It’s A Mystery! What Happened To These Backyards In Bangor?
The Internet provides us with a lot of different things that make us, to quote the C & C Music Factory (don't judge me) "Go Hmmmm?"
This story started as a bit of a head-scratcher.
But then, as we started to investigate and find the answers to one thing, we were left with even more questions.
Let me explain.
As everyone started to dry out from the utter drenching that was the remnants of last weekend's "Tropical Storm Phillipe", two neighbors,(let's call them Teresa and Barb) awoke to a rather disgusting discovery dotted across their backyards in Bangor.
Spread all across both backyards was, what at first glance appeared to be the remains of what would have exited a large dog, although it was unclear from what end it may have been produced.
But when the women ventured outside to get a closer look, things looked even more puzzling.
What had appeared to look like a mess from either end, now looked more like it came out of a can, in spots.
At first, Teresa says she thought a plane may have flown overhead and dumped its waste.
She took some photos and posted them on social media, asking if people could help her identify what the substance was.
And quite a few people suggested it might be something called --and I am not making this up, it is a real thing (click here to read more thanks to the fine folks at the UMaine Cooperative Extension) "Dog Vomit Slime Mold."
There were those who were adamant that it was this most unfortunately named organism.
But others in the comment section had other suggestions, such as an odd prank pulled by some kids.
After watching the back and forth, my curiosity peaked. I reached out and asked if I might come and see the situation for myself.
When I got to the house, Teresa met me and showed me around to the back.
The clumps were scattered everywhere. There seemed to be little rhyme or reason to how they'd ended up that way.
Some drops here, some drops there. Some under the tree. Some along the fence.
Teresa told me they had called the Bangor Fire Department over to check things out, just to rule out that the substance was not anything toxic.
One of the Firefighters smelled one of the clumps, confirming it was not any kind of material that would come from a sick animal ( a job they are so amazing for doing because who on earth would volunteer for that duty, pun intended!)
Teresa said that the firefighter had described it as smelling like pine needles.
While there were actual mushrooms nearby, when I bent down and gently poked at one of the clumps with a stick, they did not appear to be connected to the earth below by any kind of root system.
I mentioned to the ladies, both of whom had come to tell me about the situation, that it didn't really look like a living plant.
The plot began to thicken a little when Teresa mentioned the cylindrical look of some of the lawn lumps reminded her of some pre-fabricated fire-starting logs she had stored in the shed nearby.
The package was a little over 6.5 lbs in weight. The logs were wrapped in tight plastic.
When removed from the plastic, the logs, which were made of a kind of compressed sawdust substance, came apart pretty easily, and almost immediately started to disintegrate.
They did look very similar to the shape and length of some of the strange lumps littering the lawn.
We decided to stick one down along the soggy grass to see what would happen...
And sure enough, it started to come apart just like the material that so mysteriously materialized on the grass following the storm.
At over 5 lbs, it was unlikely to have been any small rodent of sorts or a bird.
How could they have gotten from a high shelf in the shed...
..to being strewn all around 2 separate yards?
There was no sign of the plastic wrapping anywhere in sight, but at the base of the shed, we did see remnants of sawdust which may have fallen from the packaging when the perp was playing around.
Aside from the "Whodunnit?" mystery, there's also the reason "why?"
Why would anyone would do that?"
They had to go into the shed, take just one package from a high shelf, leave the second one untouched, unwrap it, and then travel back and forth across one lawn, eventually jumping the fence, and dumping the remainder of the package up and down the other lawn--all while it was pouring rain Saturday night.
None of that makes sense.
But that's why they call it a mystery, right?
In the span of an afternoon, these two neighbors went from thinking they might have a disgusting slime mold problem to the unnerving realization that someone may have been poking about their personal space for unknown reasons.
If anyone else has any theories ( my own personal one: never rule out a baby big foot having a temper tantrum) please feel free to share.
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