Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Leslie, Rocky and Boris


Being the animal lover that I am, I have been feeding the wild birds and critters in my backyard ever since I was a little girl. I even feed "Boris", the big spider, that lives under the siding of my house.

My father used to get mad at me for feeding the critters because he thought they'd do damage to our house. Now Tom gets mad at me for feeding them because he thinks they'll turn vicious. My sister thinks that if I ever stop feeding them, they'll "come for me." Can you imagine a row of squirrels, chipmunks, raccoons, cardinals, Blue Jays, chickadees, and woodpeckers waiting for me at the back door? : )

About a week ago, I noticed large poops on the roof of the pool house. I assumed it was raccoons because they are common around here, but I wasn't sure.

The mystery was solved tonight. It's an opossum! After further research, I learned that they are not dangerous and are actually quite beneficial to have around. They are known as "Nature’s Little Sanitation Engineers."

My sister & I have named him/her "Leslie." (I don't know why.)

Here's a pic of a red raccoon from a couple years ago:



Tom Harper said...

We don't feed the animals, but only because I don't want them becoming dependent or too tame. I do enjoy having them come around.

My mother-in-law used to feed all the raccoons, opossums, skunks and foxes that came around her house. It was really neat. But when she moved, the next person didn't feed them. It was really sad; all these animals would gather around for the food that didn't appear.

Who Hijacked Our Country

pissed off patricia said...

I don't intentionally feed the animals but I do feed a little stray cat and the turtles, coons and opossoms take what's left of the food.

When we had foxes in the area I used to feed them raw chicken backs. I didn't feed them enough to fill them up, just sort of treats. They would come at sunset and lay in my backyard waiting for their snacks.

Candace said...

We only feed the birds. I don't want to attract rats (although they will eat bird seed, too.)

At the other house where we used to live we had a huge magnolia tree, and we'd see mama possum with babies clinging to her back up there at night. Once in while we'd see raccoons, too, but the gray and black kind. I don't think we have red ones down here.

Where we live now, there's a giant pecan tree in the back, so we have tons of squirrels and NO leftover pecans for us.

Thanks for the pics - those little critters are quite special.

Candace said...

P.S.: I should add, no one down here in Texas EVER says "opossum." It's "possum." Not that you actually needed to know that, I'm just sayin.

Jim Marquis said...

Yeah, I'd be careful about feeding the raccoons. They can be pushy little guys.

LET'S TALK said...

I try not to feed any animals that might come around. It gets really dark around here and possums are not the most liked creature in Georgia, there's just too many.

Snave said...

We have bird feeders, and we try to attract goldfinches and chickadees. We don't have much success attracting anything other than pigeons, which in my opinion are similar to rats but slightly less objectionable. The squirrels like our feeders, too.

When we first moved to La Grande, we house-sat for a year in a great place out on the edge of town. We had all kinds of wildlife and it was lots of fun. Our major lesson was not to feed the cats outdoors, as it attracted skunk families along with some fairly aggressive raccoons!

As for opossums, I don't know much about them except that once in Eugene, OR I was out at 3 a.m. after a party, weaving my way through town on my bike and thought I saw a kitty. Being a cat person, I got off my bike and stopped to pet the kitty. When it bared its fangs at me and I realized it was an angry opossum I nearly shat myself.

Lizzy said...

Tom, Oh man, that's so sad. I better not ever move!

PoP, I love that story. I've seen foxes in the area, but I haven't seen them in my backyard (yet.)

Candace, The squirrels and chipmunks do drive me a little crazy. They keep eating all of the bird food I put out, and everything I've tried to keep them away doesn't work.

"Possum", huh?

J, I'll be careful. I don't see raccoons very often anyway.

LT, You should welcome the opposums. They do a good job cleaning up. : )

Snave, Great story!

I haven't seen any skunks (yet.)