Nature Notes

Vol. XII May, 1934 No. 5

Just Here and There

Ranger Harold Hall reported seeing three elk at Round Pass, on the west side of the Park, on April 4th. These were probably some of the elk introduced into the area west of the Park some time ago.


During the past few months, the naturalist department has been fortunate in securing several assistants through the C.W.A. In consequence, considerable work has been accomplished during the winter. Our library, heretofore a mass of uncatalogued literature in which definite material was difficult and often impossible to find, was arranged in typical form. A negative cast of the relief model of the park was cast so that positive copies may be more easily made in the future, and the completed relief model located in the Park Museum at Longmire was fully redecorated. In addition, it has been possible to mimeograph the material contained in our Encyclopedia of Information so that it is now ready to assemble and distribute to the various points in the Park where it will serve as a reference enabling park employees to give correct and concise answers to questions that visitors may be expected to ask.(*) In addition, we have been able to secure assistance from the field headquarters of the naturalist department at Berkeley, California, in the preparation of drawings, sketches, lettered cards, and the like, suitable for the preparation of new exhibits.

(*) Since 1929, the naturalist department has been actively engaged in compiling the information now contained in the Encyclopedia. The sections which were considered complete enough to mimeograph were those on amphibians, birds, botany-flora, forests, fungi, ferns - ecology, geology, mammals, bibliography, geography, history, and place names. Sections in which the information was not considered sufficiently complete for mimeographing at the present time are those dealing with the mosses and liverworts, fish and fishing, insects, and reptiles.

Salmonberry now in bloom
Salmonberry - now in bloom.

Visitors of the Longmire Museum will be pleased to note that several new exhibits have been added during the past winter. In addition, several former displays have been rebuilt or improved. Two wall charts illustrating the composition of the two principal rocks found in Mt. Rainier National Park - granodiorite and andesite - have been made. A study of these will assist in an understanding of this feature of the park's geology, and will make it easier for you to pick out the more common mineral components fo these two abundant rocks. The "family tree of the flowers" occupies a small case in the main room of the museum, and illustrates the relationship to one another of the various plants found within the park's borders. A life zone chart is given a prominent corner in the main room to explain to the visitor the wide variation in plants and animals within this area - with elevations ranging from about 2000 to 14,408 feet above the sea - an important and especially interesting feature of this Park. In addition, we have to very fine wall charts (in color) illustrating the life history of the fungi and their place in the scheme of Nature; and the life history of the little known, yet very interesting, division of our fauna - the amphibians. We hope that you who visit the museum this season will find much of interest and value in these exhibits.


The first hummingbird of the season was noted near the Park Museum at Longmire on Tuesday, April 17th. None have been seen since (to date) 'though they usually follow the blooming of the Red Flowering Currant. The "hummer" noted on April 17th. was a Rufus Hummingbird. We are anticipating daily a report of the presence of the Caliope, the other species of "hummer" that frequents this area during the summer months.


Bears have been out of hibernation in the Park since March 10th., as reported in the April issue of NATURE NOTES, but until April 23rd. no cubs had been seen. They usually become evident a number of weeks after the first bear is reported - the mother bears keeping them in close custody for the first few months of their lives. On the date mentioned above, the first cub was reported by Ranger Carl Tice at Narada Falls. We hope that this youngster will develop into a good park citizen and be a credit to his kind. Visitors may help him in this by observing rules of the Park Administration in the matter of bears by NOT FEEDING THEM NOR ENCOURAGING THEM IN ANY WAY TO ACCEPT THE HOSPITALITY OF HUMAN BEINGS. Any person who has had his car pilfered or his camp disturbed by bears will appreciate the importance and timliness of this warning. Let's give this little fellow the right start of life, and observe him at a distance in his natural state as an animal of the woods.


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