This is not an entry for the squeamish. But this is about the realities of nature.
I have jokingly referred to the deersicle on several previous occasions. I think it is time to explain it better. On the second day of gun deer season, Nov 16, a six point buck died on the back side of our property. Without struggling to turn it over it wasn't at all obvious if someone had shot it and had been unable to track it, or if it was clipped by the train (the tracks are the back edge of our property) and managed to run only a short distance after that before dying. Somehow it seemed a terrible loss when any hunter in the neighborhood had been watching that nice six-pointer for days if not weeks.
And yet, the deer has been providing a service to the non-human neighborhood ever since. Of course I keep trying to get Maggie to stay out of it, but she is a dog after all, and just has to grab a snack whenever we go by. My only real hope is to keep her from eating so much at one time that she gets sick (I hate surprises like having to wash all the bedding on the spur of the moment).
But my real point is that the deer is providing winter food for a number of animals. Every day, no matter how much snow has fallen an access to the carcass has been beaten down. The haunches and everything inside the rib cage is now gone. But the scavengers will continue to feed until, by spring, all that will remain will be some bones and parts of the hide.
The crows are regular diners. The day their tracks were really good I didn't have the camera with me. The picture here isn't as obvious that the tracks belong to a crow, so you'll mostly have to take my word for it.
The fox has stopped by several times. Probably a porcupine will come along and even drag the antlers away to gnaw on.
Nature wastes nothing.