J. arrived home about 6 p.m. on Saturday after a 10 day absence.
One of his first concerns was the garden.
We waged war on emerging squash bugs, then his indignation was roused by the nibblings of the nocturnal opossums who have a taste for muskmelons. [On Thursday morning I discovered a half eaten one of the minature variety which had been abandoned half-way down the drive!]
J. baited the Hav-a-Hart trap with gnawed melon pieces and set it at the edge of the lower garden.
Standing in the dew-wet grass by the upper-most perennial strip on Sunday morning, I could see that he had a captive who had feasted well overnight.
Possums are not attractive with their long snouts and beady eyes. The naked rat-like tail and double rows of sharp teeth give them a sinister appearance.
J. doesn't shoot things, so the option was release somewhere away from other houses.
The caged possum was loaded into the truck and transported by way of ever-narrowing and twisting back roads to a wooded spot.
Possum wasn't inclined to exit the cage into its new territory and had to be shaken loose.
It then trundled into the underbrush without a backward look.
I daresay this is one of those exercises in futility.
Grandson D. helpfully googled possums and learned that the female is capable of producing 8-25 kits in a single litter. The mortality rate for possums is very high. They are notably stupid about roads and each morning a few of them provide meals for the 'clean-up' crew of hovering vultures.
This is one of the less picturesque realities of country life.
We are not anticipating a shortage of nocturnal visits from the possum population.
[As I finished typing this post, J. appeared at my elbow to announce that a possum had ravaged another melon--this time in the upper garden.
They are agile climbers and can quickly scale a wire fence!]
Back at the house. J. decided to move a project tractor to the shop.
I missed the event of Devin steering it while J. towed it with yet another tractor.
D. enjoys a photo op, so he created a scene of brute man-power.
Ready, set, PULL!
Yes! Isn't it fun to be young and strong?
[Not to worry--he didn't really budge the tractor and there was no risk to his back!]