Saturday, December 6, 2014

Fasten Your Seat Belts

Have I told you I love woodrats?

Or should I say, "have I told you lately I love woodrats?"

Because if I haven't, it must be time once again for an episode of Woodrat Theater...

In the Santa Cruz Mountains, in the woods, there lies an electric-blue VW Beetle.

a bug in the woods

And inside, built in-and-around the front seats, is a stick nest.

Of the San Francisco dusky-footed woodrat variety, Neotoma fuscipes annectens.

So I dropped a cam trap down into the scene. And a sprinkle of pine nuts.

cam trap set

The woodrat stick house is not original equipment, of course. Pure after-market. Although I know more than a few people have wondered, often with expletives, if VW bugs are powered by mice or rats running on exercise wheels.

The current owner of the blue beetle peeked out at 4am.

dusky-footed woodrat

By size and sleekness, perhaps a young female.

But a short while later the local fox patrol stopped by, and stole a few pine nuts.

gray fox

gray fox

gray fox

gray fox

However, as you can plainly see, ole sly fox missed some (honk, honk).

But our v-dub lovin' woodie didn't. She knows her haunts.

dusky-footed woodrat

dusky-footed woodrat

dusky-footed woodrat

dusky-footed woodrat

dusky-footed woodrat

Note the sexy scar on the side of her face.

She even came back to "ask" the camera for more…

dusky-footed woodrat

dusky-footed woodrat

dusky-footed woodrat

Such a look.

And one, you'll note, that is pretty distinctive. Woodrats, unlike their icky Euro-trash Rattus rat remote relatives, live much more cleanly, and thus look more like escaped pets than gross pests.

dusky-footed woodrat

"Ma'am - do you know how fast you were driving?"

"Sure officer - I was going woodrat."

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