23 February 2010

Bathroom Emergency

We went hiking with some of my family on Saturday.  It was an impromptu trip, my sister called me at noon and said she was taking my nephew hiking at the state park right next to our house.  I hadn't been feeling my best that morning, but I thought all was well, so We packed up some water, gingersnaps, and my camera, and joined them.  It was a blast.  We let the kids pick the trails we would take (age 5) and got ourselves a little turned around.  My nephew was sure we were lost, but it was more that we didn't care too much about our exact location, and we knew we could find our way back without too much trouble.

Anyway, about 2 hours into the hike I ducked behind a tree to pee, and realized, that if I started to pee, I was going to have the runs, right there, behind a tree, with no TP!  This was not acceptable.  (and not terribly optional)  So, I got back up, caught up with my mom and said "I really really need your TP, I'm about to have the shits."

I won't bore you with the details, or torture you with pictures (I didn't take any) of my experience, but it did lead to an unexpected discovery.   I went wandering into a low spot as far away from any of the trails as possible, and so as I was walking back to find the group, I happened to look down and see a skull half buried in the dirt and pine needles that covered the ground.

Yesterday I finally got a chance to take some pictures of the skull to share with everyone.  It was also the first real chance I had to play with my magnifying filters for macro pictures.  (I'm hundreds of dollars away from a true macro lens, and even then, I guess I've got more pressing things to do with my money.

I spent some time Sunday night trying to figure out what kind of skull it was, because our first guess was Marmot.  Did you know that they're a type of squirrel?  We could tell it was some kind of rodent, but we were having trouble thinking of which ones would be that large, but not really big.  It seemed just about housecat sized.  I looked up marmot skulls on the internet and found a document about Rodents of British Colombia and skull identification (http://capewest.ca/rodents.html).  Looking through all of the skull drawings I was able to discern that the skull I found was that of a porcupine.

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