Wednesday, February 11, 2015

8-Oct-2013 Bear Lake & Haynes Estate Part 1, Washington

Upland site at Bear Lake
I dress for the field with functionality in mind and no thought whatsoever to presentability, so admittedly I tend to look ragged.  I'm not going to replace good field pants just because they're faded and patched, for example.  So when we stopped at a McDonalds for breakfast, I was surprised when a man asked me if I was dressed for field work rather than just silently wondering whether I was perhaps low on cash.  How rare that recognition, and wonderful!

As it turned out, we happened to be sitting amongst a group of seniors who like to share morning coffee there.  They took quite an interest in our doings, and relayed some interesting travel stories of their own.  It was a warm and friendly start to the day.

Lots of cones & litter at upland site
My consolation prize
Our first stop of the day was Bear Lake Regional Park located about 15 miles north of Spokane.  With the sky looking ominous, I decided to sample cones and litter from the knoll located immediately behind a covered picnic shelter.  I had no trouble finding 50 cones and a bag of needle litter, but not much luck finding spiders therein.  Only three specimens from the cones, and one moth.  And the litter?  Skunked yet again!

View from the "litter sifting shed" to
riparian pines located behind yellow-
leaved aspens across lake.
Riparian grove
But from the picnic shelter I spied with my little eye some riparian ponderosas across the lake.  Although cold rain was by then spitting in fits and starts, I didn't want to miss the opportunity to sample there after the exciting riparian sample I'd collected the day before at McLellan Conservation Area.

Tegenaria agrestis
Fifty cones from the riparian grove produced 12 spiders and 4 species, including this Tegenaria agrestis (Agelenidae), better known as the hobo spider.  Litter produced 9 spiders and 4 species, including a possibly undescribed Drassyllus (Gnaphosidae).  And once again I found Meioneta bucklei (Linyphiidae) in both the riparian cones and litter.

While Rod finished sifting his final load of deciduous litter in the picnic shelter, I watched hail mix with rain on the windshield as drenched and disappointed fishers rushed their boats to shore.

With daylight remaining and Haynes Estate Conservation Area between us and town, we decided there was nothing to lose by chancing the weather.  After a few U-turns resulting from that hilarious combination of new road configurations and old maps, we arrived just as the heavens opened (again).  I was determined to get my 50-cone sample since there was a ponderosa grove right there by the parking lot, so I hopped to it.  The result was 8 juvenile spiders from two genera.  Was it worth me and my net getting soggy?  Well, a sample is a sample!  But also, enough is enough.  Deciding to return to finish sampling at a drier time, we retreated to a nice little teriyaki place for some warm food and well-earned rest.

Check out Rod's narrative of the day here and view his albums here (Bear Lake) and here (Haynes).

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