csi enfield, episode 3.

We have a new crime scene!

Some time last night, an unknown animal traversed our property. It knocked over our composter, pulling the anchors out of the earth completely, and disassembling the segments in the process.

It ate all the recently dumped melon rinds, banana peels, and other not-quite-rotted items.

Unknown animal 004

Then it wandered over to the bird feeders on the front lawn, and left some scat as a souvenir.

Unknown animal 002

Finally, it checked out the feeders, and ate all the seed out of one of them.  It left the hummingbird feeder alone—I guess it wasn’t in need of liquid refreshment.  It also chewed (or clawed, or pawed) on the tree stump where the feeder support is anchored into the ground.

Unknown animal 003

Any hunting and outdoorsy folks want to hazard a guess as to the identity of the nighttime visitor? 

The pile of scat is fairly sizeable, way too big to have come out of a small mammal.  It’s enough to fill up a dinner plate.  (Pardon the visual.)  I didn’t see any definite marks on the plastic of the composter.  It seems to have been pushed over with brute force and/or body weight.

I have my own theory, but I wanted to consult the Hive Mind as well.  What say you, outdoor-savvy readers?


49 thoughts on “csi enfield, episode 3.

  1. Phillip C says:

    Judging by the scat, specifically the partially digested remnants, I’m going to go with bear. Since you’re in the northeast, I’m going to go with a black bear being the most likely culprit.

    Generally annoying, but not harmful to people. I’d keep an eye on the dogs and any other animals you might have, as well as the kids. Pack something a little better than the .38, too, but you’ll probably never see one and if you do it’ll likely run from you. Just like with any other potential threat, better to be prepared.

    Oh, and it’s no fair asking for guesses when your twitter feed along the right edge says “A bear knocked over our composter last night.”

  2. Jared says:

    Bear. But I think you know that already. I was thinking Chupacabra, but your location suggests black bear.

  3. LabRat says:

    Definitely a black bear. They’re pretty common around these parts, and I’d know that shit anywhere.

    Generally harmless to humans unless some idjit starts deliberately feeding one; we go through cycles of increased bear activity every year here, but not even the little yard-bereft yap-dogs get eaten, just garbage and tree-borne fruit.

  4. SigBoy40 says:

    If a bear scat’s in your yard, does it still stink?

  5. ZerCool says:

    Almost certainly a black bear.

    We get calls on a fairly regular basis about “criminal mischief” to birdfeeders – and often the bear sightings as well.

  6. ZerCool says:

    Oh, and while it *should* go without saying, the Munchkins should probably be told (if they haven’t been already) that cute baby bears are not fun and cuddly.

  7. scotaku says:

    I’d just like to clarify that I *never* identified the bear by color, and that if I were to do such, I’d be careful to refer to it as a(n) ______-American bear.

    This is truly a harrowing tale of what it’s like to be ursine in America today.

    • Marko says:

      Is it really speciesism to point out that there’s not an un-caged brown bear within a thousand miles of here, and that you have to go even farther north to find the white kind?

      • joated says:

        Ah, but it could be a cinnamon bear. (Same as a black bear but with reddish fur. Genetic morph is all.)

        Why don’t we stick with Ursine-American. (Adding “Bear” to the end would be redundant.)

  8. MarkHB says:

    Well, if the LabRat’s saying Bear, I say Bear because I defer to qualified people. I’d add an adjunct to say “Keep that Lee Enfield loaded and ready, or anything heavier too.”

    If you’ve got to shoot a bear off a kid, you want a hole you can toss said kid through without getting ’em damp ’round the edges to my mind.

  9. Erica says:

    Without a doubt, Gojira.

  10. Gerry N. says:

    Ursus Americanus.

    Black Bear, can be any color from light honey to so black it’s blue. Same species from Mexico to the Arctic Circle and coast to coast. Usually a big clown, but if not afraid of people, and you can thank a hippie for that, regards Homo Sapiens as a very easily harvested article of diet, especially the larvae.

    If you get more bear incidints than you wish to deal with, assuage your hostility by kicking the living shit out of patchouli scented hippies and hippesses. Hell, do that anyway, it is good for your mental health and is very relaxing. I particurlarly enjoy thumping the ones with stringy grey or white hair. They’re old enough to damn well know better.

    I also annoy the hippish by pointing out that the Black Bear’s favorite condiment is patchouli, offering to buy them as much as they want as long as I can take them into the foothills of the Cascades for medidation, and the opportunity to become one with the bears.

    Gerry N.

  11. Jay G. says:

    Definitely black bear.

    I can be there in an hour and a half with a .308 if you need back-up, Marko…

    (Bear’s good eatin’…)

  12. I’m reminded of a National Park Service advisory posted at a local gun shop, that outlines how campers and hikers conduct themselves in bear country.

    It detailed the differences between black bears and grizzlies, including the fact that grizzlies rarely climb trees, but black bears do.

    The advisory advocated wearing bells on your clothing, and carrying a can of pepper spray as bear repellent.

    It also went on to say that one could identify the species of bear by examining the scat. Black bear scat often contains berries and the bones and fur of small birds and rodents.

    Grizzly bear scat has little bells in it, and smells like red pepper.

    From the looks of things, yours was a black bear.

    • Nomen Nescio says:

      if you’re hiking in country where you might encounter either black bear or grizzly, it can be important to know how to tell the difference, since the best way to react to a bear attack is different between the two.

      unfortunately, when a bear is chasing after you and nipping at your heels, looking up field marks in a guide book might be a trifle difficult. in such an urgent situation, the easiest way to tell what manner of bear is after you is to climb a tree.

      if it’s a black bear, it’ll climb right up after you to eat you; if it’s a grizzly, it’ll just knock the tree over and eat you.

  13. OrangeNeckInNY says:

    Maybe it was a troll.

  14. Jay G. says:

    Nah, it doesn’t sound like Markadelphia or JadeGold…

  15. KingsideRook says:

    In NH, we had a bear who liked my mom’s bird feeder. After he had scaled our fence 4 times or so to destroy feeder after feeder, we stopped refilling it, and thus (apparently) annoyed the hell out of the bear, as on his last visit, he tore up some lawn furniture before leaving the yard.


  16. LittleRed1 says:

    Bear, because cougars don’t eat bird seed. Joggers, yes, birdseed, no.

  17. crankylitprof says:

    My eldest daughter, the Bear, was nowhere near your yard, and she certainly did not crap under your bird feeder. 🙂

  18. BryanP says:

    Mutant squirrels.

  19. Allan says:

    Uh, Bernie Sanders crossed the river for a snack?

    Best deterrent: fill a couple of water balloons with a weak solution of ammonia and hang them from the feeder. Brer bear won’t likely return after an NH3 douche.

  20. Tam says:

    It’s a black bear.

    Black bear, however, while not cuddletoys, are not the Volkswagen-with-fangs bullet sponges that their Western cousins are. You remember that pelt that Crazy Ken had hanging on the wall at Montague, right? Most guys I knew in N.GA that went after bear used the same .30-30 or .35 Rem leverguns that they used on Bambi.

    As long as Yogi stays well fed, he will generally avoid full-grown hairless monkeys like the plague. Heck, he’d probably avoid a pack of dachsies, too, although a lone one might be an hors d’œuvre.

  21. RevolverRob says:

    Definitely bear, I’d be careful. I believe that werewolves are now using the innocuous Usrus Americanus as spies. Since the bear found your place satisfactory, you might be in for a surprise on the full moon. I strongly recommend that on the full moon, you lock and load your ammo with the silver bullets in .357 Mag, in addition, I would opt for a 12-gauge shotgun loaded with silver buckshot.

    Take no chances. For further reference, read MHI and take notes.


  22. Louise Townsend says:

    Gotta go with the bear theory.
    Beware if you have a Momma bear as they have been known to be aggressive if they have cubs nearby.
    They can really trash your feeders and now that it knows there are tasty treats in your yard you are a marked man.
    I hear that bears totally dislike the taste of hippies as they don’t tend to eat enough meat.

  23. McGehee says:

    Can’t be a bear, they only do that in the woods. [rimshot]

  24. maddmedic says:

    Snorkle, a bear?
    Probably some type of domestic terrorist bent on causing as much disruption as possible to your right leaning lifestyle.

    Also dangerous to eat a hippy, most are to toxic and may cause bear to hallucinate and OD !!

    Good thing you didn’t step in it!!!

  25. Ken says:

    The unquiet ghost of William Loeb.

    • Louise Townsend says:

      Loeb as in “The Onion Loader”?

      • Ken says:

        Perzackly (sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner — I had two days of comprehensive exams followed by a Weekend of Anything But Typing).

  26. Mikee says:

    One glance at the scat picture and I was ready to say bear. Then I realized that is exactly what the RACOON would want me to think….

  27. pax says:

    I’m just picturing the bear wearing one of those tee shirts: “Hippie, please

  28. Heath says:

    Getcha some firecrackers, rigged on a tripwire to ignite them..

  29. Jay says:


  30. Kristopher says:


  31. ZerCool says:

    *ping* …

    Paging Hotel Marko for the weekend …

    *ping* …

    If you have emailed me it got lost in the nether.

    • Marko says:

      I sent you an email. Check your Spaminator.

      Are you coming alone, or with the Mrs.?

      • ZerCool says:

        My dot-mac address doesn’t have an adjustable (or visible) spam filter … fie and doom!

        Try the same name at gmail. Apologies. *sigh*

        I’ll be flying solo – she has a final exam Monday morning and chose to stay home and study.

  32. Nessmuk says:

    Bear. We’ve got scads of them to your southeast.

    If not that, then it was Chuck Schumer.

  33. It was probably attacted to your bird feeder and sweet fruit in the composter. You should 86 both of them for the season unless you want a semi-permanent visitor to Casa Frostbite. But, as an option, you could always get out the recipe book and look for some nice bear steak recipes. Just don’t tell the game warden – especially if its wearing an electronic collar.

    • Jake says:

      so how do you explain to the nice game warden why the collar has stopped moving?

      or do you attach the collar to your wife’s car? In which case, I can just see the folks down at the bear tracking lab. “yep, Monday morning, #28834 is heading to work right on schedule”

      • Marko says:

        Either that, or #28834 has taken up permanent residence at the town trash dump five miles down the road. You know how bears love garbage.

  34. KC says:

    A dirty hippie?

  35. Gay_Cynic says:

    Sounds like an excuse to pick up a .45-70 or .444 Marlin Lever Action – both loads of fun as long as your shoulder holds up, and well able to solve any little aggression issues of the vast majority of N. American critters.

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