Nature Notes

Volume VII No. 3 - September, 1934

(In the Crater Wall)

By Ernest G. Moll, Ranger-Naturalist

Serene where death once pitched his camp, they lift
Green spires against blue water far below;
And the scarred slopes where their slow shadows drift
Drink the cool peace that only trees bestow.

Speculation On Specularite
By Carl R. Swartzlow, Ranger-Naturalist

On the walk to Sinnott Memorial, about halfway down the last flight of steps, there is a boulder showing mineralization. The boulder is on the outside retaining wall, and along its top surface are streaks of specularite (ferric iron oxide) and small quantities of some other mineral. A high power microscope would be necessary to determine their identity. The presence of these materials proves the presence of mineralized waters or gases emanating from fissures on Mt. Mazama. Very few secondary minerals have been reported from the rocks of Crater Lake and each new discovery may help unravel the story of the type of magma that supplied the lavas of this region.

The Phantom Ship Loses A Sail
By Hugh H. Waesche, Ranger-Naturalist

The Phantom Ship is one of the most popular of Crater Lake's many novel objects of beauty. Geologically, the Phantom Ship is a remnant of a projecting promontory of the Lake rim, left by natural erosional forces. It is separated from the mainland by a shallow channel of several hundred feet. As is the case with all earth features produced by the erosive action of water, wind, and ice, the Phantom Ship is doomed eventually to disappear from view.

The lava rocks of this "Ship" are like the others of the Crater Lake region in that they are much fractured by jointing. The joints give ready access to plants, rain, and ice, and promote unequal expansion of the rocks caused by changes of temperature. At the "bow" (southwest) end of the Phantom Ship are several comparatively small spires of rock, succeeded towards the "stern" by the tall pinnacles which rise high above the water, simulating the masts of a sailing ship. On July 25, 1934, between two and four o'clock in the afternoon the second of the smaller spires fell from its place into the lake carrying tons of rock from the side of the "Ship" with it. The evidence of this is shown by the absence of the spire and by a clean gray area of exposed new accumulation of talus at the water's edge. It may have been caused by unequal expansion of the rock during the warm weather of the week of July 25.

A Water Ouzel Inside The Rim
By Berry Campbell, Ranger-Naturalist

The Water Ouzel (Cinclus mexicanus) is fairly common in the streams which flow off the sides of the old Mt. Mazama. It was the writers good fortune to discover a bird of this species at the shore of the lake at the foot of Dyar Rock late in the afternoon of July 25, 1934. I was traveling along the shore by rowboat, and saw the bird at the foot of one of the numerous spring-fed streams which cascade into the lake in that vicinity. This species has a predilection for water falls and the small trickle down the cliff walls seems to have been the attraction. I rowed up in the boat to get a better view of it and it flew around the next point. Sure enough, when I followed it around the point, I found that it had settled on a rock at the next waterfall, and there it stood, bobbing up and down, watching me as I rowed slowly off down the lake.

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