Outdoor walks bring surprises in autumn. Some are pleasant — others not so much.
Last fall, I came across this skull lying on top of the stone wall in a section of the garden I rarely visit. The bleached-out, toothy head was nestled in crispy, fallen leaves and lichen. Its hollowed-out face made my heart beat faster — I wondered what fate had befallen this little critter. Did it die a natural death, or was there some trauma that brought about its demise?
I know there’s a whole world of activity outside the house each night when it gets dark and still. I hear strange sounds — owls, deer, insects, and other wildlife that come and go through the night. It’s all mysterious, and part of the natural cycle.
Fortunately, I don’t see many skulls on my daylight walks. I prefer surprises like this praying mantis that caught me off guard yesterday. It was giving me a big-eyed, curious, Happy Halloween kind of stare as I got ready to hook up the garden hose.