WiseAcre Gardens

north of the adirondacks – wildflowers & perennials that survive winters colder than my wife's feet

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Posted by WiseAcre on Mar 19th, 2011

poke it with a stick

Mar 19

…that’s what boys usually do when they find something dead. Now that the snow has melted I’m getting a lot of stick time in. Today I got to poke at least 4 remains.

The first deerly departed

deer teeth This deer passed a long time ago but it’s still hard to resist poking at it. There’s not much left but the upper jaw and part of an eye socket. After poking it a few times I left it where I found it. There wasn’t enough to bother bringing home.

I turned this skull over with my walking stick. I found this skull last summer when the backbone was still attached. I didn’t want to carry the ‘ripe’ remains home then but I carried it home today to add to my collection. Later this year I plan on photographing Iris growing from the eye socket.

deer skull

I was sad to find my porcupine buddies in the dead cockroach position. I’m not sure if these are the same pair of porkys from the other day. At least one is but I caught sight of a third entering the hole in the maple tree they were living in. I have no idea what caused their death. Poking them with a stick proved to be a poor autopsy.

dead porcupine

I turned one over with my stick. Not the best pose but you can see the quills on the head and tail. I should pick them. There are native women on the Akwesasne Mohawk Reservation nearby that use them to make quill baskets. I’ve always wanted an excuse to photograph their baskets.

dead porcupine

A poor photo of a dead head. Too much sun bleached out the color of the teeth, for a better look at the teeth go to this post: Porcupine Tree. You’ll also get another pic of the paw.

dead porcupine head

This year’s paw photo

dead porcupine paw and claws

It will be a while before I add the skulls of these unfortunate porcupines to my collection. No need to wait for photographs. I found one last year and you can see a lot more about their teeth on this post: Porcupine Ivory

This year’s deer skull makes a perfect mate for the buck I found a couple years ago. I really need to do something with that sandstone slab. It’s been sitting on the stump for 3 years now. I keep thinking ‘table top’ but haven’t managed to get any farther than that.

deer skulls on stone slab

a closer look at the bony pair. The antler sticking out of the snow on a post not long ago belonged to that skull. (see ‘basket case’ while the link still shows on the sidebar)

deer skulls

Who knows what lurks for tomorrow. Stay tuned for another exciting post, sometime, same place. I just might bore your socks off.

8 Responses

  1. Ratty Says:

    It’s very interesting seeing these dead animals and skulls. I don’t come across many things like this, so I have no chance to see for myself. I’m too close to the city so these things are swiftly scooped up by city cleanup workers.

  2. Joy Says:

    Dear Mr. WiseA**
    My goodness you have dropped off the deep end of the “Strange and Unusual” or maybe “Is that weird or what ?..” show ? hehehe
    I guess living out in the woods gives you a different perspective .. I just run screaming in the other direction .. must be a Freudian fear of the unknown and death in general ? hehehe wink wink
    Joy : )

  3. Marguerite Says:

    I liked the shot of the porcupines paw. I had no idea these animals were in the big teeth family. As neat as it is I’m awfully sorry to see them gone. I wonder what could have killed two of them and then not eaten them? Especially if one was flipped on its back – no worries about getting a snout full of quills when the belly is open. Seems more than a little odd.

  4. Lisa and Robb Says:

    It’s been a hard winter for all the creatures who live outside.

  5. Becky Says:

    Perhaps you stumbled on a murder scene. I have read that Great Horned Owls will drop porcupines to the ground to kill them. If that is what happened, your bones may be broken when you go to collect them.

  6. Laurie Brown Says:

    I love the idea of growing a little iris in the eye socket! Now I’m wondering where the heck I put my deer skull.

  7. Emma Springfield Says:

    Poking with a stick has me a little concerned. Remember what happened to the old farmer in The Blob? He poked with a stick and ended up with a glob of goo attaching to his arm and consuming his whole body.

  8. sharkbytes Says:

    Poor porkies. I love their paws so much. But better if they were still using them.