Sometimes, I don’t understand my own curiosities. This was one of those times.
Many years ago in Tucson, Arizona, I was a campground host in the open desert west of town. One morning I found evidence that a javelina had passed through the parking lot: a seedy, runny pile of magenta-colored scat…deposited squarely on top of a pair of discarded toddler potty pants. I laughed out loud: it was as though the javelina knew what they were for!
Fast forward a couple decades plus, and I’m once again facing a wildlife poop mystery. Only this time, it’s scat on headstones in a cemetery: the Powell Cemetery in Sweet Home, Oregon, to be precise. Lots of scat, deposited neatly and deliberately on top of many headstones of various heights.
I don’t know what the unknown visitor had against the Haskins, but it apparently had the same grudge against multiple cemetery residents, leaving brown, seedy twists and turds carefully placed on top of dozens of headstones. At first, I respectfully kicked a few dry poops into the grass with my shoe, but had to give up when the scope of the problem became obvious.
I felt so ridiculous for wondering “why?” that I didn’t seriously document the phenomenon, but in case you think I’m making this up, here are two more photos of memorials (of dozens) thus decorated (or desecrated).
I just have to shake my head at the strangeness. There was plenty of nice cushy grass and scratchy dirt to “do the doo” on; why go out of the way to perch on a stone? And most wild animals don’t leave poop to make a statement. So WTF?
Then I shake my head at myself, for even wondering why in the first place. I’ll never know, but if I see it happen again, I’m gonna find a wildlife biologist and follow up.
Stump and Lamb explores personal growth and meaning via travels to pioneer cemeteries of the West. Posts may contain affiliate links.
This post was originally published at michellerau.com.