Nature Notes

Vol. IV July 1, 1927 No. 1


Marmot Point, a mile above Narada Falls on the Paradise Valley Road, is a favorite gathering place for the Hoary Marmot or Whistler. Any day in summer it is possible to see from one to a half dozen of these western woodchucks basking in the sun at the edge of the road or feeding in the bushy swamp just below.

Last week the Naturalist watcheed two half grown marmots stage an exciting three-round boxing match at Marmot Point. An old hoary-backed fellow refereed the match. The two stood on their hind feet and slugged each other with both fists. With bears it would have been a slapping match but these marmots exchanged short jabs and punches like professionals. Not only was the boxing and head work good, but they were also active on their feet. Contrary to the usual proceedure each round lasted until one of the other of the contestants was knocked down, then instead of retiring to his corner the winner of the round jumped upon his fallen foeman with all four feet and began worrying him. After a minute or so of this they were on their feet again, and the next round was underway.

One of the truck drivers reported watching a similar match a few days later. Apparently boxing is a favorite sport among marmots.


Some six weeks ago Betty, a well-known park bear announced the birth of triplets. Since that time Betty and her cubs have been daily visitors at the power plant where a great many people have met her and spent an hour watching the playful antics of her babies.

sketch of bear cubs One day last week Betty and the cubs did not appear at the power plant and the next day the four were found - apparently very much at home - in the Paradise Auto Camp, four miles up the river. For several days now the quarted has frequented the camp, much to the delight of the campers.

For several years this has been Bettys system. She dens up somewhere near the junction of the Paradise and the Nisqually Rivers, enjoys the hospitality of the electrician at the power plant for a few weeks, and then moves to the high valley for the tourist and the huckleberry season.

If you camp in Paradise Valley this summer Betty and her cubs are very apt to pay you a visit.

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