Sunday, February 12, 2006

ashes to ashes

Bones are arranged in a stark natural tableau near the old barn. Their position in a open field tells me that the animal, probably a skunk, might have been caught in the open by a predator. But the bones present a mystery.

The remains are neatly arranged, a representation of the animal in mid-stride. It appears as if the fur and flesh simply fell away, revealing the underlying structures. Death undisturbed, bones are not scattered, undivided by possible predator and scavenger alike. You can, with a little imagination, picture the entire process playing out before your eyes, a slow motion movie of gradual disintigration.

Life and death are all around us, the natural ebb and flow of things. Death, viewed as a natural progression can be an interesting lesson and not at all a morbid fascination.


srp said...

Do you think it is a skunk BECAUSE the bones are undisturbed? I would think for obvious reasons that a skunk would not be considered "good eating" for coyotes or other predators.

pablo said...

I found an entire deer skeleton in this same state. Only bones, but none scattered. The skull even had its antlers still attached and ungnawed.

judy said...

Travis Ruse mentioned your site while visiting in Abilene, Texas. I couldn't resist checking it out. Very impressive. He was right, who knows what a-day-in-the-life has to offer until you look through the lens. I am now working on a photoblog. Thanks for the inspiration.

Zanne said...

srp - No I don't think so. I've cropped out some of the photo, and the fur was black and white, leading me to believe it was a skunk. There are lots of coyotes around here so I'm puzzled that the bones were scattered.

Pablo- That had to be an strangely awesome sight. You took photos, right?

Judy - I am so glad you were able to see Travis' work. He is an inspiration and was actually one of the reasons I began photoblogging. Be sure to give me a heads up when you get up and running. I used to live in Texas and I know there's tons of subject matter waiting for your lens.

pablo said...

Zanne - sorry, no photos. It was on a solo hike many years ago, though I think I could find my way back to where I'd originally stumbled across it.