Today's hike in the mountains—the very first one without snow this season—led the dogs to rediscover that same deer carcass that I've photographed over six months ago. This deer, as we learned at that time from a biologist, was killed by a pack of wolves.
Prior to the snowfall late last autumn, the carcass was intact excluding the separated skull—likely a toy for the wolf cubs, that biologist also told us. Six months later, the elements—and the animals—"did their thing." Many of the bones were pulled apart and found far away from the carcass, including an entire leg. The skull was partly crushed—evidently by the heavy mountain snows. I am still considering taking away it at some point and using it in my photographs, after a heavy dose of disinfectants, of course.
Be that as it may, observing the natural processes that take place in and around a dead animal's body was quite fascinating (noxious odors and a strong sense of repulsion excluded) for someone like me, who spent almost an entire life in large cities. I could see how the animal was being reappropriated by the earth, traces fading, until eventually it will be no more.