Monday, March 15, 2010

A Critter Mystery

I came home from work today and as usual went to the back door to let the dog out.  I stand there and usually look around to see if any of the squirrels we feed are out and about.  I glanced up to the knot hole in our maple tree; we suspect they have a nest in there so it's fun to see if one is peeking out at us.

This is what I saw:

It's a squirrel alright, but I'm preeeety sure he is dead.  I stood there for about 30 seconds and he was motionless (and 2 hours later he still is).  Now I have questions running through my mind.

How did he die?  Was it old age?  Something we fed him?  Was he sick?  And how did he end up in that weird position?  Did he have a rodent heart attack which caused him to fling himself backwards out of the knot hole resulting in him hanging out of the knot hole in a supine position and upside down?  Or did he get stuck and hung there until he died?  I hope that isn't what happened - poor guy.

Now what do we do? The tree is in the middle of our dinky yard so the dog and the kids will likely come across bits and pieces as he starts to decay.  We also have visiting skunks, possums, raccoons and a great horned owl that visits occasionally; would one of them try to eat the carcass?  Or not since it's already dead?

Do I send Hubby up there to extract him?  But he’s pretty far up - at least 16’.   He seems to think he can knock the squirrel loose with his branch cutter but I have my doubts.  Or what if the squirrel falls apart as he is trying to knock the body out?  Gross.

We'll see what happens this weekend.


Jennifer Chandler McKeag said...

And, what happend next?

Noelle said...

Nothing much. Hubby finally knocked the poor guy out of the knot hole with his long branch cutter. He said the body was frozen but I think it was probably rigor mortis.