I was out and about the neighborhood with the bug net when I happened upon a trowbridge shrew, out hunting in broad daylight. I plucked it up in my net and brought it home to photograph. I turned over a couple of pots which are resting on chips and of course came up with a bunch of those arthropod creatures, Sow bugs or roly polys as I have called them since childhood. I turned the shrew loose, and the shrew, like all shrews, was obviously hungry and went after the bugs under the pot. After munching on something I did not see, it turned to the largest roly poly and pounced on it. The RP rolled up in a ball and the shrew, which I was watching closely through a camera lens, grabbed the thing and rolled it around and around, almost as if it was a basketball or something to play with. After about 15 seconds, the RP opened up and the shrew crunched it. I was laying on my stomach, eye to eye and it was astonishing how loud the crunching was of the shrew eating the RP. By the time the shrew finished, all the other RP's had left and the shrew moved on and started nosing about. I turned over another pot, and found an earthworm which I thought the shrew would go for, but it ignored this wriggling live pasta and headed off into the leaf litter, its little nose plowing a furrow in the mulch as it searched. I followed it for about an hour as it moved into the woods, searching constantly under logs, leaves, etc. Just as my knees were giving out the shrew came up with a centipede, which the shrew deftly ate head first, leaving the legs behind. After this, the shrew disappeared under a log and it did not come out again, perhaps dozing off. Rob Sandelin South Snohomish County at the headwaters of Ricci Creek Sky Valley Environments <http://www.nonprofitpages.com/nica/SVE.htm> Field skills training for student naturalists Floriferous@msn.com
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