Saturday, September 27, 2014
Mystery To Me
I have a little bit of a different post for all you dear readers today. A bit of a Pabloesque mystery to help me solve. Now, in my daydream world, if I were to decide not to be a counterfeiter, my next choice would be a detective or private investigator. In fact, if it were not for the fact that you have to go all through police academy and actually work for a time on patrol, I might have seriously considered being a detective in real life. I'm not much on reading most fiction, preferring technical or how-to books, but I love whodunits and any sort of unexplained phenomena.
So, here is my little mystery....Nothing earth-shattering for sure but a bit curious, to me anyway. At the road end of my drive, near my mailbox, is one of the largest sycamore trees I have ever seen. It towers well above the surrounding trees in the canopy and the circumference of it's trunk must be 10-12 feet. A smaller red maple grows under it and both are a favorite of the local squirrels. Chigger and I were out for our daily stroll to get the mail and as we approached the gate near the mailbox I noticed something seemed amiss. Looking over underneath the giant sycamore I saw this: (you may need to enlarge the photo to really see)
The bright green maple leaves from a newly broken limb caught my eye first. We had not had any recent winds strong enough to blow that down and the leaves were quite crisp and fresh. It had to have been very recent. Patches of a blackish, powdery substances were splattered all about and blending into the gravel just a bit was the fresh body a young squirrel. It looked as though he had fallen from a considerable height.
My first thought when I saw the blackish stuff was that some passing redneck had spit out his dip but as I looked around I realized it was a very, very large amount. I seriously doubt that even the big-mouthed knuckle-draggers I know could hold that much Skoal. Plus, there was no Skoal odor. Perhaps some type of tree rust or mold?
Upon inspecting the small limb it appeared that the broken end had actually been gnawed. The marking were very similar to the large teeth marks that beavers make when cutting trees. It was like that but in miniature. So, gnawed branch, flat squirrel, black junk. My brain tumbled it all around for a few minutes while Chigger proceeded to sniff everything but she was careful not to disturb the evidence.
I returned to the house to get my camera and tell Jack about my discovery. We concluded it had to be one of a couple of scenarios. A. the little squirrel was being pursued by one of the local hawks and had broken a weak limb in it's scrambling to get away, falling to it's doom anyway. But that didn't really explain why the end looked chewed or gnawed....And wouldn't a hawk have returned for it's prize? Surely it would have seen the little squirrel laying there. B. the little squirrel, lacking worldly wisdom, was simply on the wrong side of the limb it was chewing and essentially sawed itself into freefall. But why would a squirrel gnaw on a tree limb? Nuts I can see... and what about the black stuff? I looked all around the large sycamore for any other sign of this black grunge but could not find any. No other old decaying limbs anywhere that it might could have fallen out of. After collecting my photos and evidence, and not wanting to see the hapless squirrel become anymore "messy" shall we say, I conveyed it's small body to a peaceful area of the forest to let nature finish it's process.
So, what do you think? What was that black stuff and why was it splattered everywhere?
Double brownie points to any who can also tell me, off the top of your head, the band that the post title refers to. One hint; this title is an album and not a specific song.