March 18, 2008

In the open

During our week in the southwest, we came across wildlife, mostly during our long drives. We saw herds of mule deer, sometimes as many as forty or fifty at once, flocks of wild turkey that looked much like the ones we have at home, bighorn sheep wandering on rock, and lizards scampering across bare ground. We had to stop on the road sometimes for cattle that were wandering without fences.

But we also saw carcasses — several in a row in the low canyonlands, lying in the middle of open land, with nothing to explain why the animals had died.


Ribs

12 comments:

Danny said...

Strange, I saw the exact same thing in Griffith Park in Los Angeles yesterday ... but didn't think to take a picture.

History Lovers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kathy a. said...

that is not something i have seen, but it is certainly part of the cycle of life in the open.

danny's comment surprised me more than your photo. i grew up near griffith park, and surely don't know all of it -- but city people really do not expect to see expired wildlife.

Heather said...

snake bite?

historyprof0 said...

I love these kind of puzzles. If you were in a wash, their carcasses could have been deposited there, but it sounds like you were in a wide flat place. Lightning strike through standing water?

Danny said...

Regarding the carcass I saw in Griffith Park... it was near the Mineral Springs picnic area, inside a fence that separates the driving range from the picnic area. It was surprising, not only because I have rarely seen carcasses in all the trails I've hiked, but also because it was so close and visible to areas where lots of people are. Indeed, about 100 yards away, a mother and her toddler were playing near a picnic table.

Silver Creek Mom said...

I've seen way too may carcasses. Usually in snowbanks along the road. Hit by a passing car or something and usally a deer.

jo(e) said...

Yes, I too see dead deer along the road all the time, especially in the fall when they are in rut.

But these dead cattle were not close enough to the road to be roadkill. And there were at least three of them, spread pretty far apart.

They weren't in a wash, and it doesn't make sense that lightning could have killed all of them. Disease or drought?

Anonymous said...

Maybe they were poisoned.

kathy a. said...

does seem odd to see three within a distance, even in the wilderness -- definitely not roadkill.

danny, i have a sense of where you are talking about, though it's been probably 15 years since i was by there. it's a relatively public place for a largish corpse. there are wild hills close by, so probably the animal wandered down.

[to explain: griffith park is several thousand acres in the middle of Los Angeles, spread across hills dividing hollywood and downtown from "the valley". it contains the zoo, the observatory, and several attractions; horse riding; picnic sites; hiking trails; a golf course. most of it is not improved. this carcass, too, doesn't sound like road kill -- and it is just weird it was in an area used by the public.]

Gawdess said...

striking and evocative.

sheepish said...

Without a doubt this is the work of El Chupacabra.