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VOL. XV AUGUST 1955 - OBSIDIANS, INC. - P.O. BOX 322, EUGENE, OREGON NO. 7
SUMMER CAMP? What must we tell you of this vacation trip for the Obsidians in 1955? Will it be so different from other years? YES! I believe it will be as different and exciting as each previous year's camp has been.
YOSEMITE! It is a name that lures many people each year. WHY? Because it is part of our National Park system which is dedicated to the conservation of America's scenic, scientific and historic heritage for the benefit and enjoyment of the people of our country. It is a place where we can still see the mighty work of time and art, unspoiled by human hands. A place that, as we look down into the deep canyons, up at towering cliffs, mountains, or over a sky blue lake, we have "peace of mind" and are indeed thankful for this preservation of nature and other parks like Yosemite.
I want to tell you what trips are being planned. As you might guess in this new area for an Obsidian encampment, there will be no idle days. Some of the trips will be by our bus, such as the trip to lower Yosemite Valley. This is actually the tourist center and from the valley you will see Yosemite Falls which has a drop of over 2400 feet; you will see the gigantic Half Dome, a granite rock monument to nature that rises 8850 feet. You will see Mirror Lake, and travel along beautiful trails of trees and lakes. You will see the lodges
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"Look Into Nature's Warm Heart"
Like our Cascades, the Yosemite is another lovely mountain garden. John Muir tells that "on the upper meadows there are miles of blue gentians and daisies, white and blue violets; and great breadths of rosy purple heathworts covering rocky moraines with a marvelous abundance of bloom, enlivened by hummingbirds, butterflies and a host of other insects as beautiful as flowers." We'll see many familiar blossoms: shooting-stars, alpine lily, rein orchis, pussy-paws, lupine, Indian paint brush, godetia, Collinsia, yarrow, great willow herb, Columbine, Penstemon,sky pilots, Kalmia, and if luck is with us, the snow plant.
With few exceptions all the Sierra trees are growing in the Park - nine species of pine, two of silver fir, one each of Doug las spruce, libocedrus, hemlock, juniper, and sequoia - sixteen conifers in all, and about the same number of round headed trees, oaks, maples, poplars, laurel, alder, dogwood, tumion, etc. The sturdy red cedar (Juneperus occidentalis) grows on the tops of the granite domes and ridges and glacier pavements of the upper pine belt. The mountain pine (Pinus monticola) is far the largest of the Sierra tree mountaineers.
Blacktail deer reach the high Sierra about the first of June. There are panthers, foxes, badgers, porcupines and coyotes but not in large numbers. The two squirrels, the Douglas and the California gray, keep all the woods lively. There are woodchuck, mountain beaver, gophers, and the haymaking pikas. "A great variety of lizards enliven the warm portions of the park; there are many snakes in the canyons and lower forests, but they are mostly handsome and harmless; and frogs abound in all the bogs, marshes, pools and lakes, however cold and high and isolated." The Sierra bear, brown or gray, tramps over all the Park.
And as for birds - tiny nuthatches calling "Yank yank" (R.H.), Clarkes crow, Orioles, tanagers, hawks, golden eagles, grouse, song sparrows, sage cocks, mountain quail; watch for Mallards and wood ducks at Lake Tenaya; log cock - the Sierra
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