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Critter Riddle


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#1 Guest_dcsmith796_*

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 04:48 PM

The name Guest_dcsmith796 had to be retired

because of a program glitch. (Dang it!)

See his more recent posts as DSmith74.

- Janet & Steven, Forum Administration -

OK so here's the riddle. If someone jumps in and answers it in five minutes I'm going to be mad because I had to stalk the culprit(s) to figure out what the deal was.

IMG_0318.jpg

I'll give you a hint: 99% of the area is very sandy soil, but this is one of the few pockets of clay. It's also a spring, so the soil in the picture is wet all the time (this time of year anyway).

So who done it? And what the heck are they doing?

#2 Guest_dcsmith796_*

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 07:24 PM

Oops - looks like modifying the old post doesn't mark it as new. Guess I should have just added it as a reply.

#3 Beaufort

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 12:03 PM

Mud daubers. Swallows. Toads. Chipmunks.

Any of those even close? As the perp famously said to Clint Eastwood, I gots to know!

#4 carolm

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 12:33 PM

crayfish?

#5 Janet Macunovich

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 12:43 PM

Near a stream or pond -- Muskrat?

#6 Dsmith74

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 11:51 AM

Well, I wouldn't say pond. We've always called it either "the frog pond" or "the mud hole" but not big enough to support muskrats.

A couple of you hit the right class at least - it was done by birds. It's robins! This is their mud mine apparently. I can see why they use it. In most spots on the place, even soaking wet the soil wouldn't hold together well enough to make a robin's nest. It's like trying to grow stuff in builder's sand.

#7 Beaufort

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 10:11 AM

Wow. Robins. I really thought it might be swallows. Never seen a robin mud mine before. Great quiz, thanks.

#8 Janet Macunovich

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 05:43 AM

Great fun! Why did I never think of robins and mud before, despite having seen so many robin's nests obviously mud-enhanced?!

#9 Dsmith74

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Posted 05 May 2012 - 08:51 PM

Wanna do another one? This one isn't as good, but what the heck.

Check out this picture.

IMG_0365.jpg

See that line running from the bottom right of the frame out to that apple snag? You can't see it in the picture, but it continues on past the snag to the tree just to the left of the snag in the picture (which is in a row of trees, four of which appear in the picture).

Here is a picture of the line from the snag, looking back at where I was standing when I took the first pic.

IMG_0364.jpg

Some hints:
This was not caused by people - at least not directly or by recent actions.
It is not a deer trail.
It has not been there in the spring of any other year that I can recall.

Extra credit if you can name the weather event that precipitated this. It occurred two years ago (give or take a week or so).

#10 ann521

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 11:05 AM

Lightening strike?



#11 Janet Macunovich

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Posted 24 March 2013 - 01:29 AM

Got me on this one.... Looks too broad a furrow for voles under heavy snow.



#12 Dsmith74

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 08:06 PM

I kinda forgot about this.

 

OK so here's the deal - those trees in the distance in the first pic are black walnuts. In 2010, all of the walnut blossoms froze, meaning that immediate area went from at least a dozen trees' worth of walnuts to zero. That caused the biggest walnut crop I've seen in 20 years in 2011. There were so many walnuts, not to mention fewer squirrels (especially pine squirrels), that even their best efforts couldn't remove them all before they were buried by snow. By spring 2012, the ground was still largely covered with walnuts. 

 

So that line is part of the rut made by black squirrels going from that wooded area at the back of the second pic to the line of walnut trees in the first. They took a less-than-direct route that hit every tree they could along the way, including those apple snags. They worked well into June before they got most of them picked up. 

 

But guess what? No walnuts in 2012 either! So far, no 80 degree days in March, so we shall see what happens this year. 






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