Monday, April 14, 2014

Hi, I'm Carla and I Collect Dead Things

Yes, I'm one of those people.
I am just as fascinated by dead animals as I am of live ones.
I am equally as fascinated by the garbagemen in nature.

Large carrion eaters--coyotes, raccoons, opossum, skunks and vultures
 Medium carrion eaters--mice and rats
 Tiny carrion eaters--all manner of insects, both adult and larval stages.
 Microscopic carrion eaters--bacteria
All those things make it possible for humans to not be walking around in sea of dead things.
Just imagine the stink if these creatures didn't do their jobs.

The bones you see in the first picture are of the only deer I ever let myself get on a first name basis with.  We called her Momma (very original, I know).  She was hit and killed by a car last summer and died on my property.  I have Momma's skull, spine and scapulas (shoulder blades).  I don't know why I felt compelled to collect them. Maybe I belonged to some tribe in a past life that collects bones of creatures that meant something to them?  
On a more practical side, I certainly didn't want to run over them with the lawn tractor.

The skull you see is of a house sparrow.  It killed itself on one of my windows.
As soon as Hobbes the cat hears that familiar 'thud', he runs to find out if the bird is dead. 
Free food!
He ate all but the head and I discovered the skull a couple days later.  It was covered in tiny garbagemen--ants.  
Within two days, it was completely clean.  

Two days!
Cool, right!?

Being the weirdo that I am, I brought it in the house to take pictures.  
Being the forensic junky that I am, I deduced that the bird must have broken its neck because the skull wasn't broken at all.

I flipped it over to get a picture of the bottom of it, and out came a couple little ants.
Cool, right!?

Momma's skull is tucked in a cubby hole in my chicken coop.
The bird skull is sitting in my office window, next to a female Rhinoceros Beetle--dead, of course.

My name is Carla, and I collect dead things. 
Can we still be friends? 


  1. Still friends. I'm okay with the remnants of life as long as they're not stinky or squishy. The way the earth works to clean up decay and recycle everything is amazing. I'm pretty certain the world turned just fine without us and will continue on even if we manage to cause our own extinction.

  2. Still friends and I don't think collecting dead things is weird. Forensics is a very interesting hobby to have. Mother Nature has a way of taking care of everything. Great pictures of your collection.

  3. Sure! I have a granddaughter who thinks just like you!