The sun has failed me and I walk to the river in the dark in the mornings.  This can be a bit perilous because there are no lights on this side of the river.  My eyes become accustomed to the dark but, as the foliage on the riverbank fades in autumn, the lights on the other bank make it hard to see.

In any event, I now am carrying a flashlight to give me a bit of notice of things in my path.  This was brought home to me when some animal – like a horse – used the path last week and left a large manure pile on the path.  It is easy to avoid, if you can see it.  The light of my torch caught another dark object this morning just before I stepped on it and it was this little dead shrew (Soricidae).

It was to all appearances unhurt but it was definitely dead.  I kicked it off the path but, on my return in the evening, I took a closer look.  When I was younger, I thought these were very small moles – until I saw a dead mole!  There are some basic similarities, except a mole will be many times larger and the digging paws are very impressive.


Dead shrew on asphalt
Dead shrew on asphalt, showing paws and teeth from the side/bottom

Farewell, brave member of the GUOSIM!


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