Friday, April 2, 2010

Animals and Parts

I had time for a quick walk yesterday and found a few interesting items. I thought at first that I had discovered a wild Tribble, but closer examination revealed it to be a rabbit’s tail. The flexibility of the tail suggested that it had not been long from the rabbit. I had to wonder whether the presence of the tail represented a narrow escape or all that was left.

This fellow kept circling the site of the tail. Perhaps there had been a recent kill and the scent still lingered, or maybe the rest of the rabbit was still nearby. I conducted a short circle search around the vicinity of the tail.

I didn’t find the rabbit, but I did find the remains of a hawk. These bones and feathers were much too old to interest a Turkey Vulture. The carcass was sitting at the edge of a large Multiflora Rose bush and the thought came to me that the hawk may have become tangled. I couldn’t see any signs of entanglement and hoped the invasive shrub was not a factor in the hawk’s demise.

The head offered an interesting view of bird bones. Even though the bones were beginning to disintegrate, it was easy to see the structure that gives strength while allowing for open air pockets and minimum bone material. Actually, this is what my dad suggested my brain looked like when I was young.

The search took me out into the field where I spied this Starling trying to claim a Bluebird box. He kept trying, but there was no way to fit that big body through the small hole.

I never did find any more signs of that rabbit. When I got back to the house, the squirrels begged to hear of my adventures. These two don’t seem to have suffered for lack of food during the winter. Apparently they weren’t informed of the fact that winter is the lean time.

Waiting beside the back door was this lovely Red Velvet Mite. That is one fabulous over-stuffed pillow of a body he’s got there. Seeing red mites the size of tiny dots is fairly common. I rarely see anything as large as this. For a really neat close-up of this type of mite, check out Fall to Climb.

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