October 27 – One night last week we got ready for bed quite late, after midnight, and I went out to the garage to see if the cat was ready to come in for the night. When I turned on the light, I heard an odd noise and went out to see what might have caused it.
There on top of our container of old newspapers was an opossum! I walked over quietly to it and grabbed it by its tail. It struggled violently but I held it out at arm’s length and kept shaking it so it couldn’t climb back up to my hand by its own tail.
I took it into the kitchen and called to Chris to come and see what we had here. She was obviously surprised to see the possum, now on the floor and crawling around still tethered by its tail. Quickly she got out her camera, adding many cautions about not letting it bite her. Possums are not that vicious and I was able to pet it on the back and head, ruffle its fur, and was not threatened by it at all. Chris got a lot of pictures, including one of cat and possum quite close together, but the cat was not pleased with this newcomer and kept her distance.
Eventually I took the possum back out to the garage and aimed it into the night and let it go. Well, it turned right around and rushed back into the garage and under the truck and disappeared somewhere. So I had to leave the garage door up several inches so it could get out during the night, and locked things up and went to bed.
Next morning we discovered that “our” possum liked tomatoes. We had a lot of them on trays on an old chest freezer, and the possum had chosen to chew and mutilate several of the best and biggest. The next night all of the remaining tomatoes were put on top of the car in trays, and the possum got no more of them to eat. It may or may not still be in the garage but now there is nothing to eat out there!
Our other experience with the local wildlife has been with muskrats. A number of them have taken over our pond and have dug many tunnels and holes in the bank. Sometimes we go out there in the late afternoon and will see several muskrats and Chris has even been able to take a photograph or two of one of them before it departs.
I set a live trap out there but something, probably a raccoon, turned it over while trying to get the bread out through the sides. I reset it and have gone out several times to see what may have happened overnight. While I was setting it again, a muskrat came up quite close and just stayed there in the water looking at me. It then went diving and swimming all over the pond and later I came out with Chris and two lawn chairs to sit on the bank and watch the activities. Very little happened and we only got a few quick glimpses of a muskrat, so took our chairs and went back to the house. We need to find a way to get rid of these little pests, for they are making a real mess of the pond wall. – DALE