Mystery iNatter Stories

Yes, a calcium thing, as others are saying. You can often find rodent incisor marks on bones found in the woods.

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Hmmm… So, no puma or other predators that stash prey in trees?

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Aside: Years ago, a neighborhood known for it’s lovely landscaping and trees was frequently subject to plant theft - even of very large trees. The thieves seemed to be pros with unmarked landscaping trucks and equipment and and dressed like workmen, so people thought they were there legitimately, at least in the beginning.

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Unfortunate about that cholla cactus. I know some folks get tired of having these in their yard and will remove them, probably after getting stuck too many times while doing yard work.

Earlier this summer I saw a crew from Albuquerque Open Space planting foot-long segments of cholla on a reclaimed trail in the foothills. I talked to one of them about their project, since I didn’t know you could establish cholla that way. So maybe your cholla went elsewhere for restoration purposes.

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I would think you wouldn’t want the squirrels to clean it since they would scratch up the bone. Maybe some fire ants instead?

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Year ago, I found two clumps of baling or fencing wire in the top of a tree in rural eastern New Mexico. They were well above my head.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/stuartwildlife/2456170937/

Around the same time I examined a nest constructed by Common Raven and it was partially built of the same wire. An ornithologist I knew said ravens are known to salvage wire and build their nests out of it, intermixed with twigs. So maybe that’s how the wire got in the tree although it seemed like too much for a raven to carry. Unless a human was helping them out by putting it there.

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There are no such predators in Poland. I know the area, there are no artists working with nature sculptures there, and i have never seen anything else weird in this forest ever again. Probably some kid put it there as a joke.

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I know that the Open Space folks are planting cacti to prevent hikers from walking off designated trails. I doubt that they would steal a cholla from someone’s yard.

A more twisted and far-fetched hypothetical motif for its removal might be that whoever lives in that house didn’t want to attract strangers’ attention…I know it sounds something out of “Breaking Bad”, but my neighborhood does have its “edgy moments”. Few days ago two police cars were parked on my streets and several weeks ago I was returning from a camping trip and one street was cordoned off with yellow tape and, of course, cops were everywhere.

I helped on National Trails Day. Paddles of Opuntia and stalks of Cholla straight into holes. Hopefully, there’s enough rain to establish roots; if not, it’s still a thorny mess to block the old social trails. We used kitchen tongs to carry them, so I’m sure we looked silly. For the record, no residential landscapes were burglarized.

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Services beyond the call of duty doing that!

I don’t really know if this counts, but recently, I was traveling to a city in Peru called Jaen to conduct some research, and passing a zone full of thorns and bushes, out of the window I saw a clump of 10-15 floating lights, the size of a palm of a hand, bluish-white. They were bobbing up-and-down slightly, but otherwise immovile. The driver saw them too. Too low and dim to be lanterns, too close to be streetlights, the area was too isolated and treacherous to have been produced by people. No idea what they could have been.

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Could there be a swamp at that area? They were too big for beetles, right?

The area is dry scrub. Haven’t seen rain there in, like, months. (I think since early July?)
And yes, too large to have been beetles.

I woke up last night and remembered that a cat I had when I was young and foolish would leave small rabbits on the back step, missing the heads. I no longer have cats who are allowed outside!

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That’s the Haast eagle, don’t you know :rofl:

This one is from the Navy: We were on a destroyer in the middle of the Pacific, maybe halfway between Honolulu and San Diego. It was the middle of the night, and we were on watch down in Sonar Control. As always, we had the “underwater telephone” turned on, to listen to any important sounds in the ocean, and as usual, it was mostly just water sloshing sounds. Suddenly, there was a loud, ghostly wail over the “underwater telephone.” We all looked at each other and asked each other, “What was that?” We never heard it again.

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Hahaha!

It sounds like that it was a whale.

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Are you sure that you and your driver didn’t drink too much local “moonshine”? :wink:

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heheheh, not a fan of drinking (never done it tbh) so doubt that :p
I’m not a superstitious person but I always enjoy listening to folk stories and legends… old people tell me that these lights, when touched, turn into a ball of gold :O