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Bedford Ramblings
Steve Mills

Opossums have become part of the family.

Posted Tuesday, August 11, 2015, at 6:41 AM
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  • When I was in Culinary School way back when, I owned a trailer on 5 acres out in the back sticks of Wartrace. I wish I still owned it, it was way in the wild to me, rattlesnakes, deer, skunks, racoons kind of out there! There were deer and wild turkeys on my front couple acres almost every morning as I left for Nashville to attend that 3yr. program.

    That trailer had no electric or running water but it did have propane for cooking. Over the sink in the kitchen someone had installed an air conditioner at one time that almost made the sink unusable. I ended up taking it out and leaving the open window, after all I just slept there and ran to Mom and Dads to shower and clean up. I loved that practical time of my life, it was camping at its finest!

    Anyhow, I had a opossum named Marvin that would come in every morning when I fed the critters and had its very own personal breakfast prepared by the chef for close to 3yr.

    Marvin could have been either gender, I have no clue which, but, one things sure, he happily ate, grinned, and hissed then wobbled right back out, only to return and be waiting the very next morning!

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Tue, Aug 11, 2015, at 11:00 PM
  • If in three years you never noticed any Marvinettes, I would say your name for him was on target. They may have small brains but I think they use them to their best advantage. They just have small needs.

    For the past three nights I hear crunching from a recessed area of the garage at the same time I am feeding the cats. I realized that one of our "satellite" plastic containers with food was missing from another section of the garage.

    I never thought an opossum would carry it over there, plus open the threaded lid so I presume it had somehow chewed the lid off or a raccoon had done it and left food for opossum.

    I retrieved the jar today with no apparent damage so either the raccoon did it or Olivia has learned a new skill.

    The hummers are back in force and as I was riding the exercise bike today I had nothing else to do but think that they actually honor me by coming to our feeding station in the middle of forests.

    They are tiny and the world is HUGE to them, yet the experts say that the birds remember their successful and welcoming stations, returning each year. That's incredible! I often cannot remember where I found that perfect meal when I a traveling and I have a HUGE brain in comparison.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Aug 12, 2015, at 8:52 AM
  • Do you know if opossums are dangerous to the horses? I've been told they carry germs. Thanks HP

    -- Posted by horsepoopperson on Wed, Aug 12, 2015, at 10:47 AM
  • Opossum carry diseases such as leptospirosis, tuberculosis, relapsing fever, tularemia, spotted fever, toxoplasmosis, coccidiosis, trichomoniasis, and Chagas disease. They may also be infested with fleas, ticks, mites, and lice. Opossum are hosts for cat and dog fleas, especially in urban environments.

    http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn74123.html

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Wed, Aug 12, 2015, at 11:01 AM
  • They also carry rabies...so like skunks which are nocturnal, if you see either in the daytime most likely they are rabid...

    I had to watch Marvin closely but he also was normally seen and fed before the sun even thought about coming up like 3-4am.

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Wed, Aug 12, 2015, at 11:06 AM
  • Here is a site about a protozoa that opossums carry. http://www.epmhorse.org/The_Disease/Opossum.htm

    I never knew of this HP so thanks for bringing it up.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Aug 12, 2015, at 11:27 AM
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