Nature Notes

Vol. IX January, 1931 No. 1


From Ranger Charles Brown, whose station is among the snows of Paradise Valley, comes the account of this episode. One day, just before Christmas while on one of his regular patrols, the tracks of a fox were found in the soft, fresh snow. The animal was heading toward a clump of Alpine Firs and further inspection showed that the Fox had apparently spotted a pre-Christmas dinner for approaching that same clump of trees from another angle were another set of tracks which "Brownie" took for those of a Marten. The wind, driving the soft snow, had partially obscurred these tracks so that they were not as readily observed as they might have been. The spacing of the Fox tracks showed unmistakably that he was preparing for the kill and then on the opposite side of the firs the Marten first became aware of his danger. He was taken by surprise, however, and the fox, of course, had the upper hand. The ensuing struggle in that first meeting was written in the snow. A small disarranged spot was observed. Fighting desperately the Marten then freed himself only to be overtaken again a short distance away where the second duel left its evidence in the snow. A small drop of blood showed that the Marten was sorely pressed. He broke away again but this time the Fox readily overtook him and a large patch of trampled snow gave evidence of the terrific combat as the Marten made his last stand.

However, the law of the wild is a law of the "survival of the fittest" and the Fox, having had the upper hand throughout the entire combat, won. Only a few bits of fur gave evidence of the vanquished.

---- .... ----


(With all due apologies to Joyce Kilmore and his justly famous poem "Trees".)

I think that I shall never see
A thing as tricky as a skii.

For when my nose is rudely pressed
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast
It seems I hear a still, small voice
Say "webs" would be a wiser choice.

As "webs" were made for dubs like me
Only experts use the skii!

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