The deer are sleek this summer--and plentiful. A mild winter made life easy for them and the woods are full of them. Two proud bucks with horns in the velvet were reported on the topmost ridge of Eagle Peak shortly after the Fourth. Near Comet Falls they are already beginning to congregate. Later in the season they seek refuge from the heat in the spray of these falls.
What has become of the Whistling Marmot of Eagle Peak? One hoary old veteran used unfailingly to greet the climber as he came into sight of the first great tower of rock on this trail. This year no shrill whistle warns the rest of the community--in fact there does not seem to be any community. Not one Marmot was seen or heard on a recent trip to this mighty watch tower of the Nisqually.
A recent trip into Stevens Canyon in search of flowers for our display served to illustrate quite convincingly the manner in which a forest fire modifies the vegetative cover. Here, many years ago, a great fire raged up the canyon and destroyed practically every evidence of the former forest wealth. Even now it is getting but a superficial start upon its upward cycle and then only in the more favorable situations. The steeper slopes are still barren of timber. There we find many of the plants native only to the lower life zones even though its altitude would indicate vegetation of a character peculiar only to the higher regions. There too, because of the dry conditions of the soil and the exposure we find the plants farther advanced toward their flowering period than would be customary at this season elsewhere where conditions follow their more natural bent. Thus by delving into this old burn we were able to get a more representative group of later flowers than would otherwise have been the case had we visited only the more pleasant regions.
On the cover, in addition to the Chipmunk, we have sketched our Mountain Currant (Ribes divaricatum)--a Hudsonian zome variety which is closely related to the more flagrant culprits of the same group of plants which are instrumental in spreading the White Pine Bluster Rust, evidences of which have been found in the Park--both on the Pine and on the Ribes. At the present time a crew of men are at work attempting to control the spread of this plant disease.
(C. F. Brockman.)
Bears are more numerous--and more troublesome--than ever before, both at Longmire and Paradise Valley.
Conies seem to be very active at the present time. A recent trip along Steven's Ridge we found many of their tiny "hay cocks" in the rock slides with the freshly cut grasses in the warm sun.
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