Spring’s Seasonal Schedule, by Ms. Graveyard Dirt (I, II, III & IV)
Just as winter’s workload begins to wane spring arrives with its own seasonal schedule, and it brings with it a list of non-negotiable chores that need to be incorporated into (almost) daily life. Fruiting bushes and trees require pruning, seeds must be sown, germinated and potted on, debris needs to be cleared to make room for new growth, container plants - especially the fruiting kind - demand several rounds of fertilization for maximum happiness, annual agrarian rites must be performed and frequent water checks are necessary to ensure that both my plants and macerating bones display the right levels of water.
During my first major maceration assessment a few days ago I noticed that several of my rescued roadkill deer were finally ready for the degreasing stage of bone cleaning. Coincidentally, all three roe deer were found on the same day (Easter Monday, 2012) along the same birch-lined stretch of road in various stages of decomposition. We also found the sodden remains of a protected raptor species, which we moved further into the wooded hedge before covering it with a protective layer of branches so authorities - who were immediately contacted once we got home - could easily find the tagged bird.
These images of #13, #14 and #15 were taken prior to their first good scrub and eventual dunk into individual degreasing baths.
#13 is the first of my Easter Monday deer, and it was her ragdoll body that initially drew my attention to what turned out to be a bone-strewn graveyard. She was complete, although badly damaged. The severity of her injuries made decapitation the only option. (X)
#14 is something of a mystery since I don’t remember discovering her. Any recollection I had was probably written over by the excitement of finding #15 (I don’t often find bucks with undamaged antlers). Her juvenile skull is fragmented and a testament to the force behind the fatal impact. (X)
#15 is a roadkill rarity - a buck with undamaged antlers. He was practically tissue-free when I found him, his two-toned skull naturally stained by the environment he decomposed in. During yesterday’s inspection I noticed that some of his cranial sutures had been partially colonized by lint-sized tufts of moss. (X)
DISCLAIMER: If you decide to reblog any of my roadkill pictures please keep all of the relevant information (i.e., name, title and Flickr link) with the image. (Why?)
I don’t know if it’s something specific to deer or what, but UNFH when they grow algae and moss on the skull during cleaning. It’s like they refuse to have the wild gone out entirely. They refuse to let death be clean and hermetic.
Probably my favorite bone-cleaning experience is buffing the green into an antiqued patina.