Sometimes I find bones when I go for a walk in the woods.

Nature does a good job at bringing animals back to the earth. When an animal dies, other critters come along to clean up. Coyotes, vultures, and crows take care of the big stuff. Bugs and creepy crawlers take care of the little stuff. Then mice and shrews come to eat the remaining bones. This process can take several months and up to a year to complete. This is why it is not too common to find bones in the woods; Nature’s clean up crew does it’s job well.

Sometimes I find some bones in the woods hidden among the leaf litter and moss. Can you see the bones in the picture above? When I found these ones, I gave the area a real good look over and found some more treasures nearby.

When I find bones in the woods, I make sure nature has done most of the work. If there is tissue on the bones, I leave them in the woods and come back to check again in a month or so. Sometimes when I come back to check, a critter has taken everything. Nature can be quick. When I find bones with nothing left on them, I bring them home.

I let the bones soak in water and some dishsoap for a week. Then I scrub and wash them. If they are still grimy, I let them soak in water for another week. If they are fairly free of dirt and debris, I put them in a high percentage hydrogen peroxide solution and let them soak for a week. After this, I rinse the bones off, scrub them, and rinse them again. The bones then need a day or two to dry out. Once they are dry, I can put my thinking cap on and get creative!

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