Sunday, January 27, 2013

Treasures from the Back Yard

    We live in a rural area, or rural-ish. This means wildlife of various sorts, including the usual coyotes, raccoons, squirrels, skunks, smaller critters like mice and moles and shrews. (And bobcats and an occasional mountain lion up in the hills.)

And mule deer. Oh gosh yes, deer.

Our garden is well-fenced and we don't have much problem with deer eating things. Our German Shepherd Dog does his best to convince them the property is guarded by Ravenous Deer-Eating Monsters.

Last week, when my husband was clearing storm debris  (outside The Fence), the dog got very interested in something hidden in the undergrowth. Finally, the dog emerged with a picked-clean deer femur, looking very pleased with himself. Most of the skeleton had been scattered, but we found the skull tangled in the plants. This is the condition we found it in.

We think it might be one of two stags we saw wandering by not too long ago. We have no idea why this one died, as both looked quite healthy. There's a little gnawing on the left antler and part of one maxilla is gone, but otherwise the skull is as you see it, in amazing condition.
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