Nature Notes

Vol. V August 8, 1927 Summer Season No. 6


Just as human beings are occasionally born with skins devoid of pigment, an occasional plant is lacking its natural coloring. One plant, the Indian Paintbrush, normally red, is sometimes found white. On a circuit of the Reflection Lakes the write noticed albino paintbrushes, white Jacob's Ladder (normally blue) and white Red Heather. The last was a peculiar plant, most of the blossoms being red, but a few being white. This is, of course, entirely distinct from the true white heather, the leaves of the albino being true red heather leaves. White gentians and white monkey-flowers, the former normally blue, the latter normally red, have also been reported.


Thunder on the left, on the right, in front, behind was the experience of two men at Anvil Rock during the thunder storm of August 1st. Anvil Rock, 9585 feet, is the site of a forest fire lookout maintained by the Park and the Forest Service. A new cabin is nearing completion, lacking only finishing touches, including lightning rods. Consequently, during the storm of August 1st, the severest seen here in recent years, the men at the lookout were not very comfortable. They had literally a hair-raising experience. Mr. Julius Mann describes it: "When we took off our hats our hair bristled up and our ears tingled." Every point of rock seemed to be splitting electricity. When a flash of lightning came, the whole atmosphere seemed to collapse. It was like diving into deep water. Then the charge would build up again, hair would bristle, and rocks wold fizz, until another stroke discharged. Bolts struck Camp Muir, 500 feet above Anvil, struck the glacier below, struck all around. But the Anvil lookout, the most exposed spot on the landscape, was spared. The men attribute their immunity to the grounded telephone wire, which is the lookout's means of communication. This line must have functioned as a lightning rod, discharging the atmosphere in the vicinity of the rock. Messrs. Meade and Mann are thankful it is not a wireless telephone.

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