Fresno Mountain High

Eighty-five years ago today, on September 16, 1931, the Dillwoods observed for the last time a long-staying snowy egret in the forests along Deer Creek, at an elevation of 7,060 feet in Fresno County, California.

Invoking the “life zone” principle linking altitude and latitude, Roland Case Ross noted that this unusual occurrence was equivalent to the bird’s

wandering into Nova Scotia and British Columbia, which places the Snowy Egret in Canadian Life Zone faunas a thousand miles northward.

Ross doesn’t come out and say it, but he had his suspicions about the cause of the bird’s abrupt vanishing:

It is significant to note the disappearance of the bird on the day “deer hunting” began.

Eloquent quotation marks if ever there were.

Snowy Egret

A snowy egret at a more expected location and elevation.