Author Topic: Wildlife Outside My Window  (Read 48206 times)

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Dora

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Wildlife Outside My Window
« on: March 09, 2008, 09:18:37 PM »
The snow had almost all melted by this afternoon, and we had several wild visitors come calling.  My husband puts a part of the bird feed (at my request) by the fence right across from my computer room window.  It is a very peaceful scene and rests my eyes to glance outside at the numerous birds and sometimes other visitors.

A few days ago, I noticed a small grey squirrel eating sunflower seeds with the birds.  Not an unusual sight, but as I watched him, I could see that something was wrong.  If he stood upright, he couldn't stand but a minute and would fall over.  Sometimes, when he was eating he just tumbled into a ball and rolled, trying to get his balance.  On looking closer, we could see that one back foot and maybe part of the leg is injured.  Today he was back, plucky as ever, and when he fell over, just picked himself up and started again.

In a few minutes, another visitor appeared on the scene, crawling slowly through the fence.  It was an opossum.  Now, my dog, Foxy knows that unlike the squirrels, opossums cannot climb trees in a hurry, so, she decided she would take care of him.  He instantly fell to the ground, rolled in a ball, with his mouth open, and if one hadn't seem him walking a minute before you would have just known he was dead. Now I know what "playing 'possum" really means.  My husband grabbed Foxy, and chained her, and I was afraid she would have to be chained all night as there was no sign of the opossum leaving, but as it got dusky dark, the opossum slowly, silently removed himself.  We turned Foxy loose after a bit, and she went looking where he had been, but of course he was gone.  Sometimes, she plays games with skunks, staying just far enough behind them not to get sprayed.  They will trot along like that, until the skunk goes off to the woods.  Sometime, she may push Ms/Mr skunk too far!
Dora

Mimi

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Re: Wildlife Outside My Window
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2008, 06:04:34 PM »
 ;D

We are blest not to have skunks. And I have never seen an opossum in the wild - well, even caged for that matter. Interesting little critters, aren't they?

Want to make a trade? I'll take your opossums and you can have my bears! 
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Dora

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Re: Wildlife Outside My Window
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2008, 07:00:49 PM »
As far as teeth go, I am sure the opossum has larger ones in comparison to his size than does a bear.  But, Mimi, I think I will pass on your exchange offer.  I know I can outrun an opossum, (especially as it would fall down like it was dead) but no way could I outrun a bear.

When I have more time, I will tell you all a real opossum tale.  You may laugh and you just might cry...we did.
Dora

Richard Myers

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Re: Wildlife Outside My Window
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2008, 10:06:53 PM »
Opossum.....an overgrown rat!  Different than the possums in Australia.  They really are nasty little creatures. They waddle around and have a mouthful of teeth like a shark!  But, as far as I know, they don't kill people. :)
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Mimi

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Re: Wildlife Outside My Window
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2008, 06:48:22 AM »
I was out in the yard yesterday and after twenty years of becoming accustomed to the sounds of nature, one can hear a new "tone" of noise that resounds of a large animal. I swung around and looked toward the creek from whence the sound came. Nothing. But the glutteral sound was definitely made and it did hit the receptors in my ears.

Today I have to walk the property with the tree men and with me will be my stick with bells attached to let the wildlife know I am in their vicinity.  :o When doing this, I always ask the Lord to keep an extra measure of fear of man in His animals while among them. 
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Richard Myers

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Re: Wildlife Outside My Window
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2008, 04:37:46 PM »
Have you ever heard the "scream" of a mountain lion?  Never ever heard anything so evil sounding!  :( If I had not been told what they sounded like, I would never have guessed what I heard was a lion. It had more of a human sound.
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Mimi

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Re: Wildlife Outside My Window
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2008, 04:49:11 PM »
No, I have not heard one in the wild. Sounds chilling.

  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Dora

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Re: Wildlife Outside My Window
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2008, 06:02:44 PM »
Dear Brother Richard, I said I would have to tell all of you a real 'possum tale, and now with your observations on opossums you have made it so I just have to answer your post.  I always thought opossums were somewhat on the dirty side, and very unpleasant animals, until we met Sammy, that is.  Sammy is buried under our big spruce tree in the front yard, and yes, we all cried over his death, my husband most of all, for he was cradling him in his hands when he died.

One Sunday morning, my dog Foxy, deposited a little opossum on our door step.  He had evidently fallen off his mama's back while traveling, and she found him.  He was unhurt, but scared half to death!  My husband called the vet, but he was not equipped for caring for wildlife, all he had was a small bottle with a nipple such as they use for orphan kittens. Also, he had a formula for kittens.   The opossum would have none of it, and we later learned why from a wildlife "rehabber."  You MUST insert a tube into their stomach to get milk down them, as they do not nurse in their mother's pouch, her teat goes into their stomach.  So, I tried everything, I mean everything....except meat, that is. Well, we did try canned dog and cat food, he turned up his nose at that, too. What he really ate best was grapes, but he needed more than that. Day after day I tried, and day after day we got more attached to him...No, don't laugh, Bro. Richard.  He had a real personality.

 We found a nice cage for him, but he was very adept at climbing our hands in a flash to get out when we opened the door to clean up, or give him food or water.  One day I forgot to close the door, and he was eating when I left the room.  I was on the phone with someone and sitting on the couch, when all at once, I saw this little creature make a dash around the corner of the living room...headed for the basement stairs.  I caught him...but just barely, and was he angry at me!

As for being dirty, he never soiled his blankets he was wrapped in, he would get outside of them and go to a corner of his cage.

Sometimes, my husband would take him out of his cage at night and let him climb over his shirt.  I have pictures of them together.  Sammy was more satisfied with my husband than anywhere.

But, he began to show signs of malnutrition, for although we tried everything the vet said, nothing worked.  At that time there was no one near here who did rehabilitation for wild animals.

One night, my husband sat and held him most of the night, and around 4:00 AM, I got up and saw him sitting there with tears running down his face.  Sammy had died.

Yes, he was just a small opossum, but we learned a lot of lessons from him.  He was a plucky little fellow, and never knew that he could not do something...he kept trying.  I think he learned to trust us, too.  Of course, I will never look at an opossum quite the same way again.
Dora

Dora

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Re: Wildlife Outside My Window
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2008, 06:05:59 PM »

http://www.planetpossum.com/  is a good page to get the facts on opossums.
Dora

Mimi

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Re: Wildlife Outside My Window
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2008, 06:13:32 PM »
 :'(
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Dora

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Re: Wildlife Outside My Window
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2008, 08:26:42 PM »
Last night's skunk tale is next, and I hope it doesn't get any more exciting than then....no lingering effects....please!!
Dora

Richard Myers

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Re: Wildlife Outside My Window
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2008, 09:00:21 AM »
:)  Ok, I now have a different picture of baby possums!  :)  It would be the same with a Siberian Tiger kitten. I could love the kitten, but it is hard to love the cat! Especially after he has eaten a friend. :(

The adult possums have a mouthful of teeth that they use to eat my birds!! I have never seen so many teeth!! 52 of them, more than any mammal that I know of. The shark is the closest thing that I know of that compares. And, that rat tail!! I know that it is not their fault that they have a tail like a rat! :)  And, now I know that the reason they stink is because it is a defense mechanism, similar to the skunk. :)

God has put into the heart of man to love His creatures...and who cannot love an animal baby!!  even a possum!!  I am sorry dear sister, that you lost your baby possum.  We lost a baby squirrel once. He was so sweet. He came to us one day in a cold rain. At first I was fearful of rabies because there was no fear in him. He was standing on our fence and was not fearful of us at all. He refused to move as I came closer. At first I did not realize he was just a baby. We soon saw he was a baby and needed help. Still not sure that he was not sick, we were careful with him. After calling around, we found that we would have to nurse him back to health. He seemed to be doing well and became the center of our family for the week we had him. I think he got overfed and we lost him. It was very sad! Death is strange to us. It is not normal. It was never God intention that we would experience it. When we see it, we abhor it. And, it is so sad when there is a close attachment. God's love for us, far exceeds our love for the possum and the squirrel. He has proved it by sacrificing His Son that we might live!! What a God we serve!!!
Jesus receives His reward when we reflect His character, the fruits of the Spirit......We deny Jesus His reward when we do not.

Dora

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Re: Wildlife Outside My Window
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2008, 01:51:22 PM »

Brother Richard, I appreciate your sensitivity about our baby opossum. :) But, you are absolutely right, putting one's hand in a grown opossum's mouth, would
be about like in a shark's mouth! I had told my husband, "If Sammy lives, we will have to get him to a rehabber," for I sure did not want a grown opossum in my house. 

While I am on here, I will finish up about the skunk.  Recently, I had noticed a flavor of skunk around the house in the evening hours...not very strong, but it was there.  Tuesday evening, I checked my dog's food, and she still had some, but not much.  Later that night, I was preparing for bed, and decided to check her food bowl.  "Well," I thought, "Her bowl is in the shadow of the shrubbery, even with the porch light on, so I had better grab the flashlight."  I walked out on the deck, and could hear, "crunch, crunch," something was eating the dog food.  I thought,  "That is strange, I was sure Foxy was in her house."  As I got a bit farther down the deck ramp, I could see something black and white.  O! No!  So that is what has been eating Foxy's food at night, and leaving it's aroma!

You can believe I started slowly backing up that ramp, keeping my eye on mr/ms skunk at every step.  But, it never even acted like it knew I was there, just kept on munching.  A few minutes later, I looked out by the fence where FT feeds the birds and it was eating sunflower seeds and corn just as if it belonged there, and Foxy was lying on the deck, watching.  I am sure it has been around enough to know that Foxy is not going to bother it, at least, not to get very close to it.
Dora

Mimi

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Re: Wildlife Outside My Window
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2008, 03:20:40 PM »
Wow! That has happened to me, not with skunks, but bears.

When our two large yard dogs were alive, we kept their food stored in a large wooden box on the back porch. We kept running out of dog food too soon and wondered why. One day we found out. The bears came up from the creek and ate during the night while the dogs were sleeping at the foot of our bed. Tina, the younger of the two dogs, was a constant barker - and she had good reason - the bears were lurking, trying to get at her food, so the only way to keep her quiet so we could sleep was to make her come inside. So after discovering where all the dog food was going, the dogs had to learn to sleep outside - by the dog food and we had to tolerate dear Tina's constant barking. They didn't like it, but it kept the bears away. Oliphant, the golden retriever was always cool about the situation. He would only bark when the bears got "too close," but not Tina. If they were a quarter mile away, she would bark and bark and bark.

 
 

 
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Dora

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Re: Wildlife Outside My Window
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2008, 06:38:40 PM »
But, now, Mimi, with no dogs around to bother them, the bears just play on the swings you have down by the creek...Isn't that what you said once? ;D
Dora

Mimi

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Re: Wildlife Outside My Window
« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2008, 05:21:11 AM »
Yes - that has happened. Living in their habitat we must be prepared for anything.
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Wally

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Re: Wildlife Outside My Window
« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2008, 11:40:07 AM »
One advantage (among many) of living out in the woods is being serenaded by thrushes every evening in spring and early summer.  I can step out my door and hear Hermit Thrush, Wood Thrush, and sometimes Veery.  Unfortunately this evening performance only lasts for about 2 1/2 months.  It occurred to me yesterday that since the number of "species" that are around today is much greater than what came off the ark, the thrush that came off the ark may have had quite a repertoire of songs which might have included elements of all the thrush songs we hear today.  Now that is something I'd like to hear.
So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants:  we have done that which was our duty to do.  Luke 17:10

Mimi

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Re: Wildlife Outside My Window
« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2008, 11:53:14 AM »
Oh, yes! Wally! Imagine it!

Now - I wonder what the original peacock sounded like? Hopefully it is nothing like the current-day scream of that poor creature! Sin has affected much since the flood!
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 

Wally

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Re: Wildlife Outside My Window
« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2008, 05:01:24 PM »
Oh, yes! Wally! Imagine it!

Now - I wonder what the original peacock sounded like? Hopefully it is nothing like the current-day scream of that poor creature! Sin has affected much since the flood!

On that same note (no pun intended) I doubt if the Guinea Fowl in the Garden of of Eden sounded like those foul (pun intended) sounding creatures we have today.  I hear they make good "watch dogs", though.
So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants:  we have done that which was our duty to do.  Luke 17:10

Mimi

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Re: Wildlife Outside My Window
« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2008, 05:04:21 PM »
Yes - I have heard that too - to the point of running off coyotes!  ;D They are fierce!
  For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89