Nature Notes

Volume V No. 1 - July, 1932

The Water Ouzel
By Permanent Ranger Don C. Fisher

Did you ever walk along a stream and see a bird resembling a thrush or blue bird balance for a moment on some rock then slip headlong into the water only to reappear a moment later, climb back to its perch and with a shrill chatter flit over to some other stone.

This bird is the Dipper or Water Ouzel and is perhaps the strangest bird of our park. Without webb feet or any other special adaptation, this little fellow has selected the creeks as his place of abode and finds his food among the rocks in the shallow portions of the stream. When it is feeding under the water the bird will walk along the bottom using its wing to assist in the progress.

In color the Ouzel is slate gray and the stout chunky shape of the bird along with its custom of dipping distinguishes it from any other bird in the park.

The nest is made of a great quantity of moss and it usually found under some water fall or upon the face of some slick rock where it is almost impossible for anything to reach it.

The bird possesses a strong sweet song made up of a great variety of trills and flute-like notes which is delivered with all of the vim that the little fellow possesses.

Recently one of the visitors in the park was fly casting in Sun Creek. Seeing a likely looking pool he decided to try a cast. Whipping the fly to the proper spot he allowed it to float under the old mossy log across the lower end of the pool and soon a tug at his line announced a strike and he was greatly astonished when he drew up his line and found his catch to be an ouzel.

water ouzel

Crater Lake
By Belle Meyer

(Seven thousand feet high in the Cascade Mountains of Southern Oregon, Mt. Mazama, an extinct volcano and monarch of all the range, collapsed. A beautiful lake of indigo blue now lies within it crater. To the scientist, "A mighty volcano collapsed within itself". To the poet, "A sea of sapphire blue. The sea of silence."


So still, so peaceful, placid-blue,
Guarding a monarch's grave from view;
No sound but breathless silence -- deep,
Nor rippling waves disturb his sleep,
Mazama's gone! but in his wake,
A lovely jewelled sapphire lake,
Born of chaos, fire and smoke,
Turbulent nature didst invoke
Mazama's fall -- that thou shouldst be --
Silent, mysterious sapphire sea.

<<< Previous
> Cover <