Along the Air Line... 2013 - Spring, Part 5
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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Stan Malcolm Photo

 

 

April 28th.  Foggy morn.  Spring pastels in the trees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lots of spider webs covered in dew.

 

 

On the spur, one of two distant deer.

 

 

Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 29th.  Common Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) gets a bad rap.  Look how pretty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bluet (Houstonia caerulea).

 

 

Toothwort (Dentaria diphylla).

 

 

It's in the mustard family (Brassicaceae).

 

 

Rue Anemone (Thalictrum thalictroides).

 

 

 

 

 

April 30th.  A short walk through the dairy farm east of Cook Hill Road to visit the heron roost.

 

 

A Tree Swallow (Tachicineta bicolor) scanning the world outside its "door".

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five minutes of Tree Swallow behavior - mainly looking around.  About the only real action is a small beetle passing by.  Still, fun to watch, but don't feel bad if you tune out after a bit.  Best to watch full screen.

 

 

I only saw birds on two of the nests today.

 

 

 

 

 

A Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) just past the dairy farm, high up in a cherry tree.  A very descriptive Latin name.

 

 

The Cherry will be blooming soon.

 

 

Lots of recognisable songs of other birds.

 

 

May 2nd.  A passerby noticed a small fire at the base of a tree just west of Grayville Road.  He quickly stomped it out, but it continued to smoke and smolder.

 

 

 

 

 

A 911 call and the Hebron Fire Department was soon on the scene to douse the area.

 

 

Thanks to all who kept this little deal from perhaps becoming a big deal.  The woods are very dry and fire danger is high.

 

 

Okay, back to normal business. A shy Duskywing Skipper, the first I've seen this year.

 

 

This is Juvenal's Duskywing (Erynnis juvenalis).

 

 

 

 

 

Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) is leafing out.  Easy to miss and the blistering oil is at its most potent.  Beware if you step off the trail.  Better yet, stay on the trail.

 

 

The invasive Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata) is in bloom.  Over the past few years it has spread rapidly along the trail.

 

 

A female Wolf Spider (Family Lycosidae) carrying its white silk egg case under her abdomen.  Her head is towards the left, masked by an out of focus leaf fragment.  (A lousy picture, but the best I could manage.)

 

 

May 3rd.  At the Lebanon heron roost, Tree Swallows performed a mating ritual.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After several near misses, the female moved to a different perch and the dance continued.

 

 

 

 

 

Success!  Followed by much grooming - and for the entomologists out there, a Lightning Bug wanders up and around the female swallow's feet, unnoticed by the bird.

 

 

Just below on the same dead tree, a female swallow peers out of its nest hole, wondering what all the ruckus was about?

 

 

A male perched where the female had recently been.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since there was little activity on the heron nests, I headed back to my truck through sunlit woods.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 4th. Downy Serviceberry or Shadbush (Amelanchier arborea) is blooming.

 

 

 

 

 

Eastern Tent Caterpillars (Malacosoma americanum) are building their webs on cherry.