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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.

Monday, January 8, 2007

Egg yolk perfume

Last week neighbor Richard asked if I had any use for boiled egg yolks. "Sure", I said. I hadn't trapped any mice in the garage lately, and I was out of chicken giblets." I'll try them as bait." Which brings me to the subject of deviled egg sandwiches. Back in the Pleistocene, when the codger was a kid, mothers sometimes unwittingly subjected their children to unpleasant experiences in school. In those days it wasn't "uncool" to bring your lunch to school in a lunch box or a paper bag. But deviled egg sandwiches were NOT considered "cool", because they would "stink up the cloak room". Those "stinko kids" were ribbed so badly they begged their mothers never to put another egg sandwich in their lunch bag.

Carnivores of course find many smells interesting and seem to love things that smell nasty. So I sprinkled the crumbled egg yolk in the recesses of the boulder -- the same place the bobcat visited last week.

Two nights later, the ringtail and the skunk smelled the eggs. Ringtail got there first, and spent most of the first 6 minutes hunkered over the eggs in a kind of reverie. Its eyes were closed, and it looked like it was drifting off into dreamland. In other shots it looked like it might be rubbing its cheeks on the rock, that is, scent marking. It deferred to the skunk, who sniffed around for 3 minutes and moved on. But the attraction on the boulder was strong. Five minutes later ringtail was back with the dreamy look.

I'm not sure what's going on. Maybe it had indigestion or just decided to take a nap.

1 comment:

The Green Acres Team said...

HI Chris,

Fabulous blog and wonderful pictures... we need a side list of names, so we can follow the exploits of all your creatures! Wonder if the egg-yolk perfume will aid in mate selection? Enjoying much!!!!