The illustrated talks on the geology and wild life of the Park Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 o'clock in the guide house are proving so popular that it looks as though it would be necessary to include Monday night in the list. The crowd was sufficient Saturday to fill the auditorium twice.
Nature Guide trips are taken at 10 a.m. o'clock on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday to study the local natural history. Parties meet at the Park Naturalist's office and spend from one to two hours on easy trails. Some seventy-five to one hundred different flowers and trees are seen, a variety of bird and small animal life noted and tracks, at least, of large game are seen. This is free service.
One would hardly think of the glaciers and permanent snow fields above the timber line as a good feeding ground for insects, birds, and animals but such is the case. Several forms of bacterial growth abound in the snow. One, a yeast-like plant is so abundant that it gives a pink color to large patches of snow. A species of glacier worm is abundant on certain glaciers, notably the Paradise. They likely feed on the minute plant life. A great variety of insect life is always found on or in the snow and ice and these with the worms furnish abundant food for the pipits, juncos and finches that habitually feed on the ice fields.
There are two species of weasels common in the Park. One is the size of the eastern weasel, white in winter and tan in summer, and the other, the little weasel, is only about five inches long with no seasonal change in color. Weasels should be classed among our most destructive predatory animals as they doubt do more damage to small wild life than any other animal. A large weasel was seen near Reflection Lake this week hunting in broad daylight and the nest of small juncos reported last week were found recently each with its head crushed by one of these small villains.
The bear that have been so popular in the public auto camp still continue to appear for their evening meal. Individuals are becoming tame but most of the bear are rather wary of the crowds that gather each evening. Recently one of the campers returned from a hike to find one of the bears in possession of his car. A peaceful agreement was finally reached and the bear vacated.
Deer track are quite common now in Paradise Valley and the surrounding country and are often seen. A small fawn was noted this week near Sluiskin Falls. No doubt the mother was not far distant.
The flower season is at its height at present. Some one hundred species are in bloom locally. The picking of flowers cannot be performed except when special permission is given by the Superintendent for scientific and educational purposes.
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