Nature Notes

Volume V No. 3 - September, 1932

The Rejected Loaf
By Ranger Albert E. Long

Near a bridle trail about one mile southwest of the Cafeteria below the Rim of Crater lake is a large queer ovate boulder-like mass of lava covered by a crackled crusty surface. Indeed it looks very much like a huge loaf of bread that some giantress had left in the oven so long that the surface burned to a black crackled crust.

lava 'bom'

A geologist would at once proclaim it to be a huge volcanic bomb. A mass of viscid lava that had been hurled into the air during some explosive eruption of a one time active volcano. As this giant globule of molten lava whirled upward and through the atmosphere it became roughly spherical, under the strains of contraction generated by the cooling of the surface. The now hardened mass, nine feet in diameter and about eleven feet long, fell on the side of the volcano where it now rests. However, it may have been carried to the point where it has been found by a mountain glacier that existed on the slopes of the volcano in a past age.

There by the trailside it has lain for ages to be found by man. Some of these men call it a volcanic bomb, while others look upon it and are convinced that it must have been burned, and then tossed out the chimney by an indignant Vulcan who thought it was not fit to eat.v

In Memoriam
By Ranger Naturalist E. L. Clark

Oscar the golden-mantled ground squirrel

Those of you who have visited Crater Lake National Park and have been a guest at the Lodge will remember little Oscar, the king of the golden mantled squirrels. Those who have not met Oscar personally may recall the picture postcard of a little sophisticated squirrel sitting on its haunches while eating a peanut that has just been offered by a friend. Oscar for the past two years has been the chief host at the Lodge, extending to all visitors a happy but wistful greeting. This spring he was sitting on the snow bank at the doorstep waiting for the early visitors to call. He prided himself in being able to tell a nut farther than any other squirrel. Being a privileged character, he was permitted to maintain both his private entrances into the hotel, one being near the grand fireplace where it was always so warm and cozy, and the other being near the postoffice window.

Many happy hours he spent on the knees of special friends, eating peanuts to his little heart's content. His social register for the season included such friends as Captain Steel of the U. S. S. Saratoga, and Tom French, the famous football official of the Pacific Coast. It is rumored that the latter devised several reasons for extending his visit to Crater Lake, but the real reason was to feed the little monarch peanuts. In this he was duly rewarded when Oscar took 33 peanuts in succession.

These little friends in our national parks know no fear. They learn to trust everyone, even those who are leading a dog on a leash. While basking in the warm sunshine on the front steps of the Lodge, our little Oscar was suddenly seized. He felt severe pains rush through his tiny body, then he was shaken and everything became dark. Death had come fast. he never realized what had happened. Friends who witnessed the tragedy tell of a dog that rushed down upon the unknowing and unexpecting little monarch, driving the life from the little body with one vicious crunch of his powerful jaws. The dog had been carelessly tied to the wheel of an automobile.

In ceremonies befitting the occasion the remains of the golden mantled squirrel, Oscar, were cremated in the fireplace that he had learned to love.

Friends, help us protect our wild animal life.

<<< Previous
> Cover <