Friday, October 16, 2015

WANTED: Photo of Dead Squirrel Being Eaten by Yellow Jackets

     First of all, I want to state that all of this is true.  None of the names were changed-- I just left them out.

     I was in my backyard last week doing some fall sort of yard work; trimming bushes, picking up inordinate amounts of black walnuts which make horrendous noises when they are mowed over, and picking up sticks to put in my outdoor fire pit.  Then I heard my youngest son say, "Hey mom, here's a dead squirrel."  He knows I like this sort of thing.  So I went over to look at it, and it had this amazing huge hole in its abdomen, and there were several yellow jackets crawling inside the hole in the squirrel's side.  It was amazing, but I was in a "let's clean up the yard" kind of mood, not a "let's take really neat science pictures and put them on the teacher's blog" sort of mood, and it almost cost me $120.  Here's how.

     Using my bush clippers, I picked up the dead squirrel with the hole in its side with yellow jackets crawling all over it and threw it in the bushes.  There, I thought, my yard is nice and cleaned up.  No dead rotting squirrels with yellow jackets eating their guts messing up my yard!

     WHAT WAS I THINKING?  

      The following evening I began thinking that it would have made a really neat post.  I told two of my sons to get a flashlight and they followed me outside.  "What are you doing?" they asked.
      "I'm looking for that dead squirrel with yellow jackets eating its flesh that I threw in the bushes yesterday," I replied.  They are used to this sort of thing so they just helped me look.

      Nothing.

      Evidently skunks or cats or opossums or other nocturnal creatures also like to eat dead squirrels, and it was gone.   Well, I thought, I can just get a picture of a dead squirrel with yellow jackets eating it on the internet.  Little did I know . . . .  I could only find one.  It was by a wildlife photographer.  I emailed him and asked him if I could use the photo for an educational post.  He replied rather quickly,  and in 847 words (seriously, I used word counter), told me how rare of a photo this was--  he photographs wildlife and insects all the time and has only seen it once in his life (and I threw it in the bushes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)-- and how I needed to make a donation to his wildlife cause, and in addition pay him $120 to use the photo, but I couldn't use it on a blog, and it has to have a link to his site, and he has the right to retract it at any time without any compensation, blah, blah, blah.

     If I EVER find a dead squirrel with yellow jackets crawling in its flesh again, I am FOR SURE going to get a picture of it.  In the meantime, I offer you this.  It was cheaper.

To read the conclusion of this story click HERE.