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Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Rat Skull, Bird Legs, Citrus, Avocado and Figs

What do these things all have in common? No, they aren't the ingredients to a witch's brew though they probably would make a wicked potion with a little eye of newt added in. . .

These are things I've found in my backyard. It would seem that my yard is food central in more ways than one.

Each morning I go outside and often I find fruit like figs, mandarin oranges, pears and avocados, half or mostly eaten, tossed on the ground. I'm not sure what is eating them (a rat, raccoon or opossum) but it brings them to our yard, sits in the same tree or on the concrete blocks that make up the round planter on our patio and leaves torn little shreds of fruit and peel along with the excess fruit it couldn't finish.

Kind of odd right? It gets weirder...

I found a rat's skull. . .

Can you see its teeny tiny molars behind the bottom of its eye socket?

It was tucked behind a bush I'd recently pulled out because it had died last winter. Turns out the bush wasn't the only thing that had died. There were no other bones, just this little skull. I called it a museum quality skull on Facebook because that's what it reminded me of, the skulls you'd see in a museum.

My friend Wendy asked how did I know it was a rat. Well, it was too big to be a mouse and too small to be anything else. Plus once I saw its yellow teeth I just knew. . .

Click to enlarge the photos. I made them small or purpose to not freak people out.

The only question was how did it get there? My friend Esther said maybe a very fast cat caught it and ate the rest. Very possible.

But why am I telling you about it and showing you these photos? Because I thought it was rather creepy cool to find a museum quality rat skull in my backyard and because after I posted it on Facebook two of my friends both wanted it. LOL.

My friend Josie asked first throwing in her Birthday was coming up soon. She said she loves rats and she loves skulls but she would never feel right buying one. But a found rat skull was cool to her.

So HAPPY BIRTHDAY Josie! Enjoy your new rat skull.

Hubby took this picture of our neighborhood juvenile Cooper's Hawk.

But it doesn't end there. The next morning I went outside and found a tiny pair of bird legs on my patio. I think one of the Cooper's Hawk's that hang out in our yard must have caught and eaten a little sparrow. I've seen an adult do it once before. It sat on our fence and plucked its prey. From the corner of my eye I could see out the window and wondered why it looked like it was snowing :(

According to Wikipedia, Cooper's Hawks prey on small to medium sized birds and rodents like squirrels, rats, chipmunks and mice.

Turns out my backyard is like a real life, mini version of the Discovery Channel.

Just I Imagine what I might find tomorrow!

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