Just the other day the snow shovel started nudging its way up the road toward Paradise Valley (April 22nd.) clearing away the deep snowdrifts on the road above Longmire as it progressed. Better than a month will be required to open the road completely.
Several bear have established their summer residence at Longmire but so far no new cubs have been reported. Cubs are born while the mother is still in hibernation, being hairless and helpless and weighing but eight or ten ounces and consequently do not venture forth into the "cold, cruel world" until several months old. The first bear was reported at Paradise Valley on April 5th. by Ranger Charles Browne. Martin are also quite evident there, according to the men at the Winter Lodge, who place food for one of these animals upon the snow each night.
Ranger Harold Hall discovered a picture of the old Longmire Hotel which was built of split cedar lumber. The picture served as an illustration for a calender. It now reposes in our historical files being the only record which we have of the appearance of this early structure. R. D. Waterhouse, Park Engineer, presented the Museum library with a copy of W. G. Steel's book, "The Mountains of Oregon", printed in 1890. The writer no doubt included in his definition of "Oregon" that entire region which was formerlly known as the Oregon Territory (the State of Washington being organized as a separate territory in 1853 and admitted as a state in 1899) for the book contains many valuable and interesting facts concerning Mt. Rainier as well as many other mountains of this state.
The eclipse of the sun was an interesting feature of the heavens in Mt. Rainier Nat'l Park this month.
Deer are common throughout the lower elevations of the Park at this time. Rarely does anyone drive to Longmire without catching a glimpse of these animals and we, at Longmire, see them often. As the snows receed to higher levels the deer return. Raccoons continue in favor among our nocturnal visitors. One evening a piece of chocolate cake was included among the scraps placed out for them. They came, looked over their dinner -- then grabbed the cake.
Several years ago the poem on the following page was printed in Nature Notes. As last year was a bad fire year in the Pacific Northwest and, as we are approaching another summer that will bring a return of this hazard, perhaps you will pardon our repeating it in this issue. Care with fire is of utmost importance in the woods.
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