Nature Notes

Vol. X May, 1932 No. 5

Just Here and There

"The Mountain" has another anniversary! You will recall possibly, in the last issue we made note of this park's 33rd birthday. But his month - May 8th - the mountain that has become so widely known throughout our country was seen for the first time by white man. An English sea captain, Captain George Vancouver by name, had piloted his ship, the Discovery south into Puget Sound and from its anchorage somewhere off the present site of the City of Tacoma this man first saw the snowy crest of "The Mountain".

Those of you who are interested in more detailed material relative to the life and habits of the Indians of the north pacific coast might be interested in an article, "The Art of the Northwest Coast Indians" by Lieut. G. T. Emmons. This account which is well illustrated appeared in Natural History Magazine for May-June, 1930.

And speaking of Indians, our museum has been recently favored by a costly and very fine donation -- a collection of Indian baskets and similar materials secured from Mr. George Pratt of New York City through the efforts of Dr. Carl Russell, Field Naturalists of the National Park Service. This donation is a large portion of the collection of Mrs. J. B. Montgomery of Oregon from whom Mr. Pratt secured the baskets. Many of these beautiful baskets are on display in our historical case in the museum at Longmire. We hope someday to be able to place all these fine articles in a fine new, modern museum.

We quote from a note received a short time ago from Ranger Rickard in the Carbon River District. "On a recent trip from the Ipsut Camp Ground to the Carbon River Ranger Station I observed two white birds which I at first took to be pigeons. As I got near them I saw that they were ptarmigan which had strayed from their usual haunts. I could walk to about eight feet of them before they would fly about 200 feet and light again on the road. After flushing them eight or ten times they came to a place where there was no timber between the road and the river bar. They then took to the river bar and were soon lost to sight. This occurred at an elevation of about 2100 feet and the birds were in their customary white winter plumage."

The above account certainly puts "Rick" one up on us. For we packed many pounds of cameras over winter trails this winter in a vain attempt to get photos of these birds in their white plumage for our lectures in the park next summer.


Nature Notes takes the air! That is via radio. Station K. V. I. has generously consented to our use of fifteen minutes of their time every other Wednesday at 6:15 P.M. The first program was given on April 20th. These programs will be continued as long as practical -- their success being dependent, of course, upon the manner in which they are received by the radio amateur.

Birds are becoming more numerous as spring gains a stronger foothold. The Juncoe's bell-like tinkle is a conspicuous note along the lower wooded trails and the exuberant bubbling song of the Western Winter Wren also brightens the shaded, moist woods. Several Grosbeaks were noted several days ago and the Flickers seem to have invaded the region about Longmire in force. Robins and Varied Thrushes are very abundant -- even a few optomistic Robins were noted in Paradise where 18 feet of snow still lies upon level ground. Of course all our permanent residents, among the birds, are still with us so that at this time we are possessed of a constantly increasing resident bird population. But there is one exception - the Camp Robber. He is still here no doubt but the nesting season for this bird is at hand and he has disappeared, as is his custom, to some unknown retreat until the families of young Camp Robbers are raised.

We appreciate, very much, the response to our list revision of Nature Notes -- particularly the comments which many of you took time to jot down on the back of these slips. It is certainly giving us a great deal of pleasure to learn that these efforts of ours are serving a useful purpose. But at the same time we wish to call attention to the fact that Nature Notes is but a minor part of our activities. The major portion of our work is done here in the park in the conducting of free trips to points of interest, illustrated lectures, museums and wild flower displays and nature trails along which all plants and other features of interest are marked, identified or explained. We hope that you will be able to visit Mount Rainier National Park and take advantage of these free services during this coming season. And if you do -- look us up!


<<< Previous
> Cover <