As a result, there are numerous short lengths of tree trunk that were discarded after the log was trimmed to marketable length. Being highly resistant to decomposition, cedar logs remain on the ground for a long time. The younger wood near the outside of the log is the first to break down, giving a good foundation for mosses and other small plants to take hold.
Eventually, the most
rot resistant portion of the log, the heartwood, is left in contact with the
ground. As microorganisms work on the
organic matter in the soil beneath the log, the volume of material reduces. In dry upland areas, it is not uncommon for
the underside of these logs to lose contact with the soil. Air freely flows beneath the log and the log
acts as a roof protecting a dry environment.
A dry cavity has formed that was used by a small rodent to cache a supply
of food items.
I once maintained a captive White-footed Mouse for almost three years
and periodically fed it mealworms, crickets and grasshoppers. If given more than it could consume, the
mouse would eat the heads from the excess insects and store the bodies for
later. This headless grasshopper is
exactly what my pet used to produce.
Besides that, the White-footed Mouse is extremely common here.
The various parts
reminded me of what was left behind when my pet mouse ate crickets. Large cricket bodies were routinely butchered
and the soft insides eaten along with the smaller legs. Thorax and abdomen exoskeletons plus the
wings and wing covers remained.
find a few of these on my tomatoes and squash every year. It’s always nice to see a native species
reducing the numbers of a non-native, but I doubt that a little mouse predation
will have an impact on the bug population.
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