Nature Notes

Vol. II December 1, 1924 No. 15


What happens when a tender little deer meets unexpectedly and face to face a big hungry bear on a dark forest trail? Often I've wondered - no I know - what happened on one such occasion, for during the week I had the rare good fortune of being unseen spectator to such a meeting.

I was cutting wood near Longmire when a sound arrested my attention. Down a little path came a young buck stepping gingerly along with head held high. As I watched I saw approaching from the opposite direction a brown bear. Due to some large trees along the winging path the two did not see each other until less than a half dozen paces separated them; then rounding a big snag they came face to face.

Now its entirely possible that this particular bear was hungry (I never saw one that wasnt) and that he had never heard of the golden rule. What more could one expect than that Bruin should strike down this bountiful feast so providentially provided and enjoy some fresh venison, but that is not what happened. The peaceful scene immediately became of one animation but it was no gory combat that I witnessed. With amazing speed for one so clumsy, bruin turned and climbed a tree and the leisurly gait of the buck became one of wild plight in the opposite direction. Fifty yards away the deer stopped and looked back - then wandered off into the woods. The bear, after a few seconds, descended and ambled away in the opposite direction.


Swamp Robins or Varied Thrushes were abundant about Longmire and the Park entrance until the middle of November. They seemed to enjoy the heavy snow which came early this season but departed suddenly - a few days after the sun began to shine again.

Gray Jays and the Blue Steller Jays constitute 90% of the bird population about the settlements at present. The hoarse croak of the ravens as they fly from their roosting places on the Ramparts to their feeding ground along the river bar is a daily sound at daybreak. Again at dusk they are heard as they return to the cliffs.

Chickadees are abundant at times in the alder thickets and the little brown creeper is often seen busily examining the trees.

Along the streams still open Water Ouzels are not uncommon and everywhere in the deep woods the Western Winter Wren greets one.

At Paradise Valley after a snow fall which netted more than ten feet of snow, Magpies, Clarke's Crows, Gray Jays and Juncos are still abundant and will remain so all thru the winter.

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