Nature Notes

Vol. XII November, 1934 No. 11

Just Here and There

Among recent donations received by the Park Museum is a copy of the recently published book, "Ferns of the Northwest" by Dr. T.C. Frye of the University of Washington - donated by Dr. Frye; an old pioneer rifle that was discovered behind a cedar log in the underbrush of the Fern Hill section of Tacoma by Mr. J.A. Fortier - donated by mr. Fortier; seven study skins of common animals of the Park from Mr. E.A. Kitchin; twelve fern specimens for our herbarium from Rev. C.S. Lewis of Albany, N.Y. and a group of old highway photos which were donated by the Park Engineer, Mr. Robert Waterhouse. (C.F.B.)


Shortly after the abandonment of the nest of the Oregon Jay or Camp Robber (Perisoreus obscurus obscurus) mentioned on page 70 of the August "NATURE NOTES", the portion of the branch which held the nest was removed from the tree. Examination showed the nest to be rather loosely constructed and beaten down to an almost flat platform by the movements of the young birds. The base of the nest was composed of lichens (Usnea sp) interwoven with bits of decayed wood, and the soft downy feathers of the Jay. The floor of the nest was composed mainly of the lichen with strands of bark of Alaska Cedar, (Chameocyparis nootkatensis) and a few blades of an undetermined variety of grass. Lack of stiffening material prevented the nest from retaining is original shape under the rough treatment of the robust fledglings, but the abundance of the lichen served to disguise the nest so completely that it would not have been noticed unless attention had been attracted by the movements of the birds. (Natt Dodge)

bird on a branch

While on a Nature Hike to Mazama Ridge on August 10, the members of a Naturalist conducted party captured two half-grown meadow mice in the heather fringing a stream bank below Sluiskin Falls. The small animals were placed in the vasculum and made themselves quite at home among the flowers gathered during the trip. In arranging the flowers for the display at the Community House, the Ranger-naturalist was somewhat chagrined to find that the mice had torn apart all of the heads of the Mountain Dandelions and eaten the ovules. Since this species of blossom was through flowering in Paradise Valley at the time, the display was lacking in this variety. The mice were given a comfortable home in a screen-lined box so that their activities might be observed. (Natt Dodge)


Observations of Mountain Goats (Oreamos montanus montanus) indicate that a few, at least, of the animals are becoming more accustomed to the presence of human beings and losing some of their characteristic timidity. A herd of goats frequently seen in Van Trump Park and vicinity is observed in the region regardless of the presence of many visitors in that area, whereas a band of goats seen on The Fan (a much less frequented portion of the Park) deserted their pastures after a group of people passed through there on August 6. Two years ago the Van Trump herd left that Park as soon as visitors invaded the area early in the summer. Although these observations are sketchy at best, they may indicate that possibly even these wary animals are learning, from several years experience, that the strange creatures on two legs mean them no harm. (N.D.)


Among the September donations which the Naturalist Department wishes to acknowledge gratefully were several volumes of NATURE MAGAZINE and a number of issues of The NATIONAL GEOPGRAHIC which were given by Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Dodge of Tacoma, Washington. These publications are a valued addition to the Park Library.


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