|Barn owl pellets from Chimineas -- chock full of pocket gopher skulls and a few remnants of white-footed mouse, pocket mouse, and harvest mouse (to be confirmed).|
A quart jar of macerating owl pellets is not an appetizing thing, but that didn't dampen my granddaughters' interest.
The Redhead often views the Codger's ideas of little girl activities with a jaundiced eye, but I had wisely vetted the owl pellet dissection with her beforehand.
Yes, I know who the boss is.
And in their grandmother's presence the girls knew there would be no surprises of the pull-my-finger kind.
So there they sat on the back porch with forceps in hand waiting to dig for treasure in soggy rodent fur.
Having steeped the pellets in warm water the night before, it was time to open the jar and pour the dark broth through a sieve.
That's when the girls' enthusiasm started to wane.
"That stinks", protested the redhead. and the girls echoed their grandmother.
" I wouldn't exactly say it stinks", I countered. "It's just a little tangy smelling, like owl breath."
"Look! There's a skull in there," I exclaimed.
They ignored my feeble attempt at distraction.
Grandma and the girls retired to the house for a game of Mexican train, while the Codger tweezed the bones by himself.
I hope you admire the fruits of my labor in the picture above. They are now packaged and awaiting identification on a winter day.
As for the bottled owl breath, I poured it on a dying Nandina in the garden.
That was a week ago, and I am happy to report that the plant's leaves have already turned from red to green.
Conclusion: bottled owl breath is equally effective as child repellent and fertilizer.