Wednesday, April 22, 2015

3-Jul-2011 Bumping Lake, Washington

Site locations (click to enlarge)
Rod getting his bearings
About 15 miles due east of Mt. Rainier lies Bumping Lake, the focal point of the watershed that Rod Crawford and I sampled in this day.  Our first of two sampling sites was located near an unnamed meadow on an unnamed creek feeding the south shore of the lake, which we bushwhacked to with the aid of Rod's dead reckoning skills.

The P. monticola cones were big!
P. monticola in mixed forest
near Bumping Lake
While Rod focused his efforts on the streamside meadow, I tapped western white pine (Pinus monticola) cones in the mixed-conifer forest on slightly higher terrain.  These were some impressively large cones - easily twice the size of other P. monticola cones that I've sampled.  I tapped 16 spiders from 103 cones.

Novalena web & spider in
P. monticola cone
The only identifiable species I collected was Euryopis formosa (Theridiidae), but a juvenile Novalena sp. (Agelenidae) and its cone-encompassing funnel web provided a great photo op.

Massive ponderosa pines at
Cougar Flat Campground
Picnic table smashed by
storm-tossed tree
Our second sampling site was located upstream along Bumping River at Cougar Flat Campground.  What a treat to be sampling among such massive ponderosa (P. ponderosa) pines!  And we had the place all to ourselves because the campground was officially closed; a storm and flood had destroyed some of the lower-lying sections.

Female Philodromus rufus, with prey
Juvenile Novalena intermedia in web
I tapped 240 (!) fallen ponderosa cones and collected 23 spiders from 7 species.  Novalena intermedia (Agelenidae) was the most common identifiable species present, while a female Philodromus rufus (Philodromidae) who managed to hold onto her prey during the cone tapping process was perhaps the most impressive.

Be sure to read Rod's take on the day here!

Bear scat

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