Nature Notes

Vol. III August 26th, 1925 No. 9

By Charles Landes, Nature Guide.

The busy bee holds the spot-light as the most industrious of the animals, but it is hard to improve on the industry of the Douglas Squirrel at this season of the year.

From observations of these squirrels I am convinced that each squirrel preempts for himself a bit of territory and guards it zealously from all intruders. The Coniferous trees furnish the squirrel with most of his winter stores. Those cones he hides in all sorts of places. Recently a camper intaking down an old unused stove found it stored full of fir cones.

It is also interesting to know by what sense these squirrels know that all sorts of nuts and sees may be stored as food. Recently a neighbor put out watermelon, muskmelon, peach and several other kinds of seeds mixed with other materials. "Frisky," in whose domain they were placed put in several busy days divided between protecting his territory and storing these seeds and nuts. Patiently, one at a time he carried them all, some of them he buried in various places, others he carried to cahes in the woodsheds, trees, rock walls and other places.

The Douglas squirrel does not hibernate but how does he find all of these caches when the deep winter snows have covered many of them.

By Charles Landes, Nature Guide.

A stream of glacial origin may be told by the color of the water, usually a milk white. Many observers have noted the chocolate brown color of the glacial streams from Rainier's glaciers and ascribed it to the many dark colored rocks that make up its composition. From recent observation I believe that a better explanation of the dark color of the water is that it comes from the dust collected upon the top and interbedded in the layers, rather than from ground-up rock flour. After the recent storm and consequently colder temperature the Nisqually ran very clear and milky white. This was not true during the hot days of summer when here was a great deal of melting from the top and much run off of surface water from the glacier. Dust pockets in these surface streams collect large amounts of this dark, almost black, dust. I believe it is the addition of large amounts of this dust to the milky white rock flour that gives the glaciers their chocolate color since this color is only prominent during the time of greatest melting.

<<< Previous
> Cover <