Opossums

moon phase Week of 03/24/2002 Favorable days to harvest

Opossums

When the temperatures rise above freezing the opossum emerges from his winter sleep in a hollow log. The spring thaw has stirred the deep hunger within him and he slowly sets out to find something to eat. The snowless wet ground may hold the scent of a vole or mouse and the opossum’s nose searches the wet grass and leaves for a meal.

In the summer and fall, there are plenty of food sources for the opossum. Frogs, snakes, bird’s eggs, crawfish and of course, lots of insects. When they emerge from a long winter hibernation, it is much harder to find something that will satisfy their hunger. He may wander for miles, following his nose to almost anything edible. He may find some acorns, nuts or dried berries or maybe the flesh of a road-killed animal or bird. If he is really lucky he may catch a few voles or mice.

Most active at night, the opossum may find himself prowling around the farmyard where he might find some corn or oats. His hunger pangs may draw him to a dish that has been set out with catfood. If the dog isn’t around he may quietly sneak up to his food dish as well. A dangerous thing to do, no doubt, but hunger makes him less cautious.

The opossum is a marsupial, which means the females carry their young around in a pouch on their belly. As many as 16 half inch long young are born after a 13 day gestation period. The whole litter could fit in a tablespoon. The tiny hairless baby opossums will crawl up to the warmth of the mother’s pouch where they will feed on her rich milk. After a couple of months the young, now the size of chipmunks, will leave the mother’s pouch and cling to her back as she travels over the country-side searching for food. By now the young are covered with gray hair and are miniatures of the adults. It’s quite a sight to see all these little opossums getting a ride from mother. It’s one of those things that just makes you laugh out loud when seeing them.

The opossum may be seen through out most of the United States but being a true animal of the south, they’re not equipped for real cold weather. Their ears, toes and tail are hairless and are subject to frostbite when they are caught outside when the temperature drops below freezing. This is probably why I’ve never seen one further north than central Wisconsin.

A true survivor thru the ages, the opossum has learned to adapt to his environment and has been around since the time of dinosaurs.

Listen

Be still and listen—
Listen to the earth—
Be still and listen—
Spring has brought
Her lovely sounds—
Let your lungs fill with air,
As your ears search for a song
And your heart fills with joy.

Be still and listen—
Listen to the songs of Spring—
Stop and let mother nature
Sing to you—
The voices of new life
Are all around—

She asks you now, please
Hear my many songs—
Listen closely to the sounds
Of Spring.
Listen as the warm breeze
Carries the robin’s voice and
The wild geese call—
Listen over the babbling brook
To hear the woodcock—
Hear the hawk cry out to you,
It’s Spring! High above
The trees on a warm spring
Breeze, Hear me—
Be still and listen
Listen closely to the sounds of Spring.

Hear the blackbird on a
Cattail, bursting with pride and
Song. Hear the bugle of a
Crane drift down the valley—
Be still and listen
Listen to the sounds of Spring.

A chorus of peepers from
The black water marsh. The quiet
Winter night is just a memory.
A screech owl’s soft trill drifts
Across the twilight sky and a
Star twinkles it’s lovely voice.
Be still and listen
Listen closely to the sounds of Spring.

All art ©2013 Organic Valley

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