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Mystery Photo

5-8-17 mystery photo 019Who has been digging here, and what have they been digging for? This hole is roughly 4” wide at the surface of the ground and about 2” deep. There is a marble-size indentation in the soil at the bottom of the hole. Careful scrutiny will give you another hint.

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56 responses

  1. marianneblake

    Maybe a skunk digging for larvae or some such.

    May 9, 2017 at 9:05 am

  2. Bear? Trillium root?

    May 9, 2017 at 9:07 am

  3. Carole Dempsey

    Skunk or raccoon digging for snapping turtle eggs?

    May 9, 2017 at 9:11 am

  4. dp

    Racooon, grubs?

    May 9, 2017 at 9:12 am

  5. Bear, after June bug pupa?

    May 9, 2017 at 9:14 am

  6. Charlie Perakis

    Porcupine digging for false truffles

    May 9, 2017 at 9:15 am

  7. Charles Bohnsack

    Could be a skunk digging for snapping turtle eggs. Used to live adjacent to a golf course and see similar holes….. occasionally would see a mistakenly chewed up golf ball and wonder if the word went out about not eating the dimpled eggs.

    May 9, 2017 at 9:21 am

  8. Daphne

    deer digging for “truffles”?

    May 9, 2017 at 9:22 am

  9. Jean Knox

    Could this be a wood or hermit thrush nest?

    May 9, 2017 at 9:29 am

  10. Mary Holland


    May 9, 2017 at 9:35 am

  11. Looks like someone has been digging for truffles.
    Maybe one of the squirrels? flying, red or gray.

    May 9, 2017 at 9:36 am

  12. Turtle digging a “nest” to lay eggs??

    May 9, 2017 at 9:37 am

  13. J. Griffin

    We have smaller holes left by the neighborhood skunks digging for grubs. I hope it is not a bear as we do have them here in New Hampshire.

    May 9, 2017 at 9:39 am

  14. Suzanne Weinberg

    Two eggs left in hole – some kind of reptile but not snapping turtle because 1) wrong habitat (woods rather than soft soil in garden or field) and 2) way too small (a 4″ wide opening means the eggs are tiny). I can’t ID the scat north of the hole w/out a closer look but if that is all there is to it, it seems awfully small and tight for a skunk or raccoon, which I might suspect. Was there more scat nearby?

    May 9, 2017 at 9:43 am

  15. Suzanne Weinberg

    I’m also wondering about a predated ovenbird nest, as the egg shape seems more bird-like than reptile like, and the size would fit. I hope not. It’s one of my favorite birds.

    May 9, 2017 at 9:48 am

  16. Sue Wetmore

    Black bear perhaps after corms.

    May 9, 2017 at 9:50 am

  17. This guess is probably wrong…but I thought the small egg-like objects might be hazelnuts (I did think of snapping turtle eggs, but I knew the habitat and size were wrong). So before I saw the other replies, I came up with the idea that the photo might be showing a red squirrel’s hazelnut cache. I have to admit I didn’t notice the scat until I saw Suzanne’s reply, but I believe it’s consistent with red squirrel.

    May 9, 2017 at 10:05 am

  18. Alice Pratt

    My sister is on vacation in Italy, had Truffels on her fresh pasta, so that’s what I was going to say……maybe a different kind of mushroom? Dug up by a skunk?

    May 9, 2017 at 10:06 am

  19. Jonathan

    snapping turtle nest

    May 9, 2017 at 10:06 am

  20. Kathie Fiveash

    I think it is a skunk or porcupine digging up some kind of underground puffballs or false truffles. I at first thought turtle eggs, but there are no empty shells littering the ground, so whatever did the digging must have consumed the whole thing – whatever it was.

    May 9, 2017 at 10:08 am

  21. Sara

    Skunk looking for fungi or insect of some sort. Appears to be dark skunk like scar at top of hole.

    May 9, 2017 at 10:29 am

    • Sara

      *scat not scar, lol

      May 9, 2017 at 10:29 am

  22. Laura Alexander

    squirrel digging for acorns

    May 9, 2017 at 10:31 am

  23. Geneva Langley

    Maybe a milk snake nest? Too early? Not sure who is eating the eggs.

    May 9, 2017 at 10:46 am

  24. Geneva Langley

    Small hole, maybe a weasel?

    May 9, 2017 at 10:50 am

  25. Sonya

    Predated Woodcock nest?

    May 9, 2017 at 11:06 am

  26. Peter from Quebec

    Wild boar searching for truffles!

    May 9, 2017 at 11:19 am

  27. Clyde

    Possibly a politician or a skunk. Both have the same odor.

    May 9, 2017 at 11:44 am

  28. Elizabeth Hall

    Skunk? Those look like engorged ticks but I’m not sure what’s been digging.

    May 9, 2017 at 12:31 pm

  29. Richard Greene


    May 9, 2017 at 12:40 pm

  30. Edie Posselt

    turtle to lay eggs?

    May 9, 2017 at 1:28 pm

  31. Noreen

    Crows digging for japenese beetle grubs?

    May 9, 2017 at 1:38 pm

  32. Paula Haubrich

    my guess is a turtle’s hole for egg laying…with just 2 eggs. seems strange, best guess!

    May 9, 2017 at 2:18 pm

  33. Karen

    Skunk ??

    May 9, 2017 at 2:18 pm

  34. Suzanne Weinberg

    Huh! Elizabeth, above who wrote “engorged ticks,” made me look again, and I see what she means about the little dents in the egg-like things. That makes me go back to reptile eggs rather than ovenbird eggs, but then when I look at size. 4″ opening (says Mary) means an almost life-size photo, which means the “ticks” or “eggs” are 1/4″ long. Somehow I don’t buy ticks lying in a hole. What reptiles have eggs that small?

    May 9, 2017 at 2:21 pm

  35. Jean Bergstrom

    Those look like truffles. Deer digging for them, I think

    May 9, 2017 at 2:22 pm

  36. Suzanne Weinberg

    PS – That’s life sized photo on my computer. Maybe not the same for others. But the eggs or ticks do look leathery/soft. I’m into thinking process today, I guess.

    May 9, 2017 at 2:23 pm

  37. Kathy Schillemat

    White Tailed Deer Digging for false Truffles.

    May 9, 2017 at 2:54 pm

  38. Laura Andrews

    Snapping turtle eggs remaining after a predator has done its work.

    May 9, 2017 at 2:56 pm

  39. Victoria Davis

    Pepe Le Pew

    May 9, 2017 at 3:06 pm

  40. popr2013

    Skunk, digging for grubs – like they do in my yard!

    May 9, 2017 at 3:19 pm

  41. Laurie

    Skunk after turtle eggs?

    May 9, 2017 at 4:06 pm

  42. Turtles digging to lay eggs

    May 9, 2017 at 5:08 pm

  43. Possibly turtkes digging hoke to lay eggs‼

    May 9, 2017 at 5:09 pm

  44. Kathryn Dean

    White tailed deer digging for truffles

    May 9, 2017 at 5:54 pm

  45. Ellen Halperin

    Squirrel digging into stash?

    May 9, 2017 at 6:47 pm

  46. Link Davis

    Box turtle?

    May 9, 2017 at 7:11 pm

  47. Jennifer

    Steve digging for morels

    May 9, 2017 at 7:22 pm

  48. Andy Hutchinson

    Grey Squirrel digging up an acorn.

    May 9, 2017 at 8:36 pm

  49. Jean Harrison

    spider, egg sacs, skunk

    May 9, 2017 at 10:32 pm

  50. Alan M Stoops

    My first thought was the same as Kathy’s, as the two of us (and another friend) had found diggings the other day that we identified as deer digging for false truffles. A marble-size indentation at the bottom of the hole would be where the truffle was. Or, as others suggested, perhaps another animal besides a deer. But what are those two light tan spherical objects in the hole? Truffles the deer missed? Snowshoe hare droppings that just happened to fall in (unlikely, I think)? Looks like a deer dropping (or, I suppose, porcupine) behind the hole, at the top of the photo. Looks almost like two holes, divided in the center. Goldthread leaves and roots, very dark soil, moss (mounded up over the hole). Perhaps the dropping in the background, and the hemlock twigs, are evidence of porcupine? (so perhaps a porcupine digging for false truffles?)

    May 9, 2017 at 11:46 pm

  51. I believe this is the work of a thrush looking for snails.

    May 10, 2017 at 8:07 am

  52. Robyn Deveney

    I was excited to see some Coptis Trifolia (goldthread) around this truffle-hole. Maybe we should call this particular batch Coptis Truffolia? 🙂

    May 10, 2017 at 8:12 am

  53. Sam dunn


    May 10, 2017 at 8:15 am

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