blocking emergency access to the gate.

The view looking east from Route 87. Except for the gate, it would be easy to think this was private property.
Despite this inauspicious entry point, the section from Route 87 to Cook Hill Road is quite scenic, running beside a river and above some bogs and vernal pools.  Marsh Marigold was blooming as I walked there.
The view looking west from Cook Hill Road.  Stone dust will be applied to this section shortly.  There's good parking here.

The view looking west from Cook Hill Road. You can make out the trail right-of-way through land used by a farmer.

Summing up, the Lebanon section is complete from the Hebron line all the way to Route 87.  From Route 87 to Cook Hill Road, it's ready for stone dust this year.  The section from Cook Hill Road to Village Hill Road will be postponed until the farm issue is resolved.  The section beyond Village Hill Road is slated for completion this year, right up to the bridge. No specific date is available for decking the bridge leading into Willimantic.


Surfacing the Colchester Spur, March 25th, 2010

I'm pleased to report that surfacing of the Colchester Spur is nearly complete.  Thanks to Park & Recreation director Richard Calarco for guiding the project along.

 

After several days of preparation, on March 22nd, the first truckloads of surfacing material arrived.

On March 25th, the work was nearing completion.
Hebron's Public Works road foreman, Billy Standish (at left) guides the truck driver as Park & Recreation crew member Jay Costa (center) and crew leader Jay Hunniford (right) monitor delivery of the surfacing material.
My guess was that a truckload was enough to surface 100 feet of trail. Billy estimated 17 truckoads and a short day tomorrow should see the work completed.
Jay Hunniford guides the roller.  The finished surface looks great and feels good underfoot.

Orange Lily, March 25th, 2010

Today I photographed a lily purchased from Ted's market in Hebron. Please have a look at my photos.


Red-shouldered Hawk, March 16th, 2010

My daughter Jill called me outside to see a hawk perched nearby.  Over the course of 15 minutes or so, we watched as it caught and devoured three moles (or possibly voles). Please have a look at my photos.


Magic Wings, March 10th, 2010

Yesterday, I made another visit to the Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory in South Deerfield, MA. Please have a look at my photos.


Logee's Greenhouse - March 5th, 2010

Summer on a winter day!  Heat, humidity and the smell of orange blossoms. If you can't visit Logee's in Danielson, CT, at least have a look at my photos: www.performance-vision.com/Logees-3-5-10

 


Colchester Land Trust's Fine Art & Living Auction - April 2010

The Colchester Land Trust Fine Art and Living auction is underway  There was an opening Artist's Reception at Cragin Memorial Library in Colchester on Wednesday, April 7th.  The gallery exhibit will remain open through April during library hours. As usual, all bidding will be online. Follow links at the CLT web site to view fine art, photos, sculpture, and wine items up for bids.

I contributed three of my photos.
Alpine Asters
11x14" in 16x20" frame.
Cecropia Moth
11x14" in 16x20" frame.
Great Egret
11x14" in 16x20" frame.

Clicking With Nature:
Even A Simple Digital Camera Can Capture Special Shots You'll Be Wild About

In late January, 2010, Steve Grant asked for my input to a column he was writing on nature photography tips and techniques.  His timing was perfect as just the week before I had presented "Nature Photography 101" to a large group in Colchester. I was able to share my Powerpoint slides and talking points in short order.  Steve's column appeared in the February 6th edition of the Hartford Courant. The article was accompanied by several of my photos, in color, and a nice portrait of me by photographer Bettina Hansen.

Stan Malcolm - Bettina Hansen photo, used with permission. Copyright 2010, The Hartford Courant.

Read the Hartford Courant article

These photos accompanied the article:

"Parahelia" - February 5th, 2010

While driving through Waterford, CT, I photographed this 360 degree rainbow parahelia, complete with lateral sundogs and an inverted rainbow arc above (not visible in this shot).  Never seen one so dramatic.  The pictures were taken before 10:00 AM and the effect was still partly visible at 2:00 PM.

Background: http://www.astropix.com/HTML/G_SUN/SUNDOGS.HTM

 


2010 Connecticut Audubon Society Photo Contest Results

January 30, 2010

I'm pleased to say that my photo of a Jaguar won an Honorable Mention award in the Conncticut Audubon Society's 2010 Photography Competition.

 

My photo of Bee Balm also won an Honorable Mention award.

The exhibit will be on display through February at the Audubon Center in Glastonbury. There were a record 310 entries and the quality overall was quite high, so well worth a visit if you're nearby.




National Recreational Trails Photo Contest Winner - January 2010

American Trails has announced the winners of their 2009 National Recreational Trails Photo Contest.  I was lucky enough to receive an award in the Environmental Features, Flora, and Fauna category. View complete contest results.

 


My photos in Publications

Recently several of my photos appeared in Nature Reviews - Neuroscience and the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. The Nature Reviews article by Jerome Seigel is titled "Sleep viewed as a state of adaptive inactivity."  Two Dermatology journal articles by Eric Hossler dealt with "Dermatological manifestations of encounters with Lepidoptera." My Saddleback caterpillar photos (sample at right) show the stinging spines designed to break off  at the slightest touch.

My Saddleback caterpillar photos made the cover of the January 2010 issue of "JAAD", the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. I can just imagine future grad students in Dermatology coming across that cover while flipping through research library copies and being more than a little startled by it! "What the heck is that?!?"

Several more photos are scheduled to appear in Pearson Publications' new 5th Grade Science textbook, National Wildlife Federation's upcoming Field Guide to Wildflowers and David Wagner's next revision of his Caterpillars of Eastern Forests. These published photos give me great pleasure.


"Fall in New England" Photo Contest Results

December 6th, 2009.  I'm pleased to say that my black and white image of poke berries took First Place in PhotoConnection's latest contest.

Another of my photos (below) was awarded Honorable Mention in the color category.


Construction at Cranberry Bog - December 2nd, 2009

Construction on Flanders Road, across Cranberry Bog from the East Hampton trailhead, seems to be progressing. (Abundant materials nearby suggest that more is to be done, presumably further east along the road, or at least beyond the marsh.) Not being an East Hampton resident and thus quite out of the local loop, I'm not sure if the project is to install sewers or storm drainage. though I'm guessing the former.

Repairs to the outlet standpipe that maintains water levels in Cranberry Bog have not been attempted by the landowner. The standpipe broke off at its base last June. Hopefully construction at the road and in the marsh will be completed before waterfowl return in the spring.

Eight Years of Air Line Trail Photos!

The first photos I posted to this site were taken on November 19th, 2001 - eight years ago today as I write this in 2009.

Conservatively, I can say that I've posted in excess of 4,000 photos, and walked well over 5,000 miles.

You can view some of those earliest photos by clicking the thumbnail to the right. (Thankfully, my photography has improved since then.)


7th Annual Ghost Run/Relay - November 7th, 2009

The Air Line Trail hosted the 7th annual Ghost Run/Relay on Saturday, November 7th, 2009. As usual, the race started at 9:00 A.M. from Hebron Elementary School and ended at Center Elementary School in East Hampton. Follow these links for Photos and Race Results A few sample photos:


Promethea Moth Life Cycle

I'm rearing Promethea Moth caterpillars this summer. They're really quite remarkable creatures, looking quite different from larval instar to instar as they grow. Have a look!

The giant silk moths of the family Saturniidae are increasingly rare in New England as a result of parasites and diseases introduced to control Gypsy Moth outbreaks. By rearing caterpillars and releasing adult moths, I contribute a bit to maintaining their presence in the wild.

In the past, I've also posted photos of the Cecropia Moth Life Cycle:


Cranberry Bog in Trouble - June 23rd 2009

Within the past couple of days, the outlet standpipe that maintains water levels in Cranberry Bog near the East Hampton trailhead has broken off at its base. After 35+ years in place, it's not surprising that it has rusted away. Most of the water in the scenic bog has drained, leaving plants and stinking mud exposed.

Turtles have been "abandoning ship", crossing the parking lot in search of water. The resident Canada Geese are molting and have still-flightless young so they are more than usually vulnerable to predators.
 

At Smith Street, the standpipe used by the fire department to fill their tanks has very little water to draw from.

I was surprised to learn that Cranberry bog is privately owned, not itself a part of the Air Line Trail. I hope a resolution to the water problem can be found quickly, while respecting the rights and good will of the property owner.


"No Child Left Inside" meets the Air Line Trail

The DEP's No Child Left Inside "Great Park Pursuit" program visited the Air Line Trail on May 30th.


Standing, from left to right are State Parks Director Pam Adams, DEP staffers Naomi Davidson and Rachael Sunny. Below them is volunteer Adam Chanski.
DEP Staff and Volunteers were out by 7:30 AM to set up, anticipating large crowds.


The parking lot on Route 85 in Hebron was soon filled beyond capacity. Bicycles were available for loan.


And the trail swarmed with parents and children eager to collect clues and stamp their worksheets as they visited "birdhouse" stations along the trail.


Colchester Land Trust Clean-Up Day and Air Line Gateway Property sign installation - April 25, 2009

The Colchester Land Trust held a clean-up day on the Air Line Trail and their adjacent Air Line Gateway Property. Here the "crew" poses with the newly installed signboard, provided by Ford Folios' owner and CLT board member, Barry Ford. The sign is located close to the Air Line Trail, roughly 500 feet east of the Bull Hill Road crossing.

As they did with the large Air Line Trail signboards and color brochures, Ford Folios used a number of my photos to illustrate the sign. (The three smaller images on the signboard are mine.)


Sidney 2 Cam LIVE with chat and Seekpoints

Hornby 2 Cam LIVE with chat and Seekpoints

Other LIVE Cams hosted by ZapLive.tv include owls and the African bush

 

Hancock Wildlife Eagle Nest Webcams

April, 2009. The Hancock Wildlife organization in British Columbia offers several live webcams of active eagle nests. With audio and motion video showing adults, eggs, and growing eaglets, the cameras are addictive to watch. They also have a media gallery of captured video and still images covering some especially dramatic behavior. These are great to view when it's dark in British Columbia.

Live Cameras at Hancock

Captured Media Highlights Gallery

Clicking a Hancock live cam image takes you to the same feed at ZapLive.tv where you also have "chat" available, plus very useful "Seekpoints" of the best moments.
Here's a sample Seekpoint from Sidney 2 Cam.

 


Colchester Land Trust's Online Auction - April

The Colchester Land Trust held their annual fine art and wine auction throughout April, 2009. There was an Artist's Reception at Cragin Memorial Library in Colchester on Wednesday, April 1st, to mark the opening of the gallery exhibit. All bidding was online.

I contributed three of my photos.
Morning Glory
11x14" in 16x20" frame.
Dahlias - CT Audubon Society first prize winner, 2006.
8x10" in 11x14" frame.
Chinodoxia.
5x7" in 8x10" frame.

Logee's Greenhouse - Instant Summer on a Winter Day!

February 1st, 2009. Heat, humidity and the smell of jasmine in bloom. If you can't visit Logee's in Danielson, CT, at least have a look at my photos: www.performance-vision.com/logees-2-1-09

A return visit to Logee's on February 27th.

Made another trip to Logee's Greenhouses in Danielson, CT, today. Got some good pictures - some of things I've seen there before, but some new things too: www.performance-vision.com/logees-2-27-09


2009 Connecticut Audubon Society Photo Contest Results

January 30, 2009

I'm pleased to say that my photo of mating Cecropia Moths won 1st place in the Butterflies and Bugs category of the Conncticut Audubon Society's 2009 Photography Competition.

 

My photo of a garden Poppy won 2nd place in the Plants, Wild or Domestic, category.

The exhibit will be on display through February at the Audubon Center in Glastonbury. There were 190 entries and the quality overall was quite high, so well worth a visit if you're nearby.


United Distillers photo update

December, 2008. After hearing from the son of a former owner of the United Distillers factory site, I had a walk through the property yesterday. The result is a page of photos of the site as it is today, five years after I last posted a photo essay about United Distillers. In those five years, the site has deteriorated badly through vandalism, illegal dumping, and weathering. The chimney and building are clearly unsafe.

Through nature's succession, the land itself is growing up around the structures as shrubs and trees replace goldenrod and queen anne's lace. Even so, there is a kind of beauty in the decay.

View my photos of United Distillers 2008.


Fall Foliage Photo Contest Results

November 29th, 2008. Two of my photos placed well in Colchester's PhotoConnection fall foliage photo contest which was judged this morning.

My Frosted Oak Leaves earned 1st place.



And this Oak placed 4th.


Surfacing compete on the newest Lebanon section

November 10th , 2008. The Town of Lebanon has completed applying a stone dust surface to section 2 which runs from Leonard Bridge Road to Chesbro Bridge Road, a distance of roughly 1.1 miles. Time and winter will pack the surface down but otherwise this section is now complete.


My Photos in the Hartford Courant

On November 2nd, 2008, the Hartford Courant ran an article featuring the Colchester section of the Air Line Trail. Initially, I was asked to provide photos, but in the end the writer chose to build her text around my enjoyment of the trail and this web site. You can view the entire article online: Slowing Down on the Straight-line Trail


6th Annual Ghost Run - November 1st, 2008 PHOTOS HERE!

The Air Line Trail hosted the 6th annual Ghost Run on Saturday, November 1st, 2008. The race started a few minutes late due to registration of more than 300 runners. The weather was excellent! Complete results are posted here

Here are a few samples of the 146 images I've posted to FlickR:


Albino Grey Squirrel

I can't resist sharing this photo of a rare albino Grey Squirrel, taken on Flood Road in Marlborough, October 17th, 2008.


Section 2 of Lebanon trail renovations nearly complete!

August 21st, 2008. Today I checked out the newly graded section in Lebanon from Leonard Bridge Road to Chesbro Bridge Road, a distance of roughly 1.1 miles. They've done a beautiful job of grading and drainage channeling. All that remains is to add stone dust which the Town of Lebanon hopes to complete in the Fall.

Those involved are to be commended for creating this marvelous extension to the finished trail. Special recognition is due to the Lebanon Rails to Trails Committee and Nutmeg Gravel & Excavating with whom they contracted for this work. Funding for work on the Lebanon section of the Air Line Trail has been provided by the National Recreation Trails Program. (More info at www.ct.gov/dep/rectrails)

The recent color Trail Brochure and Map is available online in PDF format.


New Hampshire Vacation Photos

August, 2008. I've just returned from two weeks in northern New Hampshire. A change of scene for my photography but still predominantly focused on nature. View my photos of plants, animals, insects, mushrooms, and landscapes.


Korea - 1972

Recently, I discovered photos I'd taken during a year in Korea, courtesy of the US Army. I began putting together a page of photos for my oldest daughter, but the project soon expanded (as they have a way of doing). If you'd like some vicarious travel - in time and geography - have a look. Stan's Korea Photos, 1972


Visit the Norwottuck Rail Trail in Southern MA.

Steve Grant recently published a piece on the Norwottuck Rail Trail which runs through Northampton, Hadley, and Amherst, Mass. Highlights are the bridge over the Connecticut River, a nearby ice cream shop, and bicycle rentals. Click here for Steve Grant's article and directions to the trail (Sure wish the Air Line Trail had a nearby ice cream shop!)


Cecropia Moth Life Cycle - The next generation begins.

Last year, I documented the Cecropia Moth Life Cycle - 2007 - based on the life and offspring of a female moth which emerged from a cocoon found along the trail. This year, I've been enjoying the emergence of adult moths from cocoons made last summer. Cecropia Moth Life Cycle - 2008 Adult Moths And now their offspring are developing as caterpillars. Cecropia Moth Life Cycle - 2008 Caterpillars


Photoshop Experiments

May, 2008. I've been experimenting with Photoshop; manipulating natural images into slightly unnatural forms. Check out the results.


View (and purchase) my Photos at Area Businesses

Recently, I've placed different selections of my photos in two area shops. Both stores are worth a visit to see their wide range of hand-crafted items.

48 Main Street
Colchester, CT 06415
860-537-0234

Hours:
Mon, Wed, and Thur: 10AM - 6PM Tues: CLOSED
Sat: 10AM - 7PM
Sun: 11-5PM

The Golden Egg Studio

325 West Main St (Rte 66)
Hebron, CT 06231
860-228-0273

 

Hours:
Saturdays: 10:00am to 4:00pm
Sundays: 12:00pm to 4:00pm
Other times by appointment.


Colchester Land Trust's Online Auction - April

The Colchester Land Trust held their annual fine art and wine auction through April, 2008. This year's proceeds went into their land acquisition fund. Information is available at their web site, or from Barry Ford (860-267-6751).

Three of my photos were among the items auctioned off.
They were all 11x14" prints, matted, in 16x20" frames.
Beaver's Wake - CT Audubon Society first prize & people's choice awards.
Morning Glories
Frosted Oak Leaves


Virginia Beach

I was in Virginia Beach from March 14th through 16th for my son's soccer tournament. Check out my pictures from the drive, and around the Virginia Beach area.


Lyman Viaduct Repairs Complete

Today (March 2, 2008) I had a look at the Lyman Viaduct and was pleased to discover that emergency repairs were complete.

Still need some stone dust resurfacing in the spring, and the heavy equipment hasn't yet been hauled away, but the trail is open and the unsightly safety barriers around eroded sections are gone.


Lunar Eclipse - February 20, 2008

I've added a page for the Lunar Eclipse My photos aren't great, but if you missed the live event, they'll give you a sense of what it was like.


Sugar Maple Trailside Inn

On February 7th, 2008, I presented a slide show of Air Line Trail photos to the Friends of the Southampton (MA) Greenway. Overnight accomodations were provided by Craig and Kathy Della Penna at their B&B in nearby Florence, MA. As you can see from the photo, the Sugar Maple Trailside Inn is just that - immediately adjacent to a thriving rail-trail that leads into downtown Northampton, MA.


Rapallo Viaduct repairs Complete

I walked to the Rapallo Viaduct on January 18, 2008. Emergency repairs to the embankments are complete and all the construction equipment is gone. Some minor grading will be required in the spring once things warm up and settle.


Lyman Viaduct Receiving Emergency Repairs

As explained in Peter Marteka's Hartford Courant article work began this first week of January 2008 to stem erosion of the Lyman Viaduct on the Colchester section of the trail near Bull Hill Road. Work on the Rapallo Viaduct in East Hampton, just to the west, is nearly complete. The Lyman Viaduct portion of the trail will be closed on weekdays while work is underway.

A large sewer main is embedded in the viaducts. Erosion due to people climbing or dirt-biking up and down the steep embankments has threatened to expose and potentially rupture this pipe with disasterous consequences for the watershed below. Of special concern is Dickenson Creek, a popular local swimming spot, which feeds the Salmon River.

The project is expected to be completed in the spring. Discussions are underway to develop a longterm solution to the problem.



Colchester Land Trust Receives Grant for Air Line Trail Gateway

The Colchester Land Trust recently received a $95,000 grant from the DEP to help fund purchase of the Air Line Trail Gateway parcel of land adjacent to the trail at the junction with Bull Hill Road. For more information, visit ColchesterLandTrust.org.


Magic Wings

On November 4th, 2007, I made another visit to the Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory in South Deerfield, MA. Please have a look at my photos.


5th Annual Ghost Run

The Air Line Trail hosted the 5th annual Ghost Run on Saturday, November 3rd, 2007, despite rain and near freezing temperatures. Complete results at HITEKRACING.COM (Sorry, no photos this year. I was out of town.)


Grant Awarded for Trail Improvements in Colchester

The junction of Route 149 and the Air Line Trail in Colchester is about to receive an overhaul that should enhance safety. A "Cross Alert" system will warn approaching motorists as trail users near the intersection. As a byproduct, the system will also track trail utilization. Contact Jason Cohen, Colchester's Park & Rec Director, for more information.


East Hampton Trail Closures

The Air Line Trail in East Hampton will be temporarily closed, Monday through Friday only, beginning Monday, October 22, 2007 through Tuesday, January 1, 2008 from the Smith Street access point to the area just past the Rapallo Viaduct. The trail will be closed so that the culvert at the Rapallo Viaduct can be reconstructed. The Airline Trail will be open weekends and the Ghost Run scheduled for Saturday, November 3, 2007 will take place as scheduled.


Monarch Butterfly Life Cycle

I've added a page following the Monarch Butterfly Life Cycle - specifically the transitions from caterpillar to chrysalis, and chrysalis to butterfly. The photos were taken using a series of caterpillars collected in New Hampshire this summer.

 


Cecropia Moth Life Cycle

I've added a page following the Cecropia Moth Life Cycle - based on the life and offspring of a female moth which emerged from a cocoon found along the trail. Cecropia moths are large and beautifully colored, and the caterpillars are remarkable for their bright colors and large size.


Milestone

Yesterday, June 12th, 2007, I posted my 2,300th photo to this site. I began posting pictures in November, 2001. Remarkably, I'm still finding new things to photograph, like the green heron at the left posted yesterday to Spring 2007, Part 9.


Magic Wings

I hope you will enjoy my photos of Butterflies taken recently at Magic Wings in South Deerfield, MA. Magic wings is just three miles northeast of I-91 exit 24 on Route 5. Same exit as Yankee Candle Co., which you'll pass. Magic Wings opens daily at 9:00. Anytime is good, but early on weekdays is least crowded.)


Niagara Falls

I made a quick visit to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls on May 2nd, 2007. The weather was perfect and the falls spectacular.


Nat Brown's Digital Art

On December 3rd, I visited a local photographer's "Open Studio" weekend event. I really like Nat Brown's Digital Art.

The Artist's Open Studio series seems a good concept: a chance on two fall weekends to visit the studios of many artists in northeast Connecticut. Here's Nat Brown's listing.


Five Years of Air Line Trail Photos!

The first photos I posted to this site were taken on November 19th, 2001 - five years ago today as I write this.

Most of those early photos look pretty dreadful to me now.

I haven't counted lately, but conservatively I can say that I've posted in excess of 1,700 photos - with no end in sight.


Section 1 Surfacing Completed in Lebanon!

November 5th, 2006: Naomi Davidson, Chairman of the Lebanon Rails to Trails Committee, reports that "The stonedusting on 'Section 1' (between Route 207 and Leonard Bridge Road) of the Lebanon stretch of trail has been completed. I went out on it yesterday and it looks great! The more folks we can encourage to use this section of the trail, the better. We are continuing to work on the rest of the trail, and though it will take some time until there is a finished surface for the entire stretch of trail in Lebanon, most of it is passable."

So... we've got another 1.7 miles in Lebanon to walk or ride - 2 miles including the portion that's in Hebron. I got my first look at the new section on November 9th.

 

The view from Leonard Bridge Road

The Lebanon trail comittee clearly spent a lot of effort working on drainage. This section used to be awash with water.

Rita the cat complained that her walk was too long. Nice to see a good number of people and pets using the trail.

The Town of Lebanon web site has several pages devoted to their portion of the Air Line Trail. I believe maps of the section are available at Town Hall.


(Sorry, cancelled due to heavy rain and dangerously high winds.)

On Saturday, October 28th, 2006, the trail will host the
4th Annual "Ghost Run/Relay"

This 13.6 mile event starts at 9:00 A.M. from Hebron Elementary School on Route 85, and ends at Center Elementary School in East Hampton. Applications to participate are available at the Hebron Town Hall, Park & Recreation Department. Also available at Colchester and East Hampton Town Halls.


New Hampshire

I've just returned from a week in New Hampshire. Here's a sampling of what I saw: NH-August 2006


Air Line Trail Video Documentary

Bob Adams has produced a short video about the Air Line Trail, focusing on the section from East Hampton to Colchester. It's great fun to watch and includes railroad history as well as fall foliage trail highlights. View the video Bob and his wife Joyce hope to return this fall to cover the Hebron portion of the trail, perhaps releasing the combined piece for broadcast on public access television.


Flowers - Garden & Roadside

I've begun posting photos of garden and roadside flowers & butterflies: Spring 2006


Surfacing the Colchester Spur!

Improvements to the Hebron portion of the Colchester Spur line are well along. On March 8th, 2006, Hebron's Public Works crew reached the intersection with the main trail.

The Spur trail has been widened and leveled. Stone dust still needs to be added and compacted. Hebron's section of the Spur ties in with what Colchester has already finished.

 

Looking back towards the main trail from the abandoned United Distillers factory, you can see that the Spur adds some interesting new options for trail users.

 


Photography Awards - 2006

I'm pleased to say that my photo of Dahlias won 1st place in the Flowers category of the Connecticut Audubon Society's 2006 Photography Competition.

 

My photo of a Great Blue Heron, taken in Raymond Brook Marsh, won 3rd place in the Landscape category.

The exhibit will be on display through February at the Audubon Center in Glastonbury. There were a lot of entries and the quality overall was quite high, so well worth a visit if you're nearby.


World Of Beauty In A Single Mile: Amateur Photographer Documents Nature's Myriad Manifestations Along Air Line Trail.


In mid-January, 2006, Steve Grant interviewed me during a walk on the trail. The result was an article which appeared in the January 23rd edition of the Hartford Courant. The article was accompanied by several of my photos, in color, and a nice portrait by photographer John Long.

Stan Malcolm - John Long photo, used with permission. Copyright 2006, The Hartford Courant.

Several days later, I discovered that Steve's column was syndicated by the Associated Press and published in other Connecticut, Boston, and New York papers. It even made WFSB-TV's web site. All this attention was very unexpected, but very gratifying. Sincere thanks to Steve and John, and to the Hartford Courant for giving space to nature and environmental articles.
Read the Hartford Courant article, reprinted at Martin Bartel's Air Line Trail site

I received a number of e-mails after the article appeared. The most common question was, "What kind of camera do you use?" Sigh.  (It's not the camera.)


On October 29th, 2005, the trail hosted the 3rd Annual "Ghost Run/Relay". This 13.6 mile event started from Hebron Elementary School on Route 85, and ended at Center Elementary School in East Hampton. Brett Stueffler finished first overall at a 5:46 pace, Jimmy Grant second at 5:49, Chris Shulten third at 5:50. Claudia Camargo was first among women and fifth overall at a 5:56 pace.
Complete results at USAXC.COM

 

Claudia Camargo (in red) placed first among women and fifth overall. Brett Stueffler (in white) placed first overall.

Jimmy Grant placed second overall.

Chris Shulten finished third overall.

Runners young, and not so young.

Regular trail joggers, Jim Fracchia and Mark Tierney - though without their dog today.

More trail regulars - Carol Hassett, Donna Howell, and Maryellen Cillizza.

Thanks to all who made the race run smoothy.


Store!

Purchase photos, T-shirts, Mugs, and more

Many folks have asked if I sell my photographs. To date, I've only offered them through local library fund-raisers and the occasional exhibition.

This site has never been about making money. But it would be nice to recover at least a fraction of my costs. So, if you like my photos and appreciate the trail, please consider making a purchase. And if you don't find your favorite photo for sale, please contact me and I'll see if I can make it available.

Stan's SmugMug Photo Sales Galleries


Green Circle Award

The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection has honored me with a Green Circle Award for my work on this web site. The DEP established the GreenCircle Award Program to recognize businesses, institutions, individuals, and civic organizations who have participated in projects that promote natural resource conservation or environmental awareness.
Twenty-nine awards were distributed at a reception held at the DEP's Sessions Woods Wildlife Management Area in Burlington. Deputy Commisioner David Leff announced the awards...
...and Commisioner Gina McCarthy presented them.

Photography Award - 2005

I'm pleased to say that my April 2004 photo, Beaver's Wake, won 1st place in the Animals category of the Connecticut Audubon Society's 2005 Photography Competition. It also won the People's Choice award.

England and Wales - January 2005

I spent the end of January visiting my daughter, her husband, and my granddaughter in northern England. We also spent two days in the mountainous Snowdonia National Park in Wales. Click the link above for a virtual tour.

Butterflies at Magic Wings

Just posted my pictures of Butterflies from today's (January 18, 2005) family trip to Magic Wings. Nothing too spectacular, despite taking over 100 pictures. Mostly my fault, but many of the butterflies were old and tattered. Ah well, at least the colors may help you all through this dreary winter. Magic Wings in South Deerfield, MA, is a highly recommended destination - especially as a cure to the winter blues: tropical temps and humidity, flowers, and thousands of live butterflies. Magic wings is just three miles northeast of I-91 exit 24 on Route 5. Same exit as Yankee Candle Co., which you'll pass. Magic Wings opens daily at 9:00. Anytime is good, but early on weekdays is least crowded.)

Gloria Gery's Romania Journals

My professional colleague and friend, Gloria Gery, has made several working visits to Tutova, Romania's "Failure to Thrive Clinic" for children, a program sponsored through Global Volunteers. Click the link to view Gloria's journals and photo galleries.


On October 30th, 2004, the trail hosted the 2nd Annual "Ghost Run/Relay". This 13.6 mile event started from Hebron Elementary School on Route 85, and ended at Center Elementary School in East Hampton. Steven Moore of New Haven finished first overall with a pace of 5:45 per mile. Complete results at USAXC.COM Last year's event raised nearly $600 for trail improvements.

Steve Basson (left) and Lawrence Gore finished 8th and 7th respectively.

Bekkie Wright of Marlborough finished 16th overall, was the second woman across the line,
and was first in the women's 40-49 class.


John LeShanef
(Photo by Barbara Emmons)

 

 

For more information,
call John LeShane at
860-342-0658.

Support Meshomasic Forever!

John LeShane of Portland, founder and president of the Meshomasic Hiking Club and a board member of the Middlesex Land Trust, was joined by George Rolland and Chuck Bernstein on a 45-mile hike Sunday, October 17th, 2004 to raise money for the Meshomasic Forever Wild Fund. Guided by flashlight and starting at 2:30 A.M., the three men hiked from Putnam to East Hampton on the Air Line Rail Trail.

Meshomasic Forever Wild Fund money is used to help conserve additional land in the Meshomasic Forest, established in 1903, making it New England's oldest state forest. LeShane said 50 percent of the Meshomasic landscape is not protected and can be developed at any time. The concern is that as development pushes into the Meshomasic Forest, it is in danger of becoming so fragmented that it would no longer provide the habitat needed for wildlife such as songbirds, ruffed grouse, bear, hawks, turkey, fox, coyote, fishers or rattlesnakes. Rolland, an avid hiker and member of the hiking club, joined LeShane because he is concerned about Meshomasic Forest and enjoys the Air Line Trail. Rolland hopes that supporters will sponsor them at $1 a mile, but any donation is appreciated. Donations should be sent to the Middlesex Land Trust, 27 Washington St., Middletown, CT 06457. Checks should have a notation on them that they are for the Meshomasic Forever Wild Fund. (Text adapted from an article in the October 13th Hartford Courant.)


John Walsh of Hebron's Boy Scout Troop 28 poses with one of five map boards he erected along the trail. These signs represent his Eagle Scout service project and are located at major road crossings. Thank you John!.f

On September 13th, 2004, I posted my one thousandth photo to this Air Line Trail web site. (I began the site in November, 2001.)


Need help identifying wildflowers seen along the trail? Check out the guides and descriptions offered by the Connecticut Botanical Society


On Sunday, May 16th, 2004, there was a combined 5 or 10 kilometer walk or 25 kilometer bicycle ride on the trail, sponsored by the Hardware City Hoofers and the Connecticut Valley Volkssport Club.

Reporting on the event, the June issue of the "Walk 'n Mass" newsletter says, "Our nominee for “Pleasant Surprise Walk of the Year” goes to the Connecticut Valley Volkssport Club’s event in Amston, CT on May 16. The walk on the Air Line South State Park Trail was a naturalist’s dream with a listing of 23 plants that could be seen on the trail during May provided with the walk directions. Also spotted along the trail were such birds as a scarlet tanager and a turkey buzzard."

For more information on CT Volkssport, contact:

Andy Fal 860-828-5750, or Carol West 860-721-1185


England: In late April, 2004, I was in England where my family visited with my daughter, her husband, and their child Hazel (my first grandchild). They live in Bollington, in northern England, and have access to a wonderful variety of walking trails - most with a pub nearby to break up the trip. We also managed two days in London seeing the tourist sights. Care to see my England trip pictures?

Flowers & Butterflies: Also "off-trail", I've begun posting photos of garden and roadside flowers & butterflies: Spring 2004 - Summer 2004

My interview for a segment of Public Radio's "Field Notes" was broadcast on Monday, April 19th 2004, by WFCR, Amherst, MA (88.5 FM). Laurie Sanders hosts a series of Morning Edition segments exploring significant natural areas, special plants and animals, and "natural happenings" in the Connecticut River watershed.

Archives of "Field Notes" programs, including the Air Line Trail piece, are accessible at WFCR's web site (http://www.wfcr.org/field_notes/naturalareas/index.html). (Scroll down to "Trails" to find my Air Line Trail interview.) Laurie's previous shows are a joy - please check them out too.


Want to try something different outdoors? Consider "Letterboxing". There are a number of letterboxes on the Air Line Trail. See if you can find them. (Naturally, if you do find them, please treat them with respect.) For basic info on Letterboxing, see: Letterboxing North America For letterboxes in Connecticut, including some on the trail, see: CT Regional Letterbox Guide An easy letterbox to start with is: In Memory of Brandi


Please visit my Gallery at Photo.net. There you'll find pictures taken "off-trail" as well as some favorites from my Air Line Trail collection.

I hope you will enjoy my photos of Butterflies taken at Magic Wings in South Deerfield, MA. (A highly recommended destination - especially as a cure to the winter blues: tropical temps and humidity, flowers, and thousands of live butterflies. Magic wings is just three miles northeast of I-91 exit 24 on Route 5. Same exit as Yankee Candle Co., which you'll pass. Magic Wings opens daily at 9:00. Anytime is good, but early on weekdays is least crowded.)
Chris Shafer is a friend who does marvelous, light-hearted paintings of "suburban fauna." Please visit his Gallery

I'm sure we get trail visitors from afar, but I'm pretty sure we don't get many from as far away as Joe and Sue Salembier, visiting from Scottsdale, Arizona. I met them on the trail July 1st, 2003. Thanks to Hebron's Bob Parker of Cycle Escape for renting them bikes and even dropping them off at the Route 85 trail head. Joe & Sue learned about the Air Line Trail through the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's web site; which, in turn, led them to this web site.

Out of 88 entrants, "Along the Air Line..." was chosen winner in the best use of photographs category of the American Trails 2003 Website Contest.

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Local Attractions and Lodging
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Cato Corner Farm - Gourmet Cheeses

"World-class... some are wonderfully spicy and pungent. All it takes is one bite of their most popular offering, the Belgian-inspired Bridgid's Abbey, and you'll swear off bland, pasteurized cheese forever." - Town and Country magazine, October 2001

Learn more about Cato Corner Farm

Open for drop in sales at the farm Saturdays only: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.


Priam Vineyards

The vineyards are beautiful throughout the year for picnicking and touring. Take a picnic to the top of the vineyard and enjoy the 35 mile view or bring a picnic for the wine patio. Add local cheeses available for purchase in the tasting room, that beautifully compliment Priam Vineyards' wines. Enjoy the tasting room gallery where regional artists are displayed. Pick up your entire meal of fresh CT. grown products here at our seasonal Farmer's Market in the vineyard above the winery parking lot. Local Ct. Grown fruits , vegetables, fish, fresh made desserts, breads, cheeses will be available July through October.

Learn more about Priam Vineyards

SUMMER HOURS
March - December Fri., Sat., Sun. & select holidays, 11am-5pm for tastings and self-guided tours of the vineyard
Farmer's Market in the Vineyard every Sunday, 12pm - 4pm July 8 through October 7

We presently produce 13 different wines which are released at different times throughout the year. Our white wines are: Jeremy River White, Salmon River White, Blackledge White, Cayuga, Barrel Select Chardonnay, Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Late Harvest Riesling. Our red wines are: St. Croix, Salmon River Red, Salmon River Red-PV, Westchester Red and Essence of St. Croix.

Lodging: Amston Manor

Historic Amston Manor is a short walk away from the trail. John and Wendy Raymond offer a suite of rooms for guests with breakfast optional.

Learn more about Amston Manor

I've toured the accomodations and they are awesome. The price is very reasonable. Lake privileges. Come for a weekend or a week, walk the trail, and check out the other attractions of eastern Connecticut.

This “Mansion on the Hill” was built in 1929 by Charles Ams who owned the town of Turnerville and changed the name to the present day “Amston.” The house sits on 10 acres of land with a pond, and looks out over tree tops and a beautiful landscape.

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2017 Hunting Seasons
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For safety sake, please wear bright colors during hunting seasons. Consider marking your dogs with a bright bandana, especially if you or they explore the woods off the main trail. Hunting is not permitted on Sundays or most holidays.

Deer

As I interpret the DEEP Deer Hunting Seasons deer may be hunted from September 15th through January 31st. However, the greatest danger period on State and Private Lands seems to be from November 15th through December 5th when rifles, revolvers, and shotguns are permitted. At other times, only bows or shorter range muzzle-loading rifles are allowed. Note though that landowners are allowed to use rifles and shotguns from November 1st through December 30th.  Please visit the DEEP site and draw your own conclusions about dates- I find the site utterly confusing.

Turkey

Turkey may be hunted with a bow from September 15th through December 30th. Because of the short range of arrows, little risk to trail users is likely. Firearms may be used to hunt turkeys from October 7th through October 31st.  Note that there is a spring 2017 turkey season as well, from roughly April 26th through May 27th. Learn more at the DEEP web site.

 


Waterfowl

Ducks may be hunted from October 14th through October 21st, and again from November 10th through January 10th. Learn more at the DEEP web site.
In our area, Canada Geese may be hunted from September 1st through 30th, October 12th through 21st, and November 11th through January 20th. Learn more at the DEEP web site.  Note: we are in the North Zone and the NAP-H Unit of the DEEP map.

Waterfowl Hunting MAP for Raymond Brook Marsh

Hunting is not permitted from the Air Line Trail or on the embankments immediately adjacent to it.  Hunters in the DEEP Wildlife Management Area on the north side of the trail (clearly marked by signs) must be physically in the marsh and respect the rights of recreational trail users.  Please hold your fire when trail users are within 100 yards.  Note especially that all of of the Marsh to the south and east of the Air Line Trail is Town of Hebron open space.  Hunting is not permitted.
View areas where hunting is allowed or restricted

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Contact Stan
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Stan Malcolm
17 Caffyn Drive
Marlborough, CT 06447

860-295-9711

stan "at" performance-vision.com

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