Nature Notes

Vol. XII March, 1934 No. 3

Yakima Park When Winter Comes

No doubt you have seen Yakima Park (Sunrise) during the summer months, but you may rest assurred that its appearance in winter is much different. Buildings are boarded up and embedded in deep drifts of snow--some of the smaller structures being practically obscurred from view. Trees are heavily laden with snow and when clear and sunny the reflected glory of the sun is blinding--even in dull weather are colored glasses necessary, for there is such a great expanse of white that details of the landscape are lost in the immediate foreground.

On the way up to this region, via skiis on an eight mile trail, numerous tracks were seen. Those of the marten were most numerous, giving evidence of the abundance of this animal in the White River valley at this point. Tracks of many smaller animals were also noted and once those that gave evidence of the presence of a cougar which had passed there a day or so previous, were seen. As we climbed higher from the floor of the valley to the sub-alpine region of Yakima Park, evidences of animal life became less abundant until at our destination, we had--with the exception of a few birds--the entire area to ourselves. Not a track was seen on the broad snowy expanse.

Returning, we found evidence of a woodland tragedy near the ranger station which had been our starting point a day or so before. Death had struck with terrifying suddenness from the sky. Some predatory bird--possibly an owl--had swooped down upon some unfortunate animal leaving only a bit of blood-soaked snow and a few bunches of fur as evidence. There wasn't enough of the unfortunate victim left to allow leeway for positive identification, and so we passed it by without any effort being made in this regard.


sketch of Mount Rainier and the Government Blockhouse
Government Blockhouse embedded in eight feet of snow.

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