Nature Notes

Vol. X January - 1932 No. 1

Just Here and There

mountain goat skull

Rarely have animal remains been found in the Park and it is often a cause of speculation regarding the manner in which they meet death and the fate of their earthly remains after they have fulfilled their purpose here. Two years ago the lower jaw of a Mountain Goat was found on the Nisqually Glacier and recently a portion of the skull of a Goat was brought to the Museum of Gordon Bender. This skull was retrieved from the carcass found on the Muir Glacier last summer.

A famous light of literature wrote concerning the abyssmal fury of a "Woman scorned". But Mr. Tomlinson - Park Superintendent - testified recently that such fury was probably a mere trifle compared to the anger of a man's wife who has just discovered tracks of a bear in the kitchen and noticed that two fine fruit cakes were A.W.O.L. It was reported that the cakes were being carefully safeguarded for a special occasion but Bruin, having no interest in the problems of the Culbertson-Lenz controversy and being thoroughly imbued with the theory that "first come, first served" simply made the most of the opportunity. In other words a fruit cake in the "bread basket" is worth two in the bread box. Then to make a clean job of it Bruin helped himself to a fruit salad, several bottles of milk and a couple of loaves of bread. Judging from this and several similar experiences we might modify the adage to read "Eat, drink and be merry - for tomorrow a bear might drop around!"

Yet they say that every cloud has a silver lining. Perhaps others have taken the idea to heart as well but the bears give us an excellent alibi in the case of particular delicacies which cause our mouths to water and which bear a "hands off" sign. The idea is this. Just help yourself to the cookie jar, fruit add atmosphere, yell "BEAR!" in a loud voice, slam a few doors and the deed is done. After such a racket who would question that a bear had taken the cake?

Ranger Oscar Sedergren of the White River District reports that he entertains and interesting visitor at his cabin daily -- a Martin.

Ranger Lawrence Rickard of the Carbon River District notes that it is bad luck when a black cat crosses one's path -- especially if the black "cat" has white stripes. Civet Cats, he says are very numerous in the vicinity of his cabin but thus far he has maintained his neutrality. And better still the Civet Cats have also respected the truce -- which "Rick" will be a permanent one.

Additions to our historical files and collections were made during the past month by Judge Hall, now the Park Commissioner, who was superintendent of Mount Rainier National Park from 1910 to 1913. His collections of photos, including one of the first car to enter Paradise Valley under its own power, was turned over to the Naturalist. These will be copied as soon as possible and returned to Mr. Hall.

Ranger Frank Greer, one of the "old timers" in the park, also came forward with some very interesting old photos which depict the early days here. These will also be copied and returned to Frank. Thus, slowly but surely does our historical collection grow. Have you any old photos or articles indicative of the past of Mount Rainier region? Or do you know of anyone who has? If so you will aid us a great deal by making it possible for us to get at least a loan of this material for a time sufficient to make photographic copies for our displays.

Many interesting movies were taken during the past month. Park visitors will enjoy seeing them next summer in the talks and lectures conducted by Ranger-Naturalists.

Ravens, which nest high in the rocky crags of the Ramparts above Longmire, are not much in evidence during the summer. But in the winter their interest in scraps of food left by careless motorists in the parking area here serve to attract these large and ungainly birds from their lofty perch. Thus, as scavangers, they serve a useful purpose other than the interest which their appearance creates.

A Western Winter Wren flew into the Hewitt residence at Longmire not long ago and knocked himself out when he tried to fly through the glass window. The bird was picked up by Mrs. Hewitt who brought it to the Museum where it revived. Then, instead of making a skin of it as first appeared necessary, the bird was liberated -- but before it flew away it posed for the movie camera.

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