Nature Notes

Volume II No. 1 - July 1, 1929

Our Bears
By Earl U. Homuth

Last year our bears returned to their usual haunts around Headquarters so late in the summer that for a time it was feared they had left us for other regions. This year there is no question as to their whereabouts.

sketch of bear cub

Jemima (the former Jimmy), who first appeared about the 1st of June, wanders down to the mess house each evening. She is alone this year, as her husky cubs of last season are shifting for themselves.

A yearling cub became so intimate with the "bug crew", which has been working on pine bark beetle eradication, that several men have had to spend lunchless days in the forest. Lunches are now suspended from the ends of small branches.

Another yearling has been developing the habit of begging or demanding food from tourists entering on the Medford road. He is reported by those coming in on this road nearly every day.

Hans, Fritz, and others of those known personally to the rangers have been reported, so this season we will undoubtedly not miss the interest that bears create.

The Fruiting Bodies Of The Slime Molds
By Frederick L. Wynd

In the earlier part of the season during the time when the snow is melting in the deep woods just below the Rim, the fruiting bodies of the slime molds may be found in great numbers on the ground and on rotten logs. They are usually about one-half inch in diameter and are bright orange in color which makes them very conspicuous and easily identified. The spores are borne in great numbers in the interior of the mass.

The great group of slime molds are among the most interesting plants in existence, and their strange life history should be more commonly known. During certain stages they show the characteristics of animals, and in other stages they appear as typical plants.

In the evolutionary scheme of things in which we regard the plants and animals as having a common ancestry, we would expect to find forms of life which are not clearly differentiated into either. The slime molds are among these "missing links" that connect the two great classes of life.

By C. L. Croghan, Park Ranger

While putting things away for the winter at Anna Springs last November, a young pine squirrel was noticed, very busily engaged in stowing away his winter supply of pine cones. On closer observation it was discovered that this squirrel had different markings than the ordinary pine squirrel. It was thought possible that this could be due to its immaturity.

This summer it was again observed working around various trees and dwellings. The body is more slim than that of the ordinary pine squirrel of the Castle Creek area. The coat, while of about the same color on the back, is distinctly a more golden brown underneath. The tail has a white tip rather than the usual black; and the fur along the edges of the tail is of grayish color instead of brown and black.

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