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Native Californian, biologist, wildlife conservation consultant, retired Smithsonian scientist, father of two daughters, grandfather of 4 small primates. INTJ. Believes nature is infinitely more interesting than shopping malls. Born 100 years too late.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The secret cache


The secret cache, now stashed in a
chainsaw chain container. 

For the sake of the story, I'd like to say . . . "when Carl reached the rafters and tugged the black plastic bag, the truffles showered down with the force of a Montana hailstorm".

But it wasn't exactly so.

The garbage bag contained truffles alright, but they were tucked into the folds of two canvass cots intended for the codger and the redhead, who were about to arrive from California.

For the sake of the story I might also add that "Though we slept comfortably in our sleeping bags, those cots infused our slumber with a subtle but pleasing essence of shaved tartufi stewing in risotto."

But it wasn't exactly so. The truffles give off a mild odor, but the cabin smelled of lodgepole pine logs and fried steak.

Looks like several species.

I am tempted to say that "the delectable fungi were evidently the last will and testament of 'Old One-eye', the murderous Montana chickaree whose squirrelly chutzpah summoned his own demise.

But I'm not sure the sack of dried truffles was actually of his doing.

The chickaree isn't the only mycophagist  in our western forests. There is no shortage of truffle gourmets, including several species of chipmunks and the northern flying squirrel.

Biologists used to examine stomach contents to learn about food habits, but now they can identify truffle eaters by the spores in fecal pellets.

It's tedious work, but Carl could identify the maker of the secret cache with much less effort.

All he has to do is stuff a camera trap inside a black plastic bag with two canvass cots and hang it in the rafters of the shed.

If he's too busy I know an old codger who would be more than willing to give it a try.

1 comment:

randomtruth said...

I'm betting Neotoma - I've caught them caching fungi before.

Did you put anything back in place of the truffles as a reward? :)