Having been away for two weeks with no one staying in the house, you always feel a bit nervous when you come back, not knowing what to expect. Not that we ever have had any problems since we started living full time here at Roche Fleurie. This time, however, there was an unpleasant surprise when we turned the corner and first saw the porch. The glass in a window just above the door was smashed.
Your mind tries to make some sense of it. Why would someone break such a high window? Anyhow, the porch door does not locked. And soI thought it must be vandalism and was expecting to find the house door (inside the porch) to be broken too.
However the door was fine. I unlocked it, went in and checked all the other doors and windows. Everything was fine. Finding that there was no other damage, I went back to the porch to figure out what had gone through the window. I was expecting to find a rock, but there was no rock.
I quickly found the culprit - a grouse! It must have been flying at quite a speed, perhaps while pursued because not only did it smash the window, but there were shards of glass at the other end of the porch, about 4 meters away!
|Dead grouse with a key to give you a sense of scale|
It broke its neck on the impact. I do not know how long it had been there, but not very long it seems. I took this opportunity to look at it more closely. It is interesting to see that its legs are also covered with feathers. Grouse stay around all winter. They even spend snow storms under the snow. They have to be well insulated.
It is hunting season, and it is the time of the year when we see the greatest number of grouse around the house. We actually saw a live one minutes after we arrived, perhaps the dead one's mate. The birds might realize that there are gun shots all around us, but none near the house here.
I put the body outside. I do not expect it to last very long. We have foxes and coyotes. Even racoons might be interested. We also have vultures, but they have already left for the winter.