1.10.2012

Poke It With a Stick

Walking down the trail with Treebeard on Sunday, I spied a little pile of fur in the middle of the trail...

...hmmm, a portion of scat or perhaps a pellet?

 Being nature nerds of the first water, we paused to investigate.
A quick sniff test from a safe distance revealed no odor so it was more likely a pellet than a bit of scat.
Next step in our investigative technique:  poke it with a stick.

 Ah ha!  A curved claw of  decent size revealed itself.

A little more stick work and two incisors of the rodent persuasion appeared.
Our conclusion?  An owl pellet containing the remains of an unfortunate gray squirrel.
Isn't being outside fun?


12 comments:

Sally said...

With a tad of hesitation at the title ("What are they poking??"), I clicked over anyway. Delightful sleuthing... thanks!

biobabbler said...

wow. very cool. And this is why I heart nerds (probably a form of self love). Nicely done! =)

Woodswalker said...

Very cool! And to think, some people have to travel to Paris or buy tickets to Broadway plays to have fun. We nature nuts just have to poke into piles of poo and other stuff.

Ellen Rathbone said...

Great find! We are all Calvins - hooray for us. All we need is a trickle of water in some dirt and our day is made. :)

Pablo said...

A stick is an indispensible tool in the forest. Just ask my dog; he's always carrying one in his mouth.

Ontario Wanderer said...

Nice find and investigation. We need a few more owls in our area as we seem to have way too many squirrels.

KaHolly said...

I always get excited when I find a pellet.

islandwonder said...

Interesting! Our neighbor showed me a small bone yesterday with a kiawe thorn going right through it. Not sure the animal but interesting thing to observe.

Sybil said...

I'm not sure all my friends would understand my desire to poke "dirty things" with a stick. Glad to find someone who does and then can interpret what she finds.

Sapphire Enihs said...

That's awesome.
I wouldn't even have the guts to poke it!

swamp4me said...

Sally,
I'm glad you overcame your hesitation!

biobabbler,
We nerds must stick together :)

Woodswalker,
I am very easily and inexpensively entertained :P

Ellen,
Only too true. Wonder what "regular" people do?

Pablo,
Sticks are indeed indispensable.

OW,
Owls and hawks are very good at helping to keep rodent populations at a tolerable level.

karen,
It is sort of like a present when you find a pellet!

islandwonder,
Wow, I had to look up kiawe. That is one serious looking thorn!!

Sybil,
Yes, it is hard to find folks who appreciate the fine art of observing "dirty things." I get odd looks all the time ;)

Sapphire E.,
Sure you would - maybe you could just use a longer stick :)

pak said...

I am glad I read this thank you for the insight. Keep sharing.

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