Surprise!

I brought my fall decorations box inside a few weeks ago.  I’ve had this same box for many years, maybe 20?  The box has made several moves, been stored in garages and sheds. When I opened it this year I was pretty surprised to see mice had been at work.

Mice chewed through the hard shell to get to the nut inside.

These are hazelnuts, or filberts, from the historic filbert farm we managed in Springfield, Oregon.  I’ve had a bag of them I moved from Oregon to Colorado to Wyoming.  This was the first year I ever had any critter touch them.

What’s impressive is the effort it must have taken to chew all the way through the shell.  All rodents have teeth that constantly grow.  This means rodents must gnaw to keep their teeth from growing too long.  That’s why pet hamsters keep their owners awake at night with all their chewing and gnawing on the cage bars or plastic.

This represents a dedicated and hungry mouse! Or mice!

I didn’t find any fresh sign of mice inhabiting the box, but it must have smelled good to Max.

A very interested kitty.

Although I didn’t mind providing sustenance for wild critters, I wasn’t thrilled at losing so many of my “special” hazelnuts.  The mice also used my old scarecrow boots for a nest.  I’ll have to be a little more careful when I put everything away this year.

Shredded paper was stuffed from the toe halfway up the boot shank.

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