Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tales from the Crypt

Yesterday I thought I'd do a tour of the basement at home and blog about the life I found there in the middle of winter. Unfortunately, the only signs of life were the onions that had sprouted:

Everything else was dead and dessicated.

The remains of a mouse lay out in the middle of the floor. At first I thought it was an owl pellet, due to the compact grey form and the bones, but, of course, there's no way for an owl to have been in (and survived) my basement. Nope, this mouse just up and died. Starvation? With the potatoes and onions stored down there?

A second mouse bit the dust.

Did the cold kill this spider? It couldn't have starved to death - look at all its catches.

All around the windows and walls assorted insects, spiders and goodness knows what all else provided decor.

I guess my basement isn't a safe haven in the winter.


  1. Ooooh, creepy! Those mice look like they've been dead a long, long time, all desiccated as they are. And what's that horsehair-looking stuff all over them? They look like they are being consumed by lichens! I once found the remains of a dead mouse in my grandma's cellar that was just dust -- a pile of dust that was perfectly formed like a mouse's shadow.

    Regarding the spiders: couldn't those carcasses in the web have been sucked of their juices long ago and the spider died a natural death at the end of the summer? Remember Charlotte?

  2. Dear Ellen- A personal note-I've never met you but I"m a huge fan of your writing here,at Adk.gardener and Adirondack Almanack. plus we have mutual friends-Nancy and and Lois at WBU-I travel all the way to Saratoga Springs a couple of times a year to buy their stuff.Just read about Patterson's plans to close the VIC's on NPR.My thoughts immediately turned to you..You've taught my grandson(via forwarded email) and me so much...THANK YOU.I hope there will be a good solution to this devastating news for you....my thoughts and good vibes are with you this evening....Susan Serino-AuSable Forks

  3. Nice flat mice! Our basement completely creeps me out, and I'm not the sort that gets creeped out by creepy crawlies very readily.

  4. Woodswalker - you are totally correct - those spiders could've died after they consumed the critters in their webs. Not being a spider pathologist, however, I have no way to discern if this is what happened or not! :D HM...always something new to learn, eh?

    Susan - thank you for your kind thoughts. It was a heavy blow, but we weren't blindsided by it - it was in the wind. Hopefully I can find employment in my field elsewhere.

    Woodswoman - Yeah, basements kinda creep me out, too, especially my parents'. Even now, as I creak thru middle age, I can freak myself out in their basement! Completely psychological, y'know, but there it is.

  5. "dead and dessicated" just like New York State.

    Sorry for the news Ellen, I'm in the same boat.

  6. TourPro - maybe we should start a support group. :D