Tuesday, February 10, 2009

OUTDOOR WEDNESDAY: THE CALL OF THE WILD IN THE CITY

Oh look at this cutie! Just sitting there staring at me through the fence. About three feet away. The fence in my side yard. Just sitting there looking cute. Here. In the city.
We finally have some warm, spring like weather and I go to let Milo & Layla outside and here is this thing! The dogs instinctively smelled it before they saw it and before you could say "Annie, get your gun!" I was running inside for my camera!
I'm guessing you know that this is an opossum. And this guy is pretty much a baby (adults can be as large as a 30 lb. dog). And they have been making their cozy little homes under my shed and various other places in the neighborhood. Sadly, they have been moving further east toward the city as the western suburbs take over all the natural habitats for wild animals such as these. However...I have two small dogs and I can't bear the thought of one of them coming face to face with an opossum and I am at a loss.
Last year an animal control person came and set up a humane type of trap outside the shed where all the little critters were burrowed in for the winter. Well the trap worked marvelously; we caught several bunnies, a baby raccoon, a cat, and finally an opossum. One. So much for that marvel of a trap. I stopped cutting out coupons for cat food (the bait) and had Mr. Animal Control Person take the trap away.
We have been pretty lucky since they are nocturnal but I have no clue why this guy was out at 4:00 in the afternoon. So now I join the dogs out in the yard for a quick pee & poop (them, not me) and then we wrap it up and go back inside without so much as a game of fetch.

Milo is not taking it well. He positions himself as best he can by any window...


...and watches and waits for any sort of activity he can bark & wag at and...




...finally accepts his fate. Housebound until Blondie comes up with a way to deal with these varmints. In our yard. In the city.
Be sure to visit Susan at A Southern Daydreamer to see many more participants in Outdoor Wednesday. Thank you Susan for being such a sweetheart in putting this day together for all of us nature lovers! ;-)
xoxo
Janie





42 comments:

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

Oh girl.. I laughed and laughed.. Annie get your gun.. lol. We have many of these in our front yard. About 3 in the morning our Miss Scooter the cocker spaniel decides she has to go outside..as I say slay the dragons and bark and bark and bark...she thinks she's something special.. lol.. I enjoyed this.. Happy Outdoor Wednesday..hugs ~lynne~

Susan said...

Welcome to Outdoor Wednesday Jane!

What cute photos of your dog keeping an eye on the wild animal in your yard! Great photos...and great post!

Thanks for sharing your photos!

Susan

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Oh, look at that sweet Milo! I love him! He is just the cutest baby, Janie!

Possums scare me. One time Mr. Magpie nearly petted one at night, thinking it was our cat. Then it turned and hissed at him with those glowing red eyes, and he jumped four feet in the air! ;-)

Loved your post...

XO,

Sheila :-)

MeganSloan said...

We have a few that run around our neighborhood. I saw one out at 7:30 in the morning and I scared him away from my neighbor's yard and watched it run across the street and up a tree! I never knew they climbed so well! I've also hit one in my car due to their instincts of raising up when scared.. .if it hadn't done that, I would have driven right over it. I hated hitting it, but they're so ugly, I let myself calm down over it! Good luck getting them out of the area, I wish I could help give you tips!

mbkatc230 said...

Hi Janie, glad you joined in! If he was out in the afternoon, he was probably ill or injured. They are really fairly shy, I think it would run away from your pups, unless it's a she protecting her young. Poor Milo, hope you can find a way to get rid of the interloper so he can go out into his own yard unattended again! He is one of the cutest dogs I've ever seen, just adorable. Thanks for sharing. Kathy

Melissa Miller said...

Awwww! I think they are kinda cute. I know they love to eat cat and dog food if it's outside. You're right they get huge.

I'm sad your trap caught a cat last year. Shoot...I love all animals.

Thanks for sharing the photos. :)

Tealady said...

Good for you for getting a photo. Usually when we having visitors in our yard they've moved on by the time I locate the camera. Hope you find a solution to your problem.

Blessings, Lana

xinex said...

LOL! That was funny, getting a camera before anything else. I am glad you did and we got to see. They are so cute but I don't think I want to go near them..Christine

Mama said...

Hello there, I have never seen a possum before, your dog Milo is so cute, sat there watching, you made me giggle about the peeing them not me lol, Kathy.

Blondie's Journal said...

Hi!

It's me, Janie!

I think it is so funny that some of you are saying they (opossums) are "so ugly" & some say "aww, so cute" LOL!!

Kathy, you are probably right that he could have been sick being out in the daytime like that. We have had many dead ones found in our area & I read that they only live 2-4 years. Awwww...

Maryrose said...

We once had a opossum and it scared my daughter to death when it looked up from it's nice comfy spot and hissed at her. She came running saying it was chasing her. I went back to look and from it's nice comfy spot it hissed at me too. Thanks for sharing, Maryrose

Light and Voices said...

Happy Outdoor Wednesday! Your blog such was a hoot this week between the varmit, Annie getting your gun and Milo deciding he would rest. Never a dull moment at your home. What a fun post.
Joyce

The Bliss Journey said...

My 3 dogs have come face to face with these little guys. They really do play dead. My pups ran out to sniff him before I knew he was out there and he just dropped in his tracks. After a few minutes he slowly got up and walked away. I felt bad for him, he was so scared. I'm just glad my pups didn't pick him up and bring him in the house, they have done that with bunnies. I guess they thought it was their babies.
Kathleen

Bo said...

This was a cute post...what a big adventure for your Milo...lying in wait all afternoon...LOL ;-) Bo

Beautiful Pear Tree Lane said...

This is a great story, aren't you glad that it wasn't a skunk!!! LOL And the pics. of your doggie oh... so cute.
Blessings,
Sue

April said...

Did you say CUTE??? Oh, I beg to differ! Those things can get as big as a 30 lb. dog? Say what??? I would die! Be very careful around them because they can be as mean as snakes...I grew up in Arkansas, remember? I even heard of people eating them! YUCK! Thankfully, you have a good watchdog to make sure everything is on the up and up!♥

jewelstreet said...

Poor puppy dog! We have been getting more and more wild critters in our yard as of late. We even had deer this year which is very strange. A couple of years ago I found a baby, tiny, opossum on our front steps asleep. At dusk, he started toddling off. Never did figure out why or how he came to sleep on our steps, but I ofter wonder what happened to him.

Smilingsal said...

Those things have sharp teeth; I'm glad that you're protecting your dogs.

Lori said...

You have to love the guard dog and you getting the camera! How fun is that?
Glad you got the shot before he ran off.

Melissa Miller said...

Hello, :)
Thanks so much for your visit and kindness.
I really appreciate it.

Great idea about framing the pics of the seasons.

~Have a wonderful and blessed day.
~Melissa :)

Deanna said...

Yiiiiiiiiiikes!! Arrrrrgh! I hate Possums!!! San Antonio is full of them and skunks too! They are mean and can hiss rather loudly. I avoid them like the plague. But you are so right...what in the world was it doing out in the afternoon? Weird....

Deanna :D
BTW, Milo is just adorable!

Barb and Steve said...

Your dog is so cute! Poor baby, I bet he is going crazy. We had an opposum at our old house in the country that came out in the daytime too. He was mostly up a tree though so the dog couldn't get him. I love reading your stories!

DESIGN BY CATHLEEN said...

Just the thought of opossums give me the creeps! We had a very aggressive, tooth snarling adult visiting our back yard, ( under the cover of darkness) I think she wanted to steal the dogs food, and move into the dog house!

I'm with Milo on this one!

xoxo,
Cathleen

Ms. Tee said...

How neat that you caught the little critter on camera! It is odd that it came out during the day, though. I wonder if it needed to warm up, too. ;)
Your sweet dog is so cute - what great photos of him. He's precious :) Hope you have a warm Wednesday!

♥ Kathy said...

We have a family of possums that live under our house :) They're actually cute to me! And your dog is too cute :)

Cami @ Creating Myself said...

We have a possum that comes to my bird feeders @ night. Sometimes th dogs wake up & want to go out outside. If the possum is there the whole neighborhood gets woke up. LOL

Dana and Daisy said...

your dog looks so forlorn at the window.

Make sure you are not leaving dog food out, or in a shed where they might be getting in to eat. Actually, your dogs may be the best deterrent, No one wants to live where they are constantly at risk.

They can turn pretty nasty on you though and I would recommend you make sure your dogs have current vaccines.

Patti Cakes said...

Poor thing. It's so ugly that it's cute. We have a lot of possums around here. I know people eat them but I couldn't.

cityfarmer said...

sweet thang...iust wants to go outside!!!

Southern Lady said...

Janie, thank you for visiting my Southern Lagniappe, and for taking time to leave a note.

I can sympathize with you about the possums. They can be a nuisance. I planted flowers two or three times last summer and possums kept digging them and eating the roots. I'm not sure if there is a humane way to get rid of them. If you find a solution, please let me know.

Sincerely,

Janie

Shelia said...

Oh, this is so funny! Those possum's are cute - but have you seen the teeth in those little mouths? Yikes! I love how Milo is laying in wait for any activity out of the window! We had the pleasure of housing a possum in out tree out front. All the neighborhood dogs taking their walks spotted him and barked their heads off! He stayed up in that tree almost all day long!
Be a sweetie,
shelia ;)

Amongst The Oaks said...

Thank you Janie for visiting my blog and commenting so often. We see opossoms, racoons, skunks, and other wild kritters here in our neighborhood too, and I enjoy all of them.
I think you and I are so marvelous, talented, energetic and optimistic because we live in cities other deem "miserable". So we just naturally look for the good in everything.
Hugs, Laura

beth at aunties said...

Oh my heart! I would have died since we do not see possums where we live. This was a fun read and true blogger always running for the camera~gun when something unusual happens!
Sweet Milo is a cutie and I hope you can figure out what to do... so he soon can go out to play!


♥♥♥

Cynthia said...

Hi Jane,
Yikes for the possum in the city. Living out in the country I'll see them at night on our country roads but not so much during the day. We had a bear in our yard this past spring and I was so excited that I of course didn't get a pic. I was a bit freaked out too. Nice blog and pics. Cindy

~CC Catherine said...

Janie, Thanks for visiting my place this morning. The dessert recipe is really simple. Purchase a chocolate graham cracker premade pie crust, 1 large box of instant sugar & fat free vanilla pudding prepared, and fresh fruit of your choice. Pour your prepared pudding into your premade pie shell and chill for an hour or more. Slice pie, top with fresh fruit of your choice, and top with Hershey's Lite chocolate syrup if desired. ;) There ya go! Bon Appetite! ~CC Catherine

Felina said...

Where I'm from (Central Arkansas), this is more than a talkin' point -- this here's dinner! Put down that camera & git out yer faincy pot-passin' stick, granny!

Sandy said...

love this post! we get a lot of opossums where we live (love the photos of your doggie!)

KATHERINELLEN said...

Jane,
Thanks you for you sweet comments....My mother...smiles...You made her day! You brighten my day too! I got your notes Tuesday...My internet and phone was out...had to get new wiring outside...We did have a wonderful time...which you could have been with us. Awww...Milo is so Cute! Hope you will get the problem solves... That's can be aggravated dealing with wild animals especiall appossum. You have a wonderful day today...It's nice here...in the 70s. :) Katherinllen

Dolly said...

Hi Janie....
Congratulations you won my OWOH give away!
Please email me your shipping info!

Hugz, Dolly
@ from my cherryheart

The White Bench said...

... Sweet Milo has stolen my heart!
I also would like to say I'm grateful for all the sweet and friendly words you always leave on my blog.... thank you!
Monica.

Donna said...

I just have to say I loved your post! Your pupster is so adorable, watching through the window!

I must admit I love possums (actually, any wildlife). We've had young ones, 'grampa possums (the ones who are huge and scraggly), and every size in between.

On January 12 I posted photos of the young possum that just visited us. Here's a direct link to that post if you'd like to see him:

http://anenchantedcottage.blogspot.com/2009/01/broken-glass-powdered-snow-and-midnight.html

Also, I called animal control many years ago when we had a skunk in our yard mid-afternoon. I was concerned it might have rabies. The animal control officer said it's not unusual for nocturnal animals to sometimes forage for food during the day at any time of year, but especially in colder weather, and that unless the skunk seemed disoriented, aggressive, staggering, etc., he was probably just hungry. And he definitely didn't exhibit any signs of being sick, so I guess he was just out for a mid-day snack!

Again, thanks for the smile!!!

Donna @ An Enchanted Cottage

JudyBug said...

So cute! Milo is definitely on the look-out. My Boudreaux is the same way.

Thanks for visiting me...check my blog today for how to pronounce Natchitoches. ;-)
JudyBug