Thursday, November 26, 2015
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Wednesday, November 25, 2015
With Thanksgiving just around the corner, much of the nation is looking to the turkey to be the centerpiece in their festive feast. Mount Rainier has over 230,000 acres of beautiful wilderness, but you would be very hard pressed to find a Wild Turkey grazing in the park. But surely there has to be a similar bird somewhere out there, right?
|Sketch of the "turkey" of Mount Rainier|
by C. Frank Brockman
In the November 1, 1928 Mount Rainier Nature News Notes, the second full-time Park Naturalist, C. Frank Brockman, wrote an article giving that honor to the sooty grouse. An excerpt from Mr. Brockman's writing:
"Perhaps you know the Sooty Grouse as the "hooter" for one of his chief characteristics is the throaty hooting that is often kept up for long periods. To some this continued vocal effort is a sign of rain--like the continued call of the dove--but this theory is not borne out by fact. The Sooty Grouse is a handsome bird, about the size of the domestic hen and its dark slate or "sooty" color is finely mottled with grey and brown. Thus, like many other of Nature's children, it finds its chief protection in the fact that it looks like the region in which it lives. We find it in meadows between 4000 and 6000 feet, strutting about in the huckleberry patches or perched on a gnarled limb of a Mountain Hemlock surveying the passer-by with a calm deliberation that bespeaks of a total absence of fear."
|C. Frank Brockman with park visitors and Charlie, circa 1941|
Monday, November 23, 2015
|Photo by Ed Hunds|
Sunday, November 22, 2015
It seems as though we have skipped right over autumn and jumped headfirst into winter. The nights are getting colder, the days are getting shorter, and snow is starting to accumulate at Paradise. Every morning when I come into my office at Longmire, I am walking across frosted sidewalks and white grass. With winter comes the announcement of the Winter Operations Training for volunteers and interpretation staff.
The Winter Operations training will be DECEMBER 19th FROM 9:00am TO 5:00pm, and we will be meeting in the Community Building at Longmire, adjacent to the Longmire Stewardship Campground, for the first portion of the training. This training will cover the paperwork necessary to become a Snow Rover (the position description and responsibilities are different from Meadow Roving and modified from last year's Snow Rovers, so anyone wanting to Snow Rove this year will NEED to fill out a new volunteer agreement), an introduction to the roles of different divisions in the park, general safety, the art of informal interpretation, and the operations of both Longmire and Paradise programs throughout the winter. We will cap off the day with an example Ranger led snowshoe walk out of Paradise introduce you to "a day in the life" of a snow rover.
It is important to stress that Nordic Patrol, Winter Interpreters, Snow Rovers, and Meadow Rovers are each different volunteer positions, and each requires a separate volunteer agreement. If you are already signed up as a Meadow Rover, for example, you are not automatically also a Snow Rover. The duties and priorities are different, and if you have registered as a Meadow Rover or were a Snow Rover last year but haven't yet signed paperwork as a Snow Rover this year, you are notauthorized to do the work. If you are interested in participating and cannot make it to the training on DECEMBER 19th, contact Ian (firstname.lastname@example.org) and make arrangements to sign up.
5-Minute Presentations Are Needed!
We will begin the Winter Operations Training with a series of BRIEF presentations on winter safety topics, such as the 10 Essentials, preventing falls, snow shoveling, hypothermia, dehydration, frostbite, winter driving, cold and flu prevention, etc. If you would like to put together a 5 minute presentation on one of these topics, or something similar, please let us know when you RSVP, and we will add you to the schedule!
RSVP RSVP RSVP RSVP RSVP
Please RSVP to email@example.com in advance to make sure we have enough materials and space available in the Community Building before December 19th. If you have any questions about registering or that should be brought up in the training, please also send them to Ian in advance so we can better prepare!
Take a look at this list if you are interested in Snow Roving this year:
|Please click the image to enlarge.|
We look forward to a fantastic winter!
Saturday, November 21, 2015
Friday, November 20, 2015
|The middle bathroom is being renovated, and thankfully|
was not damaged.
|The southern end of the employee hookup sites sustained a lot|
of damage. Fortunately no one was staying here at the time.
|Our carpenters are in the process of building a picnic shelter|
for volunteers and partners to use. It was undamaged.
|A closer view of the picnic shelter in progress.|
|A panoramic view of fallen trees mid-campground.|
Click for a larger view.
|Maintenance worker Tom Moore works on clearing fallen|
trees from the platform tent loop.
|The southern end of the platform tent loop sustained more|
damage than anywhere else.
|Fallen trees at the southwest end of|
|Jackstraws, with one to three foot diameter straws.|
|Tom Moore wrestles with fallen trees.|
|Group site A, at the southern end of the campground.|
Amazingly, our beautiful new picnic tables sustained
only the most minor of damage. None were hit directly.
|Mid-campground, just north of the shower building.|
|Some places are a real mess...|
|At the southern end of the employee area, as viewed from|
the east side of the campground.
|Immediately behind the Community Building.|
|This photo perfectly illustrates how lucky we were. This|
tree missed the fire box (with its brand new roof installed
by volunteers this August) and fire hydrant by six inches.
Thursday, November 19, 2015
Today we are featuring photos from VIP Meadow Rover Mike Mauch. Throughout October, Mike was hiking the trails at Sunrise, educating visitors about the area and being one of the few on patrol in the area after the Visitor's Center and Ranger Station both closed. While roving, Mike had a few encounters and was lucky enough to have his camera with him.
|Photograph by Michael Mauch, 2015|
Later in the month, Mike had experienced something that is far too common in the subalpine meadows of Paradise and Sunrise, and something that nearly every Meadow Rover has had to deal with while out on the trails. While in the area of First Burroughs, Mike had seen a family of mountain goats in the middle of the meadow. Close behind that family was a visitor, well off trail, trying to snap some pictures of the family (possibly without bothering using his zoom?). Mike had began to approach him about this, but the rule breaking photographer quickly packed up and was off, before Mike was able to get to him. This continued to happen again and again, when finally Mike was able to set up his camera on an established and marked trail, and get this beautiful picture of some of the mountain goats grazng with the photographer in the image as well. It just goes to show that you can capture some really amazing moments happening in the meadows, from right on the trail.
|Photograph by Michael Mauch, 2015|
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
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