Ophelia the Opossum

Cute but not exactly cuddly

Happy Holidays, All.

Things have been busy here. Many visitations, many blessings. I’ll be sharing them over the next few days. I hope your holidays have been as blest as ours.

And now…

Behold Ophelia the Opossum, a juvenile female that’s been coming regularly to clear the table – or ground – when the raccoons and fox are finished.
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The Coyotes Are Celebrating – Artwork by Lady Sparrowhawk

Wild Times in the Woods, Two-Leggers

Lady Sparrowhawk once again performs miracles (she previously provided artwork for The Boy in the Giant – Artwork by LadySparrowhawk). I shared a poem with her and invited her to come up with something fitting. Her artwork and the poem follow. Lady Sparrowhawk’s comments re the artwork follow the poem.

 

The Coyotes Are Celebrating

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Vasch the Fox

Vasch sends Greetings. Maybe. It’s tough to tell with gray fox.

I’ve written about our resident wildlife. Recently we were visited by Vasch, a mature male gray fox.

Vasch the Fox

 
We’ve had several gray fox visit over the past few weeks, Vasch is the first to share his name with us. I’ll admit to being a little confused at first; translating from Hrycuna, the major gray fox dialect, to Human and then to English proved more of a challenge than I thought (I haven’t spoken Hrycuna regularly in several years, my bad, that).

In any case, it took me a few turns to make out his name when he shared it: “Vaschti? Vayetzch? Fhasaietch?”

Fortunately, Vasch was patient with me. Probably figured talking with me was the price of being in our backyard.

We suspect there may be females and if so, kits. We’ll let you know.

Agnes, Francesca and Bill

Somebody’s following those fine looking ladies

I wrote about Agnes, our resident wild turkey, a few posts back and that Agnes brought along her friend, Francesca.

Well, things were obviously pretty good at Chez Carrabis because the other day we woke up to see Bill out there with the girls.

Bill the Turkey
It’s Bill, not William. Just Bill

I didn’t know we had any mature Toms although I shouldn’t have been surprised; any Tom would be drawn to the vicinity of two such attractive ladies.

I went out to greet him. When I asked his name, I thought he said “Roger” (probably some errant chipmunk not getting enough seed).

“I bet your pardon?” I said.

“My name’s Bill.”

Being polite, I said, “Hello, William.”

He quickly corrected me, “It’s Bill, just Bill,” and he held out a wing. He had a good, firm wingshake. Obviously a bird of business, a serious bird, one to be dealt with squarely, probably good with a bread&bourbon stuffing.

Bill harrumphed at that and joined the ladies.

That’s Agnes in front at her seed pile. Francesca’s in back. Bill comes in about 12s in

Agnes and Francesca

Some fine lookin’ ladies, these.

I wrote about Agnes, our resident wild turkey, a few posts back. The past few days Agnes has brought along her friend, Francesca.

Agnes and Francesca
That’s Agnes in back. Francesca’s in front.

Agnes, on her own, is quite cordial and talkative with us. She waddles up to the porch windows, stares in, warbles to get our attention then walks back to her spot (where we put seed out for her and her alone. She does dine with Francesca. We suspect they have a history) and scratches the earth to let us know she’s out of seed.

Demanding little hen, yes?

Also quite protective. A while back a chipmunk went after her seed. When such occurs she performs what we call “The Chippie War Dance” and sometimes “The Fluff and Run”.

I prefer Chippie War Dance myself (and please excuse the blurry image. Wildlife photographer I am not).

We expect Francesca will be more directly communicative shortly. Especially as she realizes Agnes can ask for and get seed from us with little more than a warble, wink, cluck and scratch.

But as I wrote in Nothing Ever Dies of Old Age in The Wild, one will discover things in The Wild that one wishes one hadn’t.


Nothing dies of old age in The Wild

Case in point, about a week back I noticed that Bess wasn’t joining her mother and siblings when I put out peanuts, dog food and cookies. I saw her in back, under cover, in the dark.

I called to her and she didn’t move. I talked to her and walked towards her, a cookie in my open hand so she could see it, and tossed it in front of her. She barely came forward and wasn’t able to hold the cookie in her paws. She couldn’t get it to her mouth and I knew then that something had happened, that she was injured and probably wouldn’t last.

The past four nights Heckie, Sheldon, Veronica and Porgy have joined us in the backyard, but no Bess.

And yes, I mourn.

But nothing ever dies of old age in The Wild.

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