Friday, February 13, 2015

10-Oct-2013 McKenzie Conservation Area, Washington

Location of Spokane Co., Wash.
collecting sites. Click to enlarge
Bordering Newman Lake in the foothills of Mt. Spokane lies McKenzie Conservation Area, a 421-acre parcel of forest, meadows and wetlands.  After a fair tromp through soggy cedar and fir woods Rod and I at last came upon some ponderosa pines (Pinus ponderosa) near the lake.  I would ultimately sample three separate cone accumulations there.

Newman Lake
Site 1. Knoll
First up was a grove of pines on a knoll overlooking a service building and small demonstration garden next to the lake.  Fifty cones produced several Phrurotimpus certus (Corinnidae) and a few juvenile gnaphosids, while a bag of litter turned up one juvenile salticid.

Site 2. Trailside (Site 3 in distance)
Site 2 cones, exposed on rocky soil
My second sampling site was a trailside accumulation of cones at the base of the knoll.  There was no litter to speak of here, just a scattering of a few needles, but 50 cones produced 12 spiders and 3 species including a rare Clubiona mutata (Clubionidae).

Site 3 cones, some nestled deeply in litter
Site 3. Lone pine
My third site was a lone pine in the demonstration garden between the service building and the lake.  It took a bit of hunting to find 50 cones, but the needle litter was deep and plentiful.  The cones produced 8 spiders, one of which was a Meioneta danielbelangeri (Linyphiidae).  The litter here produced 6 spiders and 3 species, including several more M. danielbelangeri and another specimen of the rare C. mutata that I'd found in the trailside cones.

Rod and I were the only humanoids within sight the whole day.  But there were plenty of other kinds of life around, much of it colorful if a bit sleepy in the autumn air.

Green shield bug with pink accents
A golden-winged Mesembrina sp. fly
Adalia frigida ladybird
Polistes dominula wasps

Melanoplus sp. grasshopper
Be sure to check out Rod's narrative and album, too!

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