Sunday, November 21, 2010

How Old Is This Den?

How old is this den?

Twenty years? Forty years? It was clearly started when the tree was young -- probably no more than a sapling.

In fact, there's a good chance this tree was started in the loose kickout of a groundhog den many generations ago, making the den, older than the tree.

This groundhog pipe is still very much used today, even though it is not too much bigger around than a coke can at the entrance.

Solid tree-trunk sides to the entrance are only part of the protection here. The burrow itself goes down into the fortress roots of the tree, the space having been carved out by decades of careful root trimming and gnawing.

Enter a dog? Forget it!

Even if the dog could get in, there is no back door bolt hole to this sette, so no hope of success as there is no way to dig it.

Add in the small chance that a skunk is inside, with the gas to kill a dog, and you see why some dens musty be given a pass.


Camera Trap Codger said...

You've come up with a new of scientific investigation, Patrick -- the growth and aging of dens - dengrowchronology.

PBurns said...

Love it! Pretty sure some stone dens have been used almost forever. I know one I will take a picture of and post when I get out later this week. Pretty sure that sette is older than Columbus (hope I can find it again!)


Seahorse said...

Just read about some folks using a plumber's camera to snake down settes. Might be kind of interesting in general (it sounded like they went right up to Reynard's snout) and particularly in places like this where you won't allow your dog to enter.