Tuesday, May 12, 2015

15-18 Oct 2011, Klickitat County Expedition Part 2, Washington

Klickitat Co. site locations (click to enlarge)
Continuing the story from Part 1:  We decided that the sensible thing to do was to drive directly to Goldendale, find a laundromat, and dry Rod's sodden sleeping bag.

Left behind at the laundromat
Since dryers don't dry any faster with two people staring at them, I left Rod to his book at the laundromat while I headed a few miles north to tap some ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) cones on the grounds of the nearby Goldendale Observatory.  I tapped cones in this enchanting pine-oak woodland a total of three times during our expedition, so I'll describe my cumulative catch later.

Line of riparian pines in the steppe
west of Bickleton
Go back to sleep!
After retrieving Rod and his now-dry sleeping bag from the laundromat, we headed to our eastern-most site in the county, a spot just west of Bickleton.  I collected 15 spiders and 6 species from 117 ponderosa pine cones.  The most interesting catch was an undescribed species of Disembolus (Linyphiidae) which Rod also sifted from hawthorn (Crataegus douglasii) litter. In addition to spiders, harvestmen and pseudoscorpions, these cones were loaded with ladybird beetles and sleepy yellowjackets.

Cleveland Cemetery
Layer upon layer of cones and
needles accumulated against this fence
Our next stop, Cleveland Cemetery, was just a few miles to the southwest.  Seventy-two tapped cones here produced 27 spiders and 3 species.  Almost half of the spiders were juvenile Anyphaena (Anyphaenidae), while two of the species were repeat customers from the site west of Bickleton: Meioneta fillmorana (Linyphiidae), which is the third-most common species found in fallen ponderosa cones in eastern Washington, and Poecilochroa columbiana (Gnaphosidae).  From here we proceeded on to the Cleveland rodeo grounds, but I found no tappable cones there.  Rod was understandably pleased with his catch, however.

Pines in hairpin turn in road
at Mouth of Badger Gulch
Onward west to Goldendale!
Our final stop of the day was at the mouth of Badger Gulch, where Rod was camping for the night.  I tapped 50 cones under a few ponderosas growing inside a hairpin turn in Bickleton Highway and collected 8 spiders from 3 species.  This was really the day for Meioneta fillmorana, because I collected 2 more females of the species here.

Since I had a hotel bed waiting for me back in Goldendale, I bid Rod a good (and dry!) night and headed into the sunset.

The next morning, Mt. Adams hung like an apparition over Goldendale.

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