No, seriously, if you are squeamish about squishy things or the reality of survival, stop reading now, close this post without going past the first photo and just leave it alone.
I have walked thousands of miles, maybe getting on up into double digits of thousands of miles, of trails, and over the past 20 years, a thousand or few more miles on the trails around the property.
During those miles I have stumbled across a lot of things that go on in the natural world, including a fresh, as in still warm and steamy, eviscerated moose-kill in Alaska while hiking back to the trailhead (It wasn't there on my outbound trip just a few hours earlier.) that scared the crap out of me because I didn't know where the bear (The distinctive tracks were clearly evident) it belonged to was.
But after all these years and all those miles, I still haven't seen everything.
Just the other morning as I came along the trail across the bottom of the largest ridge on the property, unable to see the barn on the other side of the pond because of the fog which made things slightly spooky anyway,
I was stopped in my tracks by this.
No, I didn't stop quite as close as this. It's just that after I got my phone out and swiped it alive I put my foot in the frame for scale.
Based on the the size and a couple of tufts of fur scattered around the perimeter I'm guessing this was a rabbit.
I've come across kills and carcasses on a quite a few of my treks, but never one quite like this.
In fact this one is the complete reverse of the norm.
Normally one of the first parts of a kill gone after by pretty much any predator is the belly because it's a soft entry-point. And usually, because of the high nutritional value-to-effort ratio, the first parts consumed are the organs. Including, actually especially, the stomach and intestines which contain highly concentrated nutritional value that is easily digested.
Why this stomach and intestines were left laying there when the rest of the animal was missing (Yes, I looked for it) I have no idea, and given that in all my years wandering unleashed in nature this is the first time I've ever seen anything like this other than at a human hunting camp I don't expect that I'll ever see it again.
Yes, perhaps a little cringe-worthy, but an intriguing mystery and a fascinating anatomy lesson. I've seen all sorts of drawings of stomachs. Everything from cartoonish Pepto adds to anatomical pictorials, but I have never seen the real thing laid out so clearly before!
OK, so I'm actually a little squeemish myself, but I love learning new stuff!