Along the Air Line... 2013 - Fall, Part 4
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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Stan Malcolm Photo



October 3rd.  A short walk west of Bull Hill Road around 3:00 PM. Very surprised to see a Barred Owl (Strix varia) swoop across a side trail just ahead of me.  It landed nearby and let me approach...



I imitated its call as best I could.  Good enough I guess to have it turn towards me.


















Hickory nut husks.



One of the woodland Asters.



Fall colors at and from Lyman Viaduct are far from peak.  Give them another week or two to develop.



Sand Jointweed (Polygonella articulata).  Atop the viaduct is the only place I've ever found it.



Flowers are minute and in fall the plant is almost invisible agaist the trap rock banks of the viaduct.



Bouncing Bet (Saponaria officinalis).



A lone remaining flower of Blue Toadflax (Nuttallanthus canadensis).



Queen-Anne's Lace (Daucus carota).



Petite white Asters.



Pleated forewings make this a vespid wasp.



Another vespid wasp; this one a male Polistes sp.



It's on one of the white fall Goldenrods (Solidago sp.).



Curly antennae and yellow face make this a male.



Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia).  Five leaflets distinguish it from poison ivy.



Rock cuts before and after Lyman Viaduct are prettiest in the fall.  Still could use a few more days to color up this year.



October 4th.  Clouds advancing on sunrise.  Forecast for occasional showers.



Mid-afternoon and no rain, just blue skies.



Large tree on the right lost most of its leaves overnight.






First Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina) I've seen since nesting season in the spring.






October 5th.  Cloudy and dark; threatening rain.  A few Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) spent the night on the marsh.



Now off to find breakfast in a corn field perhaps, then journery on.



Compare this photo to the one above taken just 24 hours earlier.  Light makes all the difference.



In this case, the low light and lack of harsh shadows worked in my favor.  Warm glow and a cathedral-like canopy.  Nature's church.



Midday at Cranberry Bog.  All the wildflower edges have been mowed, I suppose in preparation for winter ice skating.  I had to hunt to find a few low escapees like this Red Clover (Trifolium pratense).









This may be the most perfectly formed clover inflorescence I've ever seen.  Most aren't so large, symmetrical, or entirely open.



Yellow Wood-sorrel (Oxalis sp.).



Some nice Asters were spared.  This pair seem to be holding hands.









October 8th.  A lot of leaves down after yesterday's high winds and rain.  Red Maples especially are bare.












Eastern Bluebirds (Sialia sialis) still flocking.



October 10th.  Cool and cloudy.  A flock of birds in a dead tree used by Tree Swallows in warmer months.



Just three left by the time I took this picture.  Hmm..., yes... least one Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus - I thought I heard one call yesterday)...



...and several Common Grackles (Quiscalus quiscula).  A mixed flock, just passing through.