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

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The head on the tree

"How come you're so big but don't have antlers?"

Richard told me he was sure I would have some use for this old deer mount, and I knew there was no way out.

When you owe a very helpful friend dozens of favors you enthusiastically cart off a moth-eaten head mount and find a place to hide it.

I discreetly balanced it on a cob-webby pile of wood working jigs on a shelf above the radial arm saw, and was pleased how well it blended in.

The redhead didn't notice it for about a month.

I sawed off the antlers the other day to make handles on the doors of the pump house, and they look excellent there.

Then I hung the head on a live oak next to the house.

Fred was out of sight at the time, but as I was getting a camera ready in the garage I heard him barking up a storm.

He had discovered the tree with the deer head.

"What is it, Fred?"

Emboldened by my attention he advanced and gave a full-throated train of yodel barks.

When I cautioned "Be careful" he backed off with a sideways glance. (He learned that command with the aid of mousetraps.)

The photos herein are the other two visitors of "the head".

There's no question the young buck is looking at the bulky profile of an unfamiliar buck, but he didn't hang around long enough for a second photo op.

It's hard to say what the gray fox is up to, though he could be sniffing a frayed ear.


owlman said...

Clever use of a Deer head mount Codger. I will be interested in other species that may be attracted to it.

Alyssa Johnson said...

The next time I see a mount at an auction or thrift shop, I'm doing this very same thing. How ingenious!

Rolandisimo said...

I see more of this type of thing in your future!

Nature Girl said...

Don't you love the curiosity of animals?! Great shots.