per amica silentia lunae

or, across the ferny brae with the evil voodoo celt

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animal sacrifice
dream
evcelt
Amongst the traditional occurrences at the Oak Hollow (our cabin in the West Virginny woods) is the Finding of the Dead Critter. Starting a couple of years into our ownership of the place, we'll open it up in the Spring and find something deceased in or around the premises. The first couple of years a baby squirrel- just one each time- got in and was found in approximately the same place: under a cushion on the futon couch. Luckily, they were mummified both times, so there was no mess to speak of. There was the time that we left the toilet seat up and some mice got into it... ick. Last year's offering was a bit more polite- a dead raccoon outside the front porch. (Before you ask, it had been there too long for a rabies test to be of any issue).

A couple of years ago, we opened the cabin and found... nothing! Had the cycle been broken at last? But that was the year that we spent a full week up there in the Fall- and something decided to crawl under the back porch (the inaccessible one) and die just long enough before our stay that it was pretty rank back there, and we ended up using the front door all week long. I think we would have preferred the more traditional sort of dead animal event, actually.

So it's become sort of a half-serious, half joke with us- that there is some kind of sacral element to these animal deaths, some offering to us, some seasonal cycle that is part of the land. It has no ominous tinge to it... we are good custodians of the land and the cabin, sealed our bond to them with blood and proper offerings, and maintain our connection through an ovoo, amongst other things. This place likes us, all attacks by meat bees aside.
Before our trip, we were laughingly speculating as to what the "sacrifice" would be this year? A deer? I opined that we would find a bear, sitting dead on the john, reading a paper. monsteralice (after she got through howling) said if that happened, she'd really be glad I had a camera with us, as no-one would believe it otherwise. Lo and behold, it actually looked like we had gotten off easy this time- no higher animals at all, just lots and lots of some kind of anonymous flying bug that had somehow gotten in. Easily gotten rid of by sweeping- especially because (since we don't believe in spotless housekeeping) there were plenty of old spiderwebs around to add their pick-up power to the broom.


I saw this:

Of course, I had already run out of film in the cheap boxcam I brought up with me. Of course, my brand-new digital camera was almost out of power and I'd forgotten the charging cable. But I managed a couple of shots, anyway, and just fretted that they'd not come out... the camera was so far out of power that it hadn't shut off properly, and just lay there with its lens sticking out, poor thing.

I'm glad the pictures came out, because the bird had fallen off the thorn-twigs by the next day, and will most likely be entirely gone by the time we get up there next. For what it's worth, I think it was a nuthatch. monsteralice is of the opinion that a hawk let fall its prey and it got hung up in the thorns. I suppose that that is a bit more comforting than my initial thought... that it was part of a shrike's larder:

A well-balanced diet, the shrike's;
It keeps a full menu on spikes.
Without such a larder
Its life would be harder -
And besides, it can eat when it likes!


I mean, it'd be kind of cool, but not in the driveway, by the gods!

So, there you have it. More ritual carnage at Oak Grove. And guess what? The vacant lot adjoining ours went on the market, and we're making an offer for it. Wish us luck. Also, if we succeed, wish us no escalation in this matter. I really don't want to explain a bear to the game warden.

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I opined that we would find a bear, sitting dead on the john, reading a paper.

This brought to mind bizarre a symmetry with Garko's bear encounter at Olender's cabin...

That quote is amusing, scary and entertaining as hell.

You should ask Garko to tell you about his close encounter of the bear kind. I won't do it justice.

Wow, that picture is good. Not in the "Yay, a dead bird on a stick!" way, but in the, "you captured it well" way.

It's a pretty bizarre thing to find, and a moving photo.

Don't mind me, I still haven't grown out of my preeteen-obsessed-with-and-fascinated-by-death phase.

Wow, that picture is good. Not in the "Yay, a dead bird on a stick!" way, but in the, "you captured it well" way.

Thanks. I'm amazed it came out recognizable at all... I had to shoot in the few seconds between turning the camera on and it powering itself off because of the battery being almost dead. I've only had that camera for a week, too, and haven't quite figured out all the functions yet.

Don't mind me, I still haven't grown out of my preeteen-obsessed-with-and-fascinated-by-death phase.

I'm pretty squicked by actual corpses, but I dig bones. Considering my affinity with the Ghede, that should come as no surprise.

What's "the Ghede?"

Well, I might as well be self-referential here... and here... and here.

I think the actual current accepted spelling is "Gede", my goof... so hard to keep up with the fashions in orthography...

Spirits of sexuality and death. The juxtaposition is intrguing and has been filed in my brain for future inquiry.

Thanks for the self-references, they're great!

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