This crap isn't crap. So what is it?
September 6, 2017 5:21 AM   Subscribe

I've found several piles of material which looks kind of like scat, but has a fibrous texture, on my porch. What is putting it there and why?

Last evening I found three piles of yellowish-brown stuff and nearby paw prints on my porch. One of the piles seems to be minimally digested/rotted/processed and clearly looks to be nut shells. The others are darker with the sort of yellowish cast I think of as basically shit-colored, but this material is very fibrous, like wood chips or mulch, so unless it's the excreta of an animal that doesn't know to only eat the stuff inside the nut shells, I'm perplexed. There's no nearby rotting wood on the porch overhang which might've just fallen naturally, so this looks like it was moved here by some beast (particularly with that forth piece of evidence of paw prints). What is it, who moved it here, and why onto my porch specifically? Local prowling life includes squirrels (some of whom really like my gutters), a few outdoor cats, rabbits, and raccoons that I've never seen but neighbors say exist.
posted by jackbishop to Home & Garden (7 answers total)
Looks like a squirrel was eating black walnuts on your porch.
posted by chaoticgood at 5:41 AM on September 6, 2017 [8 favorites]

Depending on the size of those pawprints, I'd say raccoon, with squirrel as second choice. And the yellowish excreta on the shell bits --- vomit maybe? Unless some beastie took a pee apre' dinner as he was about to leave.
posted by easily confused at 6:26 AM on September 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

How big are the paw prints? If they are too big for squirrels I would say raccoon; they do eat a lot of strange stuff. I had some gulp down a lot of orange Metamucil and then barf it up all over the garage.
posted by The otter lady at 6:27 AM on September 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

Yeah we can't tell scale. But squirrels sit on my chairs to eat their lunches and leave signs much like that. Raccoons do the same. If you look up raccoon and squirrel tracks in a tracking guide you should be able to figure it out.
posted by SaltySalticid at 6:46 AM on September 6, 2017 [1 favorite]

Are you near a river? This looks a lot like what the otters do to my boat.
posted by humboldt32 at 9:10 AM on September 6, 2017

I'd go with the squirrel/walnuts explanation - that's exactly what they do all over my front walk. They peel off the perfum-y fruit to get at the nut.
posted by aspersioncast at 11:43 AM on September 6, 2017

I'd say that is an eater of walnuts.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 2:26 AM on September 7, 2017

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