Album of Cooper Pass Field Trip

Selected photos by Rod Crawford and Laurel Ramseyer from our 2 July 2017 spider collecting trip to Cooper Pass, 13.55 miles north of Easton, Kittitas County, Washington. This trip plan, on the books for 2 years, brought us a rich sample from a montane site on the ridge between the Cle Elum and Kachess river valleys, plus two riparian sites along the Kachess River, including several rare or unusual spider species (37 species in all); a very pleasant day. Laurel unfortunately had disappointing results from conifer cones; her account of the day is here.
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2010 aerial photo, Cooper Pass, Kittitas County, Washington forest road 46 at Cooper Pass, Kittitas County, Washington
Cooper Pass showing meadows N of road      (Kittitas County, 2010) Forest Road 46 at the pass              © Rod Crawford
Cornus canadensis at Cooper Pass, Kittitas County, Washington prominent rock monolith, Cooper Pass, Kittitas County, Washington
Creeping dogwood, Cornus canadensis   © Laurel Ramseyer Prominent rock monolith overlooked our spider ground          © Rod Crawford
Douglas-fir cones, Cooper Pass, Kittitas County, Washington View of Cooper Lake from Cooper Pass, Kittitas County, Washington
Douglas-fir cones sampled by Laurel    © Laurel Ramseyer View of Cooper Lake from near the big rock             © Rod Crawford
theridiid spider Euryopis formosa from Cooper Pass, Kittitas County, Washington meadow area at Cooper Pass, Kittitas County, Washington
Euryopis formosa, cone-dwelling spider  © Laurel Ramseyer Meadow area produced an 11-species sweep sample        © Laurel Ramseyer
grassy part of meadow, Cooper Pass, Kittitas County, Washington herbaceous part of meadow
Grassy part of meadow              © Rod Crawford Herbaceous part of meadow                © Rod Crawford
Laurel Ramseyer sorting a conifer foliage beat sample, Cooper Pass, Kittitas County, Washington small conifers with accessible foliage, Cooper Pass, Kittitas County, Washington
Laurel sorting a tree beat sample        © Rod Crawford Plenty of small conifers with accessible foliage             © Rod Crawford
dead wood spider habitat, Cooper Pass, Kittitas County, Washington female theridiid spider Theridion michelbacheri, Cooper Pass, Kittitas County, Washington
Dead wood habitat produced little           © Rod Crawford Very rare Theridion michelbacheri, female             © Rod Crawford
western hemlock foliage, Cooper Pass, Kittitas County, Washington very rare theridiid spider, Theridion michelbacheri, male, Cooper Pass, Kittitas County, Washington
Western hemlock foliage           © Rod Crawford Very rare Theridion michelbacheri, male             © Rod Crawford
white pine tree Pinus monticola, Cooper Pass, Kittitas County, Washington rock fragments below outcrop, Cooper Pass, Kittitas County, Washington
Pine tree dropped 17 cones, containing 1 spider!    © Rod Crawford Rocks in the sun were too hot to shelter spiders               © Rod Crawford
Face view of crab spider Misumenops sierrensis, Cooper Pass, Kittitas County, Washington Ceanothus velutinus shrub, Cooper Pass, Kittitas County, Washington
Face view of Misumenops sierrensis     © Rod Crawford Ceanothus shrub produced crab spiders                     © Laurel Ramseyer
crab spider Misumenops sierrensis attempting to mate with wrong species, Misumena vatia, Cooper Pass, Kittitas County, Washington crab spider Misumenops sierrensis from Cooper Pass, Kittitas County, Washington
Male Misumenops sierrensis attempting miscegenation with female Misumena vatia             © Laurel Ramseyer Male Misumenops sierrensis                        © Rod Crawford

Less than 2 miles down the road, we were at a different environment in the Kachess River valley.

understory along upper Kachess River, north of Kachess Lake, Kittitas County, Washington river flows through culvert, upper Kachess River, north of Kachess Lake, Kittitas County, Washington
Lush riverbank understory            © Rod Crawford Upper Kachess River fits inside a culvert                 © Rod Crawford
stone oven at Kachess River, north of Kachess Lake, Kittitas County, Washington orbweaver Metellinas mimetoides from Kachess River, north of Kachess Lake, Kittitas County, Washington
Elaborate stone oven at an unofficial campsite   © Laurel Ramseyer Metellina mimetoides from the stone oven: nice catch        © Rod Crawford
bullet-riddled bearing-tree sign, Kachess River, north of Kachess Lake, Kittitas County, Washington tailed frog Ascaphus truei, Kachess River, north of Kachess Lake, Kittitas County, Washington
Bearing-tree sign, now bearing bullets  © Laurel Ramseyer Tailed frog beside the Kachess River            © Laurel Ramseyer

Less than a mile (and 2 tributaries) downstream, the river was much bigger and the habitat was floodplain alder.

Mineral Creek trailhead, Kachess River north of Kachess Lake, Kittitas County, Washington alder forest beside Kachess River north of Kachess Lake, Kittitas County, Washington
We parked at Mineral Creek Trailhead       © Rod Crawford Tall alder forest covered the floodplain               © Rod Crawford
alder leaf litter, Kachess River north of Kachess Lake, Kittitas County, Washington Rod Crawford sifting leaf litter beside Kachess River north of Kachess Lake, Kittitas County, Washington
Nice deep pocket of alder litter          © Rod Crawford Rod sifting alder litter beside the Kachess River         © Laurel Ramseyer
Cybaeopsis macarius spider with egg sac, Kachess River north of Kachess Lake, Kittitas County, Washington Kachess River north of Kachess Lake, Kittitas County, Washington
Female Cybaeopsis macarius with eggs  © Laurel Ramseyer At this point, river much bigger than a culvert         © Laurel Ramseyer
two hikers about to cross Kachess River north of Kachess Lake, Kittitas County, Washington County, Washington
2 hikers contemplate fording the river      © Rod Crawford Left to right: Bears Breast Mountain, Mt. Hinman, Mt. Daniel    © Rod Crawford
Last Resort store, near Lake Cle Elum, Kittitas County, Washington view of Box Ridge from above Cooper Pass, Kittitas County, Washington
Tired Laurel fueled up at The Last Resort   © Rod Crawford Box Ridge from above Cooper Pass (same viewpoint as above)  © Rod Crawford
snow-free Guye Peak, Snoqualmie Pass, Washington on 2 July 2017 Seattle sunset hiding behind nimbus cloud, 2 July 2017
On Snoquallmie Pass, Guye Peak snow-free © Rod Crawford Seattle sunset hiding behind a rain cloud         © Rod Crawford

This page last updated 26 July, 2017