We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
The photo below, taken by our friend Chris in his backyard in Connecticut this week, raised the subject of the opossum.
The Virginia opossum, aka possum, is the only marsupial in North America. These strange, nocturnal, tree-climbing, omnivorous critters have been expanding their range north for many years, and seem to find ways to survive even in suburban neighborhoods. I know the Dylanologist has one living in his backyard in Tennessee, because I saw the big fellow scurrying through his tomato plants at twilight.
Primitive and adaptable, they are also said to be good to eat by our Southern friends. I have never tried one as a meal. I once saw a female with babies clinging to her back, crossing a road at night. What an odd sight.
You can read about their habits here. Yes, they do "play possum."
Used to have one living in the back alley of our intown Altanta house. The babies look like giant rats...ugly little bastards.
Experienced the 'playing possum' first hand, the ole boy was laying in our neighbor's back yard still as dead. I nudged it, poked it and no movement, could not even see evidence of breathing. Laid their like that the whole day. The next morning it was gone.
I'm with NJSoldier...I think they're nasty. Always in the trash and lots of squished rotting ones on the road.
A cool little creature are those armadillos we have in south Georgia and Florida. They look like little dinasours.
Armadillos have a helluva time with vehicles--they won't alter their path when you run up on 'em, so you try to straddle 'em (if you can't swerve), and when you do they jump straight up as their first evasive move, right into your vehicle hi-speed underside, oof.
The fact that it snarled then charged me kind of clouds my opinion. No tight spot there - It had a 3-acre field behind it. Either it was rabid or real pissed that I was in its garden. Luckily I had a magnesium baseball bat handy.
1 opossum, skinned and cleaned 1 cup bread crumbs
1 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon pepper 1 hard cooked egg, chopped
1 onion, chopped 4 slices bacon
1 opossum liver, chopped
Rub opossum with salt and pepper. Brown onion in fat, add opossum liver and cook until tender. Add bread crumbs, Worcestershire sauce, egg, seasonings and water to moisten. Stuff opossum wit this mixture and truss. Place in pan, belly down. Put bacon strips across back. Add 1 quart water to pan. Roast uncovered in 350-degree F oven until tender (about 2-1/2 hours), basting every 15 minutes.
They expanded into the Niagara Region back in the early '60s. In southern Ontario (Canada's deep south and part of the Carolinian Zone) they are as common as coons and skunks and are thirving in suburban areas. They are fearless and really stink. Interestingly I've seen their coats getting thicker over the past twenty years as they appear to be adapting to the cooler climate.