Tuesday, November 29, 2016


It is raining and has been raining heavily all day and into the night.  Temperature has been in the low 40's.  Butch is quite soaked.  Ordinarily the long hairs of his coat catch the rain and keep it from soaking the fur close to his body but even this adaptation isn't working in this constant heavy cold rain.

2:28 AM  Just as I discovered Butch's visit, he was pulling today's piece of apple pie off the window ledge.  He is now eating it.  Somewhat out of sight unfortunately.

Earlier in the day, I'd discovered half a pound of moldy bacon in the back of the refridgerator.

Gross! BUT it was a possible opossum treat.  Dare I chance it and possibly draw in feral cats?

Waste not want not.  I decided to give it a shot.  So at 6:33 PM I put it out in the feeding area.  Went back in the house and gave Quicksilver the African Grey Parrot his dinner and then went to look out the window at the feeding station at 6:47.

Dad Blast It!  The bacon was GONE already!

I realize the wafting scent of moldy bacon, even in the rain, could travel quite a distance but good grief!  Therefore I have no way of knowing who lifted the bacon and carted it away.

I suspect it was Butch or Pinky or one of their
opossum friends as they find carrion a true treat.

Back to the current moment...
2:31 AM  Butch crawls back up on the coal shoot and eats sunflower seeds off the window ledge.

He crunches sunflower seeds so loudly you can hear it through the glass.

2:33 AM  
Butch then climbs back off the coal shoot, looks East, and keeps staring.  I'm assuming there is another creature out there somewhere.

2:49AM  Butch gives a couple of last licks to the tin basin I carried the goodies outside in possibly to lick up some of the rainwater that has collected there...saving himself a trip to the birdbath and trundles away into the night.

In answer to a question from Alex of Birminghan, "Don't opossums often  carry rabies?"...

Actually, no they don't.  In fact it appears that they hardly if ever do get rabies.


Indeed opossums just don't get rabies  as far as anyone can tell even if nasty scientists have tried to give them rabies.  And another biggie, they are not susceptible to venomous snake bite either.  Not from rattle snakes, or copperheads, or just about any kind of poisonous snake venom.

Now that is an evolutionary plus without a doubt.

Wait. Just how do opossums manage that  you ask?

Well is is difficult to prove  but the current theory is that because they have a lower body temperature than most other mammals, 94 to 97 degrees F,  the rabies virus, which belongs to the order Mononegavirales, can't get a foothold.

So far I haven't found a rationale for the immunity to venomous snakes at all.

Keep you eyes peeled for opossoms...they are fascinating!

Donegal Browne

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