Nature Notes

Volume III No. 3 - September, 1930

The Devil's Backbone
By Robert L. Myers

On the western slope of Mount Mazama is a jagged ridge of rock, the mute product of the original Mount Mazama, and the object of a fascinating story.

Mount Mazama has been gradually built up by the outpouring of lava from the crater, and its slops. Beneath it once lay a heated body of rock, ever waiting for the chance to come to the surface. Occasionally this mass became unusually restive, and once the mountain could no longer withstand its attacks. Long cracks formed down the slopes of the old volcano. The eager lava quickly filled them, - the first stage in the formation of the Devil's Backbone was over.

The lava cooled, ages passed, and the mountain lay dormant. No longer did lava flow down its summit. Instead, glaciers carved its slopes, and gradually wore them down. The wind, the ice, and the rain have all attacked the lava which filled the crack; but more resistant, the newer lava has steadily resisted, and today stands out from the Rim, clearly perceptible from the Lodge.

Insects Attracted To New Burns
By H. A. Scullen, Ranger Naturalist

For some strange reason some wood-boring insects are attracted to new burns. Possibly this is due to the fact that their young live in dying trees. Probably the most interesting case is that of the Horntails (Siricidae). These are so frequently seen about forest fires that they often attract the attention of the fire fighters.

They are reported as having been seen laying their eggs in the trees still hot from the forest fire. The California Horntail (Urocerus californicus (Nort.) was recently taken about a new burn near Red Cone. A smaller undetermined species was also taken.

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