A deer skull left behind along one of the trails. Not so hard this past year, but 2010 was pretty rough.
I visited a conservation area for one of the environmental group to photograph the site generally and plan for signage in an abandoned mine drainage project on the site. The site is a flood plain in a valley along a creek, and snowfall is deep; I know because I had been trying to get into the site from the beginning of February in order to begin the signage project, but the snow was waist deep, and it persisted into mid-March. Any animal that did not hibernate or go dormant had a challenge finding food and even just getting around.
Nature happens in even the kindest of places. This is probably not from this year because the skull looks too weathered. It may be that a scavenger simply dug it out in its quest for other food. I can picture the tan fur, the dark, soft eyes on either side of the skull and the velvet, upright ears, even the dark muzzle of an alert white-tailed deer looking at me from the trail.