Caterpillars setting up camp in Columbia County
Caterpillars invading Washington side of the Columbia too
During the summer, I rode my bike about once a week in an area west of Longview/Kelso, which was in the area infested with tent caterpillars, and on June 18th I noticed caterpillars covering the road and bushes, and then realized many of the alder trees along the forest road were nearly defoliated! When I stood quietly and listened, it sounded like it was raining even though there were no clouds in the sky...it was the sound of all the droppings of millions of caterpillars falling through the trees and bushes, gross but fascinating!
|Western Tent Caterpillars during an outbreak west of Longview/Kelso|
|Mostly-defoliated alder trees west of Longview/Kelso on June 18th|
|Defoliated (left) and mostly-untouched (right) alder trees west of Longview/Kelso on June 18th|