Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Opossum Time! (Includes Drool and Close Ups)

Oh, Mr. Drool Nose - How I wuve thee! I wish you would come in my room and sleep with me and my 'friendly to other animals your size' kitty names Toots! You have very pretty eyes and I can wipe that runny nose for you.
Opossum's have some of the most beautiful sculpted ears of all the night creatures I ever saw...(I know i go on and on about it each time I post a opossum on here, but it is so true!)
Their fingers are like giant bird of prey claws... yet also like creepy yittle hands.
I think this opossum is looking extra pretty because it's winter coat is in... or maybe it's cause it somehow looks like it has eyelashes. Or possibly it's the long rat like tail hanging down behind the wrapped vines in the pic below- it blends right in. Good camo is always stunning.
It looks alot tinier, once in perspective- don't it? <3 Come Back Soon! ! !


Panne said...

that is actually nasal condensation from exhaled moisture hitting cooler air.

it might look cute and fuzzy, but with a prehistoric brain the size of small marble they aren't too nice when messed with when cornered.

most of the head structure is muscle that powers the jaws that can bite through something the size of a turkey drumstick without chewing.


they will eat your cat. they are actually quite tame if you raise them from a young age, but dumber than a rock. even hand-raised they have a tendency to bite.

they share a spot with raccoons for having the highest amount of digestible protein per serving at around 35 grams per 3 ounce serving with only 6-10 grams of fat. beef has only 16 grams of protein per serving and roughly 30 grams of fat.

Leslie wears organic clothing and plays in dirt said...

HOly Dang Panne! I didn't know they could bite so hard- but i figured it was intense since seeing the baby opossum's teeth back in April.
I haven't had any eat my cats though- i have had ones that hung out with my cats and ate their food- maybe some are more tame then others in certain regions?
Do you really think they are that dumb- they seem so slick and guarded.
Also, have you ever eaten one?

Gratuitous said...

Once, as the manager of the Hostel in the Forest, my job included taking care of an elderly southern African-American lady in Georgia. One day she called me up to bring her some firewood. She had me build a small fire pit in her front yard, and I finally got around to asking her why. "I'm gonna cook me a 'possum." I debated on whether to stick around, and asked her how she would proceed.

"Fust, ya throws it on the fire ta singe da fuh off. Den ya gots you a black 'possum, and you don't wants a black 'possum. So ya gotsta soak it in bleach ta gits it white agin. Den ya cuts it up and stews it any kinda way..."

I can't tell you how opossum tastes. I didn't stick around.

Leslie wears organic clothing and plays in dirt said...

Hey Gratuitous!
Ok, I thought I was getting an old cooking secret till ya got to the bleach part... oh.my.gawd...bleach? That is very scary- but I have read in the old FOx Fire Books, old timers talked about putting bleach on their canned foods and blanched foods...blech.
I don't think eating what is really most abundant and around is a bad thing though (aka the cute wittle opossum)- ... but I can't see myself killing one unless it was all I had for survival and the world ran out of chickens and rabbits.

Gratuitous said...

I learned that many southern black people eat (to me) questionable meats and parts. Perhaps it started during the days of slavery, with slaves getting the unwanteds. I suppose, as omnivores, we eat what we can. Still, to the sheltered such as I, it's hard not to be, um, surprised sometimes.

I've been to Miss Louise's house to dispense her meds and discovered little gray squirrel claws sticking out of the fridge's vegetable bin. I've seen her tremendously enjoying a large bowl of pork fat globs with salt (yes, she was on several heart medications). When her SS check would arrive, the first thing she would buy was the $20 box special of frozen animal parts which would last her an entire two weeks! Not bad for a consummate meat eater.

I guess it's all about sensibilities vs survival. As an adoptee from Korea, I remember eating roasted grasshoppers, frogs, little crunchy burnt birds. But sometimes it seems like a line is crossed. As far as I can remember, I've never personally eaten dog, but I remember seeing the villagers string a dog up from a bridge and beat it to death with sticks, with the poor thing yelping and screaming the the whole time. I understand it was to tenderize it.

See what I mean? Eat what you must, but torture simply to enhance dining pleasure? I was merely six and a part of the culture, but the memory and the wrongness of it will always stay with me.

Kittie Howard said...

Loved the photos, almost forgot myself and fell in love with that baby opossum. Opossums are abundant in South Louisiana; my grandfather worked not exactly to rid the LA farm of opossums but to keep them under control. They can be very vicious when cornered/surprised and can bite thru an unsuspecting child's hand like it's a piece of candy, do serious damage to an adult. In fact, there was a guy near us who had an ugly opossum hand scar. There are lots of Cajun recipes for opossum ...stews, gumbos. I've NEVER heard of using bleach. Yuck! Just skin it, cook it. I ate opossum once (a stew)...thought it was a chicken stew.

Leslie wears organic clothing and plays in dirt said...

Gratu - That story about the dog is so sad. I don't think that eating meat should be a cruel and mean experience. There is no getting around the fact that you are taking a life- but personally speaking, I feel that the animal should feel nearly no pain being killed and should be ultra respected for what it is giving to the cycle of life. I feel a major problem modern humans have with food is the disconnect and lack of respect for life and how it works, where it comes from. I believe from this basic element we have gotten to mass scale farming & walmart mentality and are creating huge health problems. I think it also leads to odd problems between each other- if we can't respect the ground we walk on for survival, it's hard to extend the basic foundation of this to other humans, animals, bugs, and so on down the food chain.
As a side note- I think all cultures are grossed out by each other's food habits...some think we are sick for eating off metal forks here in the USA instead of using out hands. Some think we are freaky for rubbing tiolet paper on our bums too. ;)

Kittie- Why does everything end up tasting like chicken once thrown into a cajun recipe!? lol
Where was your dad's farm? My grandfather still owns a rural Louisiana farm in Raceland - it was crawfish ponds and cattle, and for baling hay.
The commenter Panne (at the top) is also from Louisiana, and thinks Opossums are vicious... I really think it might be the heat gettin' to them down there! The ones here have never been mean to me, not a hiss, bite, stink or snip... i wonder if there are variations in the breed.

Panne said...

they are notorious for stealing cat and dog kibble. they will fight for it if they are starving. they will eat the cat or small dogs when the kibble is gone.

yes i have eaten it. they look a lot bigger than they really are. they are a bit tough to skin, but the hides are great. i think this is the only animal that doesn't have enough brains to tan it's own hide. a fox squirrel's brain is 2 times the size of an adult oppossum.

the taste is similar to other small game, but dependent on what they have been eating. the "wild" taste can be minimized by removing the fat and bones, then soaking it in a few changes of cold water with a little salt in it to draw some of the blood out.

burning the skin in a fire would make it easier to remove the skin. bleaching probably comes from some backwoods "cure-all" nuttiness of the uneducated. when i was a kid they used to give us a teaspoon of turpentine every week as a worm preventative.

while i am a hunter, survivalist and meat eater, i cannot condone mistreating an animal. it must be done as quickly and calmly as possible. i go as far as to thank the animal for giving itself to me so that i can eat. i also leave a gift for it's spirit.

anyway you look at it something has to die for you to eat. to me a plant feels the same pain as an animal. vegan fluff bunnies may argue about this, but if it wasn't true, then why do they talk to and hug trees?

Leslie wears organic clothing and plays in dirt said...

Hey Panne!
Not only was that alot of good info.... but you also made me giggle. As a former vegan fluff bunnie and always tree hugger- I have come to really see how everything should be treated with equal respect, plants, animals, the whole eco system. Part of that system requires us all to eat. The plants don't weep for the dirt they use up, maybe cause when they die, they decay and give back--- it's about balance and respect more then dividing lines.

What kind of gifts do you leave??- I am intrigued by the niceness and poetic spirit of leaving a gift.

Panne said...

whenever you take something you need you're supposed to give something back. it doesn't matter what you take or what you give. it is similar to a prayer. it's not a mater of what or how, but the intention.

the gift can be something from yourself like hair, spit or love.

other material things can be sage, tobacco, shell, rock or food items. i personally gift tobacco or sage keeping the tradition of my native culture.

in the case of gifting the animal's spirit it was customary to place herbs, usually tobacco, in the mouth, which is symbolic of feeding the animal's spirit before it's journey to the next life.

in some native traditions if you were seeking visions or certain sacred objects no gifts were left and the seeker left on their journey to ask for it nude. it wasn't a matter of spirits or totem animals wanting to check out the junk in your trunk, but a symbol of being desperate and having nothing.

there was a movie released some years ago that had a character that left to seek wisdom from one of the animals of the prairie that required him to go nude. if i'm remembering correctly it might have been "dances with wolves" and the animal was a prairie dog.

Bort said...

you watched a dog get beat to death!? Thats fucking ho ho larious!

Gratuitous said...

Bort, I recommend spf45 and a loose-fitting collar.

Leslie wears organic clothing and plays in dirt said...

Bort- WTF? You've been playing too many violent video games and then drinking too many alcoholic beverages. There is nothing hilarious about any creature getting beat to death, at all. Gross!