Nature Notes

Vol. V August 22, 1927 No. 8

By: Ranger-Naturalist, Chas. Landis.

Some animals, man included, seem to have permanent homes, while others are decidedly nomadic.

For three years insuccession, as I have made my first trip of the season to Eagle Peak, I have watched for a very large Marmot. This particular Marmot must have some of the instincts of the Mountain Goat for he has chosen a home at the top of a high perpendicular cliff near the top of the mountain, from which he maintains vigilant watch. Choosing a great projecting rock as a lookout.

Each year as I leave the cover of the woods below and come into the Alpine meadows at the base of the cliff, I hear his warning whistle, and know he is still on guard.

An a faithful guard he has proven, for in the many trips I have made to Eagle Peak I have never failed to see him sitting in the sunshine or to heed his warning whistle before I see him.

This year as I approached the edge of the open meadow I listened for his whistle. No warning come. Had he forsaken his post? As I climbed higher into position to see the projecting ledge I trained my field glasses upon the craig where before I had always found him. Yes he was sitting in the same sunny spot. I approached closer, and still no warning whistle, but an alert posture and nervous movements assured me that he was still on duty at the old post.

By: Ranger-Naturalist Chas. Landis.

Deep snows in the Alpine meadows usually melt and are gone by early or middle July. This snow covering retards all plant growth and the moisture of the melting supplies the needs of the plants beneath it. Early and late varieties both are affected by this retardation, but the early varieties most. For this reason the early spring varieties usually burst into bloom with the mid-summer varieties making a great profusion of bloom in these meadows.

The Alpine meadows of this year show a considerable disturbance in this sequence. The snow was out of these meadows a month earlier than usual and all varieties of flowers early and late, have an advanced season corresponding to the snow conditions. This early season has disturbed the usual sequence of varieties as some especially the very early and late varieties are affected more than others. The early varieties are many of them in seed and mid-summer varieties are at their best while the late flowers as Gention are now in bud and many of the late Asters are now in bloom. Some varieties as Valerian, Indian Paint Brush and other are greatly disturbed by the forward season and are not in such great profusion as in the years before.

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