When anyone describes the Gray Jay they usually end up with the statement, "When they fly, they soar away with a peculiar swoop on set-wings." It is a characteristic of the Jay. No other bird sails away just like that. The wings are held so rigid that their very rigidity is apparent. Usually they are depresses, the tips lower than the body instead of on a plane with the body or slightly above as with most soaring birds. The outer wing feathers, the primaries, are blunt and spread so that the tip of the wing is cleft like fingers held apart. Some way, perhaps it is merely the association, a flock of Gray Jays dropping into camp in the fall reminds one strongly of the first big snowflakes of a storm dropping slowly to earth--the two belong together.
The men who "police" the Paradise Auto Camp are searching for a bear-proof garbage can although, at the same time, they are doubtful if there is any such thing.
Every day the garbage cans are raided by the bears and on days when they are full it means double work for the caretakers. One man told me that he set-up a particular can three times within an hour. The can was over, the contents broadcast. He set it up. Before he was out of sight he heard a noise and found a bear had stepped from the shrubbery and was in the can. Again he set the can up and drove the bear away. A half hour later he returned that way and the can was down again.
Several experiments have been tried. Piece of metal piping were driven through the handles and into the ground. The bear lifted the can from the stakes. A frame of heavy timbers well staked down was constructed about another can. The bear failed to turn it over but he removed the lid and pawed the contents over the top. We suggested a can with a spring cover but it would have to be strongly constructed or the bears would maul it into scrap iron.
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