Friday, January 18, 2013


Fending off a cold (or something) all week, last night/this morning it finally took me down.  I woke with a fever and pounding headache.  Got up, got dressed and just couldn't bring myself to go outside, so Peg went to the city on her own.

Spending way too much time in bed today was a shame in more ways than one; we had a nice surplus of degrees over 40 today.  According to the weather folks, we'll not even see 0 for a high on Monday.

When I finally was up this afternoon, I took a look outside to see the clouds (thanks Martha) up the valley and to the west.  There the creatures were, doing what they might to avoid starvation and prepare for conditions less good.

Knowing the barn cats didn't care one iota about my cold, I headed out to feed them and discovered another visitor.  One more mouth to feed, all we need......

A funny story about opossums from back in the day when we had our flock of sheep.  The kids were out in the barn to take care of our new lambs and heard a very odd sound, a sound that was a little too unfamiliar to not be afraid of.  They came back into the house and told Peg, "mom, there's something in the barn".
I wasn't home and brave farm-wife Peg had just one more oddity to deal with.  Upon (very cautious) inspection, it was discovered that a large opossum had crawled into our plastic garbage container in search of the mother lode......50 lbs of milk replacer mix.  The sounds the family heard were of the opossum making its last movements, scratching the sides of the container.  It was the size of a beach ball, having O.D.'d on the sweet milk mix.  We were able to keep the container covered from that day on.


  1. A bad case of man flu, eh? Be better soon.

    Never seen an opossum. They look kinda cute. Death by milk? Wouldn't have happened if the marsupial had been vegan... ;-)

    1. Thanks Sonja, I think I'm feeling better this evening.

      Our local park ranger calls the 'possums Grinners due to their smile. I'm thinking they are 90% vegan but that one was tempted and went over to the dark (white?) side.

  2. I always feel bad for the outdoor critters foraging during the bad weather. I am glad you have wildlife hanging around.

    We are lucky enough to see deer and raccoons and the occasional possum in the yard.

    Feel better soon.

    1. Thanks Brandy, yesterday's rest and getting caught up on Downton Abbey last night all helped. I was in the city early this morning, only because I was committed(not that kind, not yet). A nap is sounding really good about now.

      Stay well out there, the Westerly's don't seem to be strong enough to keep the yuck east of you.

  3. Poor possum. I have always liked them. Like porcupines, they seem to just go about their day at their own pace.

    Just in time for my moving process we are getting that horrible winter storm, too. 25 below on the way. And I'm not even moving into warmer territory! I might pull a smile on if I was about to land in, say, NC!

    Keep looking up.

    1. Martha, really poor possum. Yesterday in the barn she was standing still until I opened the feed container, now I see her out in the yard with a very injured right rear foot. Don't know if she arrived hurt or if our big stray Tom got after her for taking 'his' food.

      The weather is really odd, neat if you ask me. 40 degrees and windy, clouds unsure of what they're supposed to be. If I was a smart animal instead of a two-legged one, I'd be looking for's obviously in the air and even I feel it.

      Move well, in the best possible way.

  4. AND I hope you feel MUCH better soon.

  5. When I lived in Prescott, we used to get the giant white rats(opossum) in our back yard all the time. They used to come up out of the woods and eat the cat food we'd keep outside for the strays.
    I haven't seen any up here yet.

    Get better soon.

  6. Thanks Erik, staying inside today and tomorrow sounds good with the cooling weather.

    20 years ago, we had the critters here. 30 years ago I remember having to be in southern IA or IL to see them.

  7. Love the photo of the deer looking up. Nice.

    Feeling yucky. Not nice.

    Armadillos are moving into this area. Your comment to Erik got me thinking about that. I've watched them each year getting closer to St. Louis. Well, haven't seen them alive, rather have seen them dead on the road.

    It got up to 66F here today. Their talking 21F for a high come Monday. Up and down we go.

    Get strong and vital, those cats are depending on you.

    1. Thanks Keith, the deer make it easy; they seem to get more and more tame around here through no effort of ours. When our pups were here, we had fewer animals up close though even the dogs got bored with paying attention.

      For years, the only armadillo's I'd seen were flattened ones. A couple of years ago I had the Helix down to Arkansas and actually photographed one hobbling into the grass, OFF of the was a first.

      With yesterday's very strong and bitter wind, I saw the cats peeking out from the hole in the barn door, just to remind me lest I forget.

  8. I hope you recovered from the flu. I wasn't sure if the possum was seen as a pest or welcome from your post.

    Our temps seem to be bouncing around from +34°F last Monday to -27°F yesterday to 0°F today.

    1. Richard, I intentionally left my feelings on the possum a bit ambiguous, life would be easier (for me) if it was out in the woods someplace. Seeing her limping around in the yard tells me that our barn is a big place.

      I continue to maintain that every morning that we can walk outside before 6 and see 'teens on the thermometer is a good one and almost everyone of them has been. We're due for a bit of cold to keep things balanced.

      Be watchful of that exposed skin up there.

  9. Coop - we don't have opossum in this part of the country and I've only seen armadillo (mostly, sadly...flattened on the highways when travelling south.) We've lots of white tail though. Personally, I don't like running into unexpected critters in the out buildings because, where I live, they are or are most likely to be rodents or serpents that want to eat rodents! I am okay with bunnies, but mostly my dogs keep the wildlife more on the wild side than the drive side (until we all go to sleep that is...)

  10. Karen, I'm with you re: new 'discoveries' in the out buildings. Many of our hiding places are gone now but there are still a couple of buildings and places to hide that the visiting critters manage to find.

    I like domesticated as well as wild animals but at times it can get to be too much trying to keep them all at some level of control. Reminds me of a quote I saw once about having a castle on the frontier, a beautiful partner, wealth, etc. and constantly being in defense mode. The garden, trees, shrubs, fences, sleepy skunks those lovely teasing days before we even realize spring is sneaking in....they all help to put focus on those "Coexist" bumper stickers.