Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A Puzzle, A Thought, And A Puzzle

First, a puzzle ...
Who is hiding in the woods below?

Next, a thought ...

I've noticed that most people (and apparently all bloggers) get excited over seeing a bird of prey. They are described in glowing terms, "elegant, graceful, majestic, beautiful ..." I agree with that by the way.

Still, it's worth remembering that the characteristics we find so attractive are really adaptations for killing. Their sleek shape, the variety of feathers, the speed, the penetrating eyes, the scimitar beaks, and the daggerlike talons. All for killing and stripping the flesh from still living animals who wound up as raptor prey.

The squirrel below wanted me to remind you of that. He's not roadkill, he's hawk kill. I found him on a bit of paved trail, 'neath a large tree in a local park. He said it hurt ... a lot.
Evolution can be mean.

Finally, another puzzle ...

Who is under these pine needles in San Felasco Hammock State Preserve?

Not fair?
Okay, here's a little more help.

Good luck. Posted by Picasa


pablo said...

I'm going to go with turkey in the top photo, and fire ants in the bottom two photos.

threecollie said...

Okay, found the bird in the upper picture, kind of looked pheasantish/turkey-like, but not knowing Florida bird life, I could go with Pablo on the turkey. Big enough for one. If the bottom things are fire ants, I would never have got it, never having seen them. THANK GOD! (I was looking for a turtle.)

LauraHinNJ said...

That squirrel looks very flat.

Was it run over after some hawk tore it to bits?

No guess on your puzzles.

Rurality said...

The bottom pics look uncomfortably like that thing from the movie "Tremors". Stay on high ground!

vicki said...

ALL DAY yesterday I was here looking for a piglet! I'd wander off to Wayne's and Robin's and think and think and then I'd come back here looking for a piglet- and your page never loaded beyond Lady. How strange. So I said goodbye to her maybe a few more times than most...
A piglet! good deal. With black spots. I approve. Although I am laughing way too hard way too early in the morning (we're an hour behind, a day behind, whatever) at Woeisme from Hoss. The last time my son named a pet it was our lop-earred dwarf bunny and she was stuck with Rado Body for her natural life.

This morning, me thinks you are writing between the lines a bit. It's true- what makes for a beautiful raptor are those lean, mean, killing machine characteristics. But then, I'm also fascinated with the unsightly bald heads of vultures that allow them to stick their faces into carrion and not pick up too much bacterial goo.

I guess, in realizing that these creatures I love are not sentient creatures, not capable of considering the ramifications of global warming or short sighted politics, then my pleasure and fascination with them is pure and uncomplicated. And my sense of responsibility is heightened.

Then you go and put a chair next to the piglet so she won't suffer the emotional slings and arrows of being an only child...

roger said...

that doesn't look like a fire ant under the pine needles in the last picture. and i guess i'm not a critter of prey 'cause i couldn't see a turkey in the top pic.

Wayne said...

Well, I'm going to guess a possum, or maybe an armadillo, under the pine needles. I'm assuming it's a dead animal, but if not, well, the nominations are open.

Vicki - hit shift-reload if it seems that someone should have posted by this time. I noticed it too here, in the last couple of days, although it very seldom happens with PF . With other blogspot blogs it happens a lot of the time (TotBA comes to mind).

Missourimadness said...

I'm tempted to guess peacock on the first but have no clue on the second. (And poor squirrel-I know he's got to be something's food in the scheme of things, but ouchy)

Deb said...

I'm pretty sure I saw a turkey in the top pic. But I have no clue what lies beneath the pine needles.

Coincidentally, I just came here after reading Jim's (Earth Home Garden) eloquent musings on life and death and returning to the earth and being a part of an endless cycle. So I'm sitting here digesting lunch, trying to come up with a profound response to the whole predator/prey thing, and words escape me. Maybe I'm just thinking too much.

kathy a said...

armadillo in the last pic?

Anonymous said...

1) a turkey - i see its black head

2) a branch? maybe a ground squirrel

3) same sneaky branch?

well, some days you're the raptor, some days you're the squirrel.

Hurricane Teen said...

ahhh late to the party...

1. There's a turkey's head peeking out.

2. Ew. That squirrel had a bad day.

3 & 4. My first thought was Gopher Turtle...but i have never seen them actually make a trail like that.

SophieMae said...

Looks like a turkey in the first pic. Under the pine needles... gopher?

Re the fascinating raptors... DS insists that eagles are just vultures with a good press agent. They're beautiful, but opportunistic scavengers nonetheless.

Laura said...

I'd go with the other guesses that it looks like a turkey, but I can't help thinking it could be a juvenile sandhill crane, or some type of crane. It looks young!

As for the bottom photos, my first thought was gopher holes from a pocket gopher. Although, in that last photo, I can't tell closely, but it almost looks like a turtle under there. he'd have his head pulled in if you were close enough with the camera.

sign me,
stumped in Florida!

SophieMae said...

When I said gopher, I meant a gopher tortoise, of course. We've never used the whole name, just always called them gophers. 8-}

Likes2mtnbike said...

Looks like maybe a turkey in the first one and a conga line of gopher tortoises in the second pic.
...or not.

Floridacracker said...

Turkey yes, ants no.

Turkey yes, turtle no.

His flatness was due to a lack of meat :) This was a foot trail.

You don't know how accurate that comparison is. The mound was moving. Burt would know what to do!

I don't know what's going on with the page loading. Hmmmm. Blogger won't let me switch to the new Blogger Beta format.

that turkey is over to the left and it's mainly his head and neck.also he's out of focus.

A very live armadillo snuffling through the pine needles.

A turkey rather than peacock. It was one of about 20 in a flock that crossed a trail in front of me.

Turkey it is. 'dillo in the needles.

Kathy A,
Good spottin', yes it is.

1) yes 2) ? 3) armadillo snuffling
Yes, I have been the squirrel lately too often.

Turkey yes, dillo down below.

Turkey yes.
Looks gophery, but it's a 'dillo.
I agree, eagles and hawks love carrion, but they get all the applause while the buzzards are singing in the back row of the choir.

Turkey, but not a great photo. The camera focused on the plants in the foreground.

I literally straddled the needle mound and the armadillo emerged between my feet.

Turkey yes.
Conga'ing gophers. Where is Gloria when you need her?

Alan said...

Your hawk would be welcome to come to Dun Hagan and eat all the squirrels he wants!

I really lke your photos.