Meet the Wildlife

From my inbox this morning:

“Anne – I need the contact info for your taxidermist.  I have a FB friend who needs a stuffed chicken repaired.  Really.                                                                                      Christine”

Some gals have interior designers.  Others have aestheticians.  I have a taxidermist.  Really.

Ace came with a dowry of dead animals.  Here’s Frank.  IMG_6188Frank is a male pheasant who met his demise along the cornfields of South Dakota in the early 70s.  (Phoebe photobombed this pic – we’ll get to her in a minute.)  As you can see, the taxidermist did a lovely job with this mount.  Frank retains his iridescent luster and perky tail feathers some forty years into his stuffed life.

I won’t include a picture of the two ducks.  If you ogle Andrew Wyeth’s “Canvasbacks” you’ll get a good idea of what you’re missing.  Creepy.

A couple years into our relationship, Ace casually mentioned that it would be fun to acquire an albino squirrel.  Your wish is my command, Baby.

Early one Sunday, I headed north on Lexington Parkway.  Imagine my surprise and delight when I spotted such a squirrel, freshly killed and not too mushed.  (I should clarify, I never delight in the premature death of animals at the hands or wheels of humans.)  I pulled over, snagged a plastic bag from the trunk, and scooped up my treasure.  Look what I brought home for you, Ace!  Roadkill!


This is Virgil.  Working with roadkill presents an interesting set of challenges.  Unfortunately for Virgil, this particular taxidermist executed a sub-optimal performance.  Note the eye placement and the artificial whitening around the mouth.


Thank goodness I found Royce of Willow Taxidermy.  After the Virgil experience, I was clearly in the market for a new taxidermist.  I stopped in at Royce’s shop on the way to Wisconsin.  The man is an artist.  I fell in love with Phoebe immediately.  IMG_6192Royce told me Phoebe’s story, how he’d found her dead by the side of the road just north of Hinckley.

I bartered for Phoebe.  I assisted my friend with a major landscaping project and she procured the dead fox.  Awesome!




Matilda the baby raccoon joined the growing menagerie a couple years back, another Lexington Parkway casualty.  IMG_6189How can you not brake for a baby coon?  Especially one this adorable.  I consulted with Royce.  He felt she was in reasonable condition for permanent canonization.

Royce is currently working on my chipmunk.  Yes, I found a relatively intact roadkill chipmunk!  What are the odds?!  I’m taking suggestions for names.

And if you need any garden design work done, do let me know.  I work for roadkill.


Here’s the whole gang resting peacefully on Sergei’s back.


Musical Moment.

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4 Responses to Meet the Wildlife

  1. Ken Lippin says:

    I think that “Pothole” is a suitable moniker for the chipmunk if and when the taxidermist finishes his opus magnum. Dad

    • anne says:

      Thanks for the suggestion Dad. If you give me another jar of homemade strawberry jam, I’ll consider it more seriously.

  2. Brenda says:

    Taxidermy – what were the other things you were looking for?, I thought you mentioned that in your blog. I might have a source for you – Maybe.

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