Monday, August 27, 2012

Around Here

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!]


  1. Pesky things MM. Am I right in thinking that they can undo catches with those clever little paws too? Stupid they may be on roads, but clever enough to cause mayhem around a homestead. I guess another one is about to be rehomed . . .

    Devin made me smile! He looks like he takes after your side of the family. I had the misfortune to have the short and plump genes from my Glastonbury g. granny, but was also fortunate in getting her flawless complexion too (which my daughters - son too probably - are also grateful for).

  2. Ha! what a strong young man :-) It is good that J and D can share their pastime of restoring vintage tractors.

    Possoms do not look very appealing, but your humane trap was a much nicer solution than a gun. Having said that, I hope they leave you a few musk melons!

  3. Loved that last picture!
    We are going through the havahart trapping of mice in the kitchen each evening, and bringing them up the road except for the nights they outsmart us, and the traps, by getting the food out without getting caught!.

  4. Good luck with the possums, we have trouble with them too, Mac catches them drives them off, dumps them off and their relatives move in. And they stink!

  5. We trapped unwanted mice when we first moved here. We let them go in the garden, until someone remarked that they just come straight back indoors unless released a good 5 miles from "home"!

    Hope Possum has settled down in his new neighbourhood :-D

  6. Good photos again MM, Those pesky possums are a problem for sure. Are they very common where you are then? I guess they must be.

    Nice shots of D moving the tractor. He certainly looked happy ti be doing it that way! The exuberance of youth.....


  7. You always write so well. I do love reading your posts. We have had possums and one night we saw our cat waltzing behind him asking him to play. That was before we kept our cats inside. We also had one die in the bushes near the patio one summer. It took us a while to figure out where the awful smell was coming from. I don't like possums, but I don't think they do as much damage as raccoons. Yet most people think raccoons are cute -- me included. There's a case of prejudice I think!

  8. Glad to hear he doesn't shoot wild-life. Deb

  9. I'm not fond of the look (or actions) of possums, but I'm happy to see you used a humane way of trying to get rid of them. Cute pictures with the tractor.