Friday, January 1, 2010

Mystery animal and off until mid-January

We're off for ski vacation until mid-January, but before leaving I wanted to do a post on a mysterious visitor I'm not sure what to make of. Here's the story.

On our front balcony we had a pot of pelargonium geraniums, still halfheartedly blooming in mid-December (click any picture to enlarge, if you like):

Finally it got so cold that I had to remove them, and after cutting off the foliage here's what was hidden underneath:

Four walnuts! How could they possibly have gotten there, and where did they come from? There's not a walnut tree anywhere in the vicinity that I know of, and we are on the fourth floor up. Here's the view straight down:

And here's the view looking (sort of) up:

So what was it: a squirrel? a mouse? a large bird? And how on earth did whatever it was get them there?

I had been thinking of covering the nuts up with straw so as not to deprive the enterprising creature of its winter storage, but three days later I looked again:

Cross my heart and hope to die - nobody in the family removed those nuts. It must have been the original owner. Any ideas?

See you in mid-January!


  1. Na, dann einen erholsamen Urlaub und HAls und Beinbruch!
    Ich tippe auf Elster, die ja durchaus auch Futtervorräte anlegt, wie man nachlesen kann, außerdem leben sie durchaus auch gerne in Großstädten und interessieren sich auch für Walnüsse, wie das Foto hier zeigt.
    Happy New Year!

  2. Looks like a bird was hiding them for winter. What a surprise. Have fun on your skiing trip and stay safe and warm.

  3. Maybe a bird? Hmmm, a puzzle indeed. Have fun skiing.

  4. Elster is a magpie, as in thieving Magpie?

  5. How spooky Barbara- my money is on squirrels :) Hope that you enjoy your holiday and all best wishes for the new year!

  6. Hi Barbara, I would guess a squirrel ... they can climb up anything.

  7. Barbara, Happy New Year! It is amazing what squirrels can do, I have seen them climb the side of our brick house, just diggin their claws into the brick. Enjoy your ski holiday!

  8. Thanks for all your guesses! In the meantime I think it was one of the ravens that hang out on the roof across the street. They're certainly big enough to carry a walnut and can easily access the balcony. Magpies would also be a good bet, and they do live around here.