Does this look tidy to you? If you look closely you’ll see empty peanut and acorn shells. While Pablo has been known to eat peanuts on occasion, he certainly doesn’t eat acorns. So what’s up? Why are all these husks thrown together like so many empty beer cans by the side of the road?
Perhaps if you look at this from another angle you can puzzle through it:
You’ll, of course, remember when I posted about a little mystery I’d found on the grassy south-facing slope. That’s the same den opening you see in this lower photo. It appears that someone has been doing some spring cleaning.
Pablo has been known to leave roasted (but unsalted) peanuts here and there in the forest, and the bit of ledge just below this den opening is one of the “here” places. When I’ve done this, the nuts have always been gone by my next visit, with nary a shell left behind. I’d assumed that whatever critter was eating them was taking them somewhere first. Now it looks as though the peanuts I’ve been leaving “here” were taken into that den through the winter.
Am I a bad steward for leaving peanuts for the wild things? Some schools of thought would say yes. Perhaps it makes me an enabler of a sort. But enuf of that negative self talk! I like to think that what little bit of nurturing I do has such an insignificant impact on my forest that it doesn’t even register on the ethical scale. Except for whatever lives in that little mystery den. I’m pretty sure it is not insignificant for that critter.