Sunday, February 22, 2015

11-Jun-2012 Wachusett Reservoir Gate 29, Massachusetts

Sample site location
No parking at the gate and waltzing directly to my sample site this time.  Gate 29 is placed inside Saint Luke's Cemetery, which is replete with no parking signs.  The church across the street was no less forbidding.  The nearest public parking I found was on a side street 1/4 mile from the gate.  My destination, the northeastern base of the peninsula ending in Sholan Point, was another 3/4 mile beyond the gate. Well, no matter, any day is a fine day for a walk in the woods.

Sample site
Fallen cone and litter microhabitats
The sample site was located immediately behind the arborvitae curtain in an oak-maple forest dotted with eastern white pines (Pinus strobus).  Ferns and pine, oak and maple seedlings made up the understory.

The cones here were mostly well opened.  From 50 cones I tapped 9 spiders from 5 species.  Half of the specimens were microspiders TBD.  "The usuals", Phrurotimpus alarius (Phrurolithidae) and Neon nellii (Salticidae) were also present. The litter was thin, made up mostly of oak leaves, but it was rich in spiders: 30 specimens from at least 5 species.

Little wood-satyr
(Megisto cymela)
Eight-spotted forester
(Alypia octomaculata)
Maybe I was tired, or maybe I let myself get too distracted by all the wildlife, but the trails on the hike out were more confusing than on the hike in.  I was glad I had my gate map and compass.
Dramatic skies over Wachusett Reservoir

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