Ranger Snoke reports keen competition for the tourist trade among the animals of tire Paradise Camp Ground. To illustrate -- A camper threw a morsel of bread to a chipmunk. A large, aggressive golden-mantled ground squirrel, sworn enemy of the chipmunk, appeared on the scene. The chipmunk gave up and retired to a nearby wood pile to flick his tail in apparent unconcern. The triumph of the squirrel was short-lived. Another forager, the nutcracker, flew down with loud cries and took up the battle, claiming the morsel as his own. Hardly had he reached the tip of an Alpine Fir with his prize when there was a commotion, and a stellar jay appeared, with the bit of bread held tightly in his beak. -- Howard Coombs.
A night spent at Camp Muir at 10,000 feet elevation recently served to enlighten the writer as to the inane, cantankerous, and otherwise annoying antics of the Pack Rat. It was cold at Muir. before turning in it was deemed wise to wear the woolen cap, the generally accepted headgear for high country climbers. The cap had a handy tassel and the writer was almost continually ingaged in a tug of war over the cap with one of the many Pack Rats in the cabin. He would playfully yank the headpiece off by dragging at the tassel. The process was repeated until the tassel was torn from the cap in indignation. The rat then retired to other pursuits.
Supt. Tomlinson, on a recent trip to the Cowlitz Divide, was interested in a large bird circling about in the fog of the early morning. It first appeared as a large hawk but as it made a beautiful "three point" landing on the pumice soil near the trail its true identity was observed. It was a Sea Gull and he had apparantely wandered inland in the fog and had become confused. The pumice soil at that point resembled in many respects a sandy beach and one of the party jokingly remarked that the gull was "probably waiting for the tide to come in". But the bird would have a long wait--it was 45 miles in an air line to the nearest salt water.
Each day brings more people into the Park to view the beauties of "The Mountain". Little do they realize that they are helping to feed the birds in the park. Thousands of crumbs are, of course, dropped about the picnic and camping grounds but it would seem that the robins and thrushes at the Park Entrance would be neglected. Not so. As each car stops at the entrance to register a most peculiar thing happens. Insects that have been caught in the radiator of the car drop to the ground partly because the wind no longer holds them against the honeycombs. It is then that the birds have their feast. One robin in particular has been exceedingly efficient in gathering the insects as he hops about unheeded among the visiting motorists.
Youthful curiosity is responsible for the fact that today there is one more Robin in the Park than the fates had decreed. The young bird, just learning to fly, had dropped down upon the stone wall at Longmire and had become lodged in a crevise among the loosely arranged boulders. Loud cries served no purpose. Even the frantic excitement of the parent birds would have gone unnoticed had not a youngster, with customary inquisitiveness, sought out the cause of the disturbance. Help was called and the young bird was, after some difficulty, liberated. (C.F.B.)
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