“My” Opossums ~ That’s Correct!

Right now the Mother and her babies are living under my covered barbecue! I suspect they holed up there sometime during the early spring, where it is sheltered and dry. I saw them for the first time yesterday as I was sitting eating my breakfast and casually looking out the patio window. (Of course I didn’t have my camera handy!)

Good Morning Neighbor!

So for today’s post, here are some opossum facts, for all you marsupial lovers:
* What animal goes on a honeymoon, and 13 days later gives birth?
* Opossoms lived during the age of dinosaurs. (I can relate, old-timer!)
* They can eat almost anything. They love to eat insects. (This is a good thing!)
* They eat snails and slugs. (Help yourself, I’ve got plenty!)
* They catch and eats roof rats. (This is comforting!)
* They also eat cat food, dog food, people food. (Jasmine beware!)
* They have thumbs on their hind feet! (I dated a guy like that once!)
* They are very quiet, although they can make some sounds.
* Learning and discrimination tests rank them above dogs, more on the level of pigs.
* They do not have a territory, are always on the move, going wherever the food is available. (I can’t be too far from a Wendy’s!)
* Females stay in a smaller area while they care for their young. (Like under my backyard barbecue!)
* They put up a terrific bluff if cornered and can give the appearance of being really good at defending itself. NOTE: They is not good at defending themselves!
* If attacked and unable to fight or run from danger, they collapse and appear to be dead! (A great strategy!)

* Females have litters up to twice a year. (The father always skips town!)
* Babies, typically 5 to 8 in a litter, are ready to leave mommy’s pouch and walk around out on their own by 4 months of age. That’s when they are 7 to 9 inches, nose to rump, and weigh about 10 to 16 ounces. (That’s my babies now!)
* An opossums life is rough! Very few survive to become adults. (The few that make it are eager to have their own love affairs and repeat Nature’s cycle.)
* Typically they go about their quiet task late at night, and you usually won’t know they were around. (They fooled me for months!)
* You can still enjoy opossums as they wander through your yard, eliminating various pests as they go on their nightly excursions. (Hence my lack of slugs this year!)

Let’s all sing along . . .

Last summer I wrote about the raccoon in my yard, and now the opossum family. What critter/s could be next? I hope it’s not an alligator!


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