Thursday, May 28, 2009

I finally had enough sense to stay out of the rain this morning, so instead of fresh deer pictures I offer an assortment of things I've found around Beechwood over the last few months.

A nest (abandoned on the ground):

Potsherds! (Isn't that an odd word? It's right, though. Go look it up.) I found these three bits about a month ago and haven't seen any others:

I found several of these flowers growing in early April, before much else was up. I don't know what they are or what they look like now:

(Donwatcher has identified these as coltsfoot. Thank you!)

Note: The next photos show some dead things, so if you're at all opposed to that idea, just skip the rest of this post. There's nothing gory, but I know people have varying levels of squeamishness.


First, part of a bird skeleton I found on the site. Because of its large size and a few feathers seen nearby, I'm guessing it was a hawk:

(I should have included something to indicate scale, sorry. It was big.)

This feather is about four inches long. I know that because it's still in a baggie in my freezer, along with these ones I found last week:

Finally, I went recently to check on some poplars we planted a few years ago near Beechwood. Most of them are dead sticks now, but I did find one thriving. I didn't spend long examining the trees, though, because I found a dead ... thing ... in the grass. I'll spare you most of the pictures I took; suffice it to say it was a large puddle of anonymous fur with an upside-down head at one end, and I had to study it for a while before deciding it was a former raccoon. These little ribs poking out strike me as quite poignant and beautiful ... maybe that's just me ...

Coming across this kind of thing can be sobering, but it's just part of the life cycle. Most birds and animals die unnoticed by us, without anyone taking pictures or caring that they'd ever lived.

Unless you're a cardinal, I guess.


Anonymous said...

Your remark about the funeral home for cardinals is lovely.

Donwatcher said...

The flowers are Coltsfoot. They're non-native but pretty harmless, nothing to worry about. They bloom in early March.

Marnie said...

Thank you, Anonymous. I saw that sign floating in a ditch one day and knew I had to get a picture.

Thanks, DW! I'll amend my post. (And thank goodness I don't have to pull them up too.)