Sunday, January 29, 2012

It's the Nature of the thing. . .

It has been the mildest January I ever remember!  Each mild weekend has given us a chance to get out and observe nature in dormancy.  A few weeks ago, we bundled up and took off on our weekly walk.  In a bush at the side of the house, we spotted the tiniest bird's nest.  Maddison said that it must be a hummingbird nest because no bigger bird would fit in it.  I didn't want to disturb the nest, and it was fairly high in the bush, so Mason suggested that I just take a picture by holding the camera up. . .  pretty smart of him! 
Up the driveway a little ways is our favorite tree stump.  This stump used to be the foundation for a wonderfully perfect oak tree.  The March of 2006 tornado ripped the tree apart, and we had to cut the remaining half down.  All that is left is this gnarly stump.  The leftovers have been a great biology lesson for us.  We have seen all kinds of worms and bugs at work here over the years.  Sometimes we stand on it and pretend we are great explorers!  In the picture above, Mason is examining a hole we discovered.  We were very curious about the hole, which we had never seen before.  Papa came along about that time, and cleared up the mystery.  Papa told us that Josh had buried the skull of the bobcat he killed next to this old stump.  The purpose was to let the bugs and worms clean the skull.   Well, I guess another wild animal couldn't let that happen, and he pilfered the skull right out of the ground.   Even though the skull was small, it left me wondering what animal would dig it up and carry it off.  We do have coyotes in this area, and some cougars have been spotted within a few miles of us.   A science lesson for another day!

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