Monday, September 16, 2013

The plot thickens...

It all started when Matt and Ellen came back from a run in Sabino Canyon on 8/20. They saw the remains of a gray fox. Relatively fresh, visible viscera, fur and tail clearly a fox. They didn't have a camera, of course, but they let me know about the find.
Eleven days later, Wayne sent the photos I posted yesterday. (I thought his photos must be of a different set of remains altogether.) And then I heard from several naturalist pals about carcass sightings. Ned took this first photo here on 9/12; and, assisted by the blue-hand of Lyn, the next two on 9/14.

Photo by Ned Harris on 9/12/2013

Photo by Ned Harris on 9/14/2013

Photo by Ned Harris, hand by Lyn Hart 9/14/2013

Wayne had correctly identified his photos as the remains of a Gray fox. (I was convinced it was a javelina; the fur looked bristly to me; I didn't show the photos to my husband who would have recognized the 'tail' colors; I thought the teeth looked too big.) I misinterpreted Wayne's location description, too; and, not having paid attention to Matt's location description the first time, I passed my misinterpretation on in my post. (The remains could have been moved, though, and were eaten further from Matt's and Ellen's sighting.)
Bottom line: Mea culpa. I should stick with plants!
What I learned:

  • When doing CSI, personal viewing of the scene is better than photos. 
  • Photos from multiple angles that include something for scale are key.
  • More evidence is always better. 
  • When in doubt, ask cleverer people, especially those who were at the scene. (Especially if you weren't. I wasn't.)

Big thanks to Wayne, Ned, Mark, Lyn, and Honey-Matt for being there!

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