Nature Notes

Vol. VIII September, 1930 No. 10

Just Here and There

All the animals of Mt. Rainier National Park seem to be increasing in number. This seems to be particularly true of the Cony--Rock Rabbit, Pika, Little Chief Hare, or what have you. He is known by a variety of names. Ordinarily this tiny fellow (who is related to the Rabbit but who looks more like a Guinea Pig) makes his home in the rock slides or talus slopes. However, the other morning, far from a reek slide, we were surprised to hear his characteristic nasal voice, "E-e-e-k!", and upon looking about discovered that this fellow had established his home in the wood pile.

The other evening a Martin, at an inopportune moment (at least it was inopportune for the Martin) wandered out upon the highway near Paradise Valley. A passing car argued the right of way with him--and won. Ranger-Naturalist Vic Scheffer made a study skin of the animal.

What does a bear do when not feasting on the contents of garbage cans? Ranger Richards had occasion to follow one of these garbage tipplers some time ago. He watched him give several logs the "once over". Then when a selection was made, Bruin riped off a huge chunk with one sweep of his powerful paw, poked his nose into the resulting cavity, and thoroughly enjoyed a royal, wriggling banquet--of ant eggs and ants!

Ranger-Naturalist Landes also had an interesting experience with a bear not so long ago. Dropping in on bruin's "free lunch counter"--the place where some of the garbage is deposited for the bears' consumption-- Mr. Landes was privileged to view an interesting sight. He was slightly early. Dinner had not yet boon served. But one huge fat bear was "johny-on-the-spot" and was lying down, eyes half closed in blissful anticipation of the coming feast. To complete the picture he had as company a large, coal blac Raven--scavengers all--awaiting the expected repast.

It looks like a case of a suicide pact! The party of the first part, a handsome female American Crossibll, was found dead in a shallow ditch near the mineral springs at Longmire. When these ditches were dug to drain the swamp, carbon monoxide gas accumulated in them. The lovely yellow Crossbill probably swooped low and stopped to drink at the ditch when the gas quickly overcame her. The next morning the red plumaged male lay dead in the same spot!


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