Nature Notes

Volume XVIII - 1952

Photographing The Martens
By Florence Welles

My husband and I sometimes think that as photographers we are like fishermen with stories of "the big one that got away." For several days we thought that this was to be the case with the martens. Martes caurina caurina, related to the weasel and the mink, was reported by the "powder man" who was a member of the road crew working on the rock slide at Anderson Point. This slide kept the Rim Road from being open all the way. We were told the interesting fact that a marten would come out every day while the men were having lunch to share their meal with them. Furthermore, to top this tantalizing bit of information, it seems that the day before the report was made, the marten had come out from under her usual rock followed by four frisky young martens.

There followed many discouraging days during which we would leave for Anderson Point whenever time could be spared, but without result. It seemed impossible that the martens stopped appearing the exact day we started trying to photograph them. Then, on August 16th, with a day to devote to it, we began our watch at nine in the morning. At noon, at three-thirty and from then on until dark the martens were back and forth and in and out. Fortunately, they paused from time to time, because when they were in motion we were not able to focus our cameras on them, so swift and undulating were their movements. The kodachromes that we obtained of this family of martens will be available for use in the naturalist lectures during 1953.

fairy shrimp
Pen and ink sketch of Fairy Shrimp by Ranger-Naturalist Charles F. Yocum.

Fairy Shrimp
By C. Warren Fairbanks, Ranger-Naturalist

On July 27, while making some investigations of a group of small, shallow ponds on top of Whitehorse Bluff, the author, with Assistant Park Naturalist Donald S. Farner and Ranger-Naturalist James Kezer, found all five of the ponds visited thickly populated with fairy shrimp. Fairy shrimps belong to the animal group known as phyllopod crustaceans -- small relatives of the crayfish, crab, and lobster. Many species of them are found only during the spring season, frequently in temporary ponds which may be in existence for only a few weeks. They emerge rapidly from eggs which were laid the previous season, soon grow to maturity, mate, lay their eggs, and thus complete their cycle.

Ranger-Naturalist Fairbanks collecting in a temporary pond on Whitehorse Bluff. Photograph by Art C. Toth.

The Whitehorse ponds, four of which were sampled, lie at an approximate elevation 6250 feet above sea level. They are mostly temporary, and some of the basins were completely dry before mid-August. At the time of the first visit to them, they were being fed by water from melting snowbanks along their shores. None was over thirty inches deep, and they were nestled in a forest of lodgepole pine and mountain hemlock.

The first pond, so-called North Whitehorse Pond, did not at first appear to have any of the fairy shrimp, and none were noticed until we had moved on to the second. Closer examination of the first sample, however, revealed a large number of very small, immature specimens. It may possibly be that this pond was formed later than those in which older individuals were found, although there was no further evidence to indicate that this was the case.

All specimens mature enough to be identified proved to be Streptocephalus seali (See Figure). Thanks are due Dr. Ralph W. Dexter, Professor of Biology at Kent State University, Kent, Ohio for the identification. Thanks are due also to Ranger-Naturalist Charles Yocom for the illustration which accompanies this note.

This same species was found by Ranger-Naturalist Kezer in Lake West, a small, permanent body of water about a mile beyond the park boundary, just outside the northwest part of Crater Lake National Park. He first observed them there during the last week in September, 1951, when they occupied the entire lake. On July 24, 1952 he again found them. This time, however, they were confined to the northwest section of the lake.

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