Album of Watson Lakes Trail Field Trip

Selected photos (by Rod Crawford, Laurel Ramseyer, Markku Savela & Shannon Bowley) from our 20 August 2011 spider collecting trip to the Watson Lakes Trail into the Noisy Diobsud Wilderness, Whatcom County, Washington. Very late in the season, we certainly didn't expect to find so much snow in the subalpine meadow here! Despite this the season was well advanced, but with 4 people collecting we managed to get 23 species. Definitely the "last rose of summer" for spider collecting. But fall collecting is just around the corner! It was a beautiful spot, not too crowded, and with relatively few biting Diptera – except at the lower elevation pond where we started out, which was aswarm with mosquitos…
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1998 aerial view of meadow on Watson Lakes trail, Whatcom County, Washington pond north of Lilypad Lake, Whatcom County, Washington
Subalpine meadow on trail with adjacent talus        (USGS, 1998) Our first stop, North Lilypad Lake             © Rod Crawford
Laurel Ramseyer & Ron Austin at North Lilypad Lake, Whatcom County, Washington Shannon Bowley, Rod Crawford, Ron Austin, Laurel Ramseyer & Jerry Austin at North Lilypad Lake, Whatcom County, Washington
Laurel stoically collects while Ron Austin scratches mosquito bite
       © Rod Crawford
Everybody busy doing their thing              © Markku Savela
bog surface at North Lilypad Lake, Whatcom County, Washington riparian meadow at North Lilypad Lake, Whatcom County, Washington
Bog surface at pond            © Rod Crawford Riparian meadow at pond          © Rod Crawford

Abandoning the pond to its mosquitos, we went subalpine for the rest of the day.

Anderson Butte from meadow on Watson Lakes trail, Whatcom County, Washington Tetragnatha versicolor, meadow on Watson Lakes trail, Whatcom County, Washington
On the trail, we pass Anderson Butte   © Rod Crawford Tetragnatha versicolor on fir twig               © Shannon Bowley
Mount Baker from meadow on Watson Lakes trail, Whatcom County, Washington Rod Crawford & Jerry Austin encounter snow, meadow on Watson Lakes trail, Whatcom County, Washington
We knew Mt. Baker would be snow-capped…  © Shannon Bowley …but we weren't prepared for this at 4600 feet!           © Markku Savela
snow bridge over creek, meadow on Watson Lakes trail, Whatcom County, Washington Rod Crawford & Jerry Austin traverse snow, meadow on Watson Lakes trail, Whatcom County, Washington
Snow-melt feeding creeks           © Laurel Ramseyer Gamely, we slogged onward                  © Markku Savela
intermittent late August snow, meadow on Watson Lakes trail, Whatcom County, Washington Shannon Bowley ascends trail, meadow on Watson Lakes trail, Whatcom County, Washington
Melting snow continued up the valley        © Laurel Ramseyer Shannon ascends a snow-free part of the meadow      © Markku Savela
subalpine fir and mountain hemlock foliage, meadow on Watson Lakes trail, Whatcom County, Washington snow-free section of meadow on Watson Lakes trail, Whatcom County, Washington
Subalpine fir & mountain hemlock foliage        © Rod Crawford Best snow-free section we found               © Rod Crawford
egg sac of Philodromus alascensis, meadow on Watson Lakes trail, Whatcom County, Washington Philodromus alascensis, meadow on Watson Lakes trail, Whatcom County, Washington
Strange egg sac probably made by…         © Laurel Ramseyer Philodromus alascensis (on Shannon's arm)            © Shannon Bowley
wolf spider Pardosa dorsuncata, meadow on Watson Lakes trail, Whatcom County, Washington boulder talus on valley side, meadow on Watson Lakes trail, Whatcom County, Washington
Pardosa dorsuncata         © Markku Savela Talus, a promising field for collecting                © Laurel Ramseyer
Laurel Ramseyer at meadow on Watson Lakes trail, Whatcom County, Washington Jerry Austin on boulder talus, meadow on Watson Lakes trail, Whatcom County, Washington
Laurel takes a break  © Shannon Bowley Jerry dauntlessly hunts talus spiders           © Laurel Ramseyer
pika scat on talus, meadow on Watson Lakes trail, Whatcom County, Washington epigynum of undescribed Cybaeus from talus, meadow on Watson Lakes trail, Whatcom County, Washington
Pika scat on talus         © Laurel Ramseyer Epigynum of undescribed Cybaeus from talus           © Rod Crawford
blackfly Simuliidae, meadow on Watson Lakes trail, Whatcom County, Washington hoverfly on flower, meadow on Watson Lakes trail, Whatcom County, Washington
There were a few blackflies trying to bite         © Markku Savela Hover fly on flower            © Laurel Ramseyer
mosquito, meadow on Watson Lakes trail, Whatcom County, Washington mountain hemlock cone on snow, meadow on Watson Lakes trail, Whatcom County, Washington
Mosquito casts ominous shadow    © Markku Savela Mountain hemlock cone on snow        © Laurel Ramseyer
microspider Ceratinella sp., meadow on Watson Lakes trail, Whatcom County, Washington trail boardwalk vanishes under snow, meadow on Watson Lakes trail, Whatcom County, Washington
Ceratinella from fir foliage          © Rod Crawford Trail vanishes under snow again       © Rod Crawford
Shannon Bowley at meadow on Watson Lakes trail, Whatcom County, Washington Pityohyphantes tacoma sheetweb weaver,  Watson Lakes trail, Whatcom County, Washington
Shannon sorts a foliage beat sample   © Laurel Ramseyer Nice Pityohyphantes tacoma found in the woods        © Rod Crawford
conifer litter & dead wood, meadow on Watson Lakes trail, Whatcom County, Washington white snow-melt flowers, meadow on Watson Lakes trail, Whatcom County, Washington
Conifer litter & dead wood were productive  © Rod Crawford These white flowers grew every place snow was melting     © Laurel Ramseyer
Shannon Bowley with spider vials, meadow on Watson Lakes trail, Whatcom County, Washington Markku, Jerry, Laurel & Rod at meadow on Watson Lakes trail, Whatcom County, Washington
Shannon poses with her catch       © Markku Savela Done for the day               © Shannon Bowley
Rod Crawford labelling spiders, meadow on Watson Lakes trail, Whatcom County, Washington ground spider ant mimic Micaria constricta, meadow on Watson Lakes trail, Whatcom County, Washington
Rod doing the most important part – labeling   © Markku Savela Micaria constricta              © Rod Crawford
Markku, Laurel, Jerry and Rod negotiating snowbank, meadow on Watson Lakes trail, Whatcom County, Washington Mt. Shuksan from road to Watson Lakes trail, Whatcom County, Washington
"Ze perilous passage"         © Shannon Bowley Mount Shuksan on the way down           © Rod Crawford

This page last updated 4 October, 2011