Remember my remarkable artichoke plant, as seen here? That is its corpse above.
Hmm, I wonder what could have happened? Note the bite mark at the bottom of the stalk--and really, you had to chomp it and then leave it behind? And not one stalk but ten or so? It's like the person who raids the box of See's candy, bites into various pieces, and then puts them back (the marshmallow and nougat ones).
The tell-tale mound...
...of this little bugger. Mr./Ms. gopher: you are so cute, and sooooo destructive. Not a great photo of him/her, but he/she kept popping its head up and then ducking back down--and I was all the way in the house!
Alas, poor artichoke, ye are no more.