Nature Notes

Mount Rainier National Park

Vol. IV October 1, 1926 No. 12

Issued monthly during the winter months; weekly during the summer season, by the Mount Rainier National Park Nature Guide Service.
By: F. W. Schmoe. Park Naturalist.


"Jest because a bug goes about his business hummin' is no sign he's a humbug. Take the wasp for instance. Wasps is about the humminest bugs you ever see, but believe me they sure deliver the goods . . . an they get a hot line too, now haint they?" So says "Ranger Bill."

"Bees" are about the best known insect in the park with the exception of the mosquito and the deer fly. Although very little is actually known about them. Very little, that is, aside from the fact that they lie in wait long the mossy forest trails for plodding unsuspecting pack outfits and cause otherwise slow, easy-going horses to become raving maniacs broadcasting their riders or their packs all over the landscape, and also that they sometimes attact people as well as horses, especially if the people are in the company of horses.

They are especially quarrelsome in the late fall after they have gone into winter quarters in the ground, (or perhaps it is because we are more likely to be traveling the trails on horseback at this time of the year) - and horses are their particular antipathy.

The wild bee, or wasp, was the original inventor of paper. He manufactured deckle-edge, wood-pulp, paper ages before the Egyptians discovered the "papyrus" of the Nile or the Chinese (if it was the Chinese), invented the paper of commerce, and he lived in a paper house while the paper-house-building Japanese were still Chinese.

These globular paper wasp houses range in dimensions from the size of a crab apple to that of a large water pail, and are usually hung from the branch of a tree in the open. Other (or perhaps it is the same variety at other seasons of the year) prefer hollow trees, hollow logs or even holes in the ground as places of comicile.

bees and nest Recently the Caretaker of the Paradise Camp Ground picked up a tin can ... it is his business to pick up tin cans and he finds many of them each day; but this can, aside from the fact that its outward appearance was very much the same as that of any other tin can of its size and shape, was quite different. It was the home of scores of hot-headed, yellow-jacketed, wasps; and the Caretaker laid it down again...but not in time.

And speaking of "Bees" reminds me of another bear story.

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