Mystery Solved

Back in June, I wrote a post (here’s the link to it) about how our back yard has been regularly visited by some mystery animal that has been digging fairly large holes in the lawn.

One day last week, I was having trouble sleeping, so I went downstairs to make a sandwich.  It was about 2:00 am, and while making the sandwich I noticed some movement in the backyard. Taking a look out the window, I saw a slinky white and gray animal, which seemed to be about two feet long, very close to the ground, digging in the lawn.  In the darkness, it had an eerie ghostly look to it as it dug in the lawn.  It took me a few minutes to figure it out, but from the color and the distinctive long tail, I’m fairly certain that it was an opossum.   After about five minutes or so, it wandered away, under a bush and then probably under the fence.

Opossums dig in the dirt to look for grubs and any other bugs to eat.  They may hiss and bare their teeth, but they’re harmless overall.  I’ve never seen one in the wild, and I didn’t know that New Hampshire was anywhere near their range so I was surprised to see it.

A few years ago, a photo of a “Found Cat – Not Very Friendly” poster circulated on the internet.  The poster included a photo of an opossum in a cage, which the person who found had thought was a not very friendly cat.

It was too dark to get a photo, especially since I only had my smart phone with me which doesn’t take very good photos with low light anyway.  So if anyone doesn’t know what an Opossum looks like, here’s  a stand in from Mr. C’s hand puppet collection.

IMG_8202

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5 thoughts on “Mystery Solved

  1. We don’t have possums over here – and I must confess that the puppet looks like some kind of earless mad rabbit! 🙂

    • I should have spelled it as “opossum”. a “possum’ is a related but different animal, from the Pacific islands and Australia. The “opossum” is the American version. I thought it’s range only included the southern states of the US, but their territory does include the New England states.

      I’m not sure what I would compare it to – to me it kind of looks like a badger.
      I used to think that ‘Francis’ from Russel Hoban’s children’s book series of the same name was an oposum, but I found out recently that it’s a badger.

  2. Hi Peter,
    How are you?
    I don’t think that there are opossums in France, neither.
    Yay; you solved the mystery! It was a nice touch to ad the “oppusum cousin” at the end!
    Cheers!!

    • It did look very strange at first, a strange white creature on the lawn at night, took a few minutes to figure out what it was! (Sorry for the wait, I was away!)

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