Meadow Mueller 07/2003 - 04/2015

Meadow Mueller 07/2003 - 04/2015

April 29, 2016

Visions of Vermin

What a week at the Mueller Sanctuary!

For starts, some of you might remember a nutty blog I did back in February about a Squirrel that seems to have taken some lessons from Pierre. Well he made a grand appearance again this week. I'm quite sure I've seen him in between February and this week but he'd not been this, um, social.

Monday and Tuesday of this week he was like this. The last couple days, just acting like the rest of them out there. Funny thing he is. I tell people that we don't pick them, they pick us. A short video of him here.

One photo I managed to capture of him that I really like is this...

I recently came across some words that I thought would fit perfectly with the shot. Words I and so many others I know agree upon.

So while 98% enjoy this moment, there are the haters as usual. The joys of social media give people much to see and much to comment on. "Vermin" is what they called him, a Squirrel we named "Hoover". Nasty smelly creatures full of mites. I asked why are they nasty? "Because they chew everything, they shit on everything, etc" Well they do live outdoors, the world is their toilet, I bet their home isn't full of excrement. Have you ever smelled one? How do you know they smell so bad? "Because they don't shower".

Okay, so this was getting ridiculous pretty fast. I knew it would be from the get go. I turned this whole thing around on the individual, going from a Squirrel in my hand to a nasty smelly thing he was holding... his phone. I pointed it out to him. He said "what do you mean?" Without getting into too much of the dirty details I made mention of the toy he holds so many hours a day, and bet he held it while sitting on the toilet doing #2. Day after day. Somewhere, somehow, I am sure his hands switch and his wiping hand met the phone on more than one occasion. Knowing his fingers ran through his dirty butt crack and then met his phone was gross. Damn, his phone was nastier and smellier than Hoover!  He held it to his face daily.  He probably had fecal matter on his cheek as we spoke.  Of course this is much more effective in the moment, using some "gutter talk" and not my polite reiteration on my blog. One thing about me, I can be pretty gross, sometimes for fun, other times just to shut someone up and even have them walk away.

End result result, no comparison in his mind and I was f**ked. This was in no way a mean moment, just a difference of opinions between a couple guys. The jokes died off quick about me having Squirrel germs and him having a poo phone. It was time to leave the sandbox and get back to being mature adults.

It always stuns me how against wildlife some people really are.

Next up for the vermin is our Virginia Opossum.

I've been seeing this "guy" many nights lately. I've shared bits on him recently, and how I eat an apple every night on my way home from work, and I throw the core out back. Some nights I do set it in a spot where I can watch for a while and see who comes for it. It's always a treat for me to see the Opossum as much as it is a treat for the Opossum to find the core. A short video of him here when he found the core about a week ago. Another grainy, even shorter video of him, washing down near the shed.

He hides under the back deck to eat the core, or sometimes takes it to this half log I dragged home years ago.

I don't bug him every time I see him or try to take his photo. Just once in a while I like to get something to share, and try to promote the good these animals can do around our neighbourhoods. They are very misunderstood creatures. So many people don't know what they are. They fear them because of their appearance. Long rat like tail. "Ewwwwwwwww! Gross!" Razor like teeth. "OMG! It's going to bite me. It probably has rabies!"

Thankfully there are so many who are PRO-POSSUM and help spread the word on the benefit to having them running around after dark.

People see my Possum pics and they want to talk. Some of it is positive and some of it not so much. The negative rants have reduced quite a bit the last year or so. Hopefully I've changed some opinions on these animals.

A number of Raccoon sightings, one or two every night, running about, looking for food, playing in the baths.  I don't need to go on about these guys as I did a blog about a daytime sighting one not too long ago and touched upon these things.  As long as they don't get up on our roof, all is good.  They are fun to watch.  Some tolerate my presence out back and give me a show, others not so much.  I don't take it personally when they scurry away.

I change the bath and basin every night now. They are quite grateful of this.

My nightly appearances don't bother all of them. I tread lightly and go about my business. This one watches with curiosity especially when I top up a bird feeder.

Works for me!

As some can figure... it is my goal to help others understand, appreciate and respect the wild world around us.

What's your take on these visitors?


Anonymous said...

Too funny Rob. You may not be very professional nor ever a good spokesperson to represent any rehab organization but I, and am sure many others, appreciate you being you. You write some great funny things.

My eight year old daughter thinks you are a knight. Too bad I can't read or show her every post.

Keep up the good work!


Karen said...

Thank you for educating us about "possums". My daughter Kristen was freaking out when one was sleeping in her garbage can. She thought it was a big rat, and me being from the north, I confess I didn't know either. I beat the can with her broom until it took off. But now we know....
Squirrels are causing havoc at my house. We are attempting to find out if the squirrel has a litter in my wall. If not, we are going to live trap and relocate it.
I saw a strange bird last week. I could swear it was a European Robin. It doesn't look like anything else I can identify in any of my bird books.

Margie said...

We also have lots of critters around our place. Backing onto a small wooded area means wildlife, and that was a large part of why we chose to purchase our home 2 years ago.
In addition to all of our feathered friends we also have Squirrels, Chipmunks and Racoons. Our neighbour has spotted Opossum but we've yet to be so lucky. Oh and of course we always know when Pépé wanders through in the evening or overnight. His cologne lingers LOL.
We try to help them as much as we can while keeping our distance. A small bucket of water on the outside of the back fence is used regularly and refreshed daily over the summer months. We also "spill" a little when feeding the birds and toss some extra over the fence as well.
Last year we had what we think were 4 orphaned racoons. They were old enough to be out and about on their own yet no sign of parents and no fear of us. Came walking right into the yard one evening and probably would have come right up to us had we not "shoo"ed them out. We thought it best that they not get too comfy. For several weeks we put corn and other goodies out in a corner on the other side of the fence and watched them come and dine. Then slowly decreased the frequency of the offerings and they are still out there doing well on their own. It felt good to give them a bit of a helping hand to "get started".
So we definitely take your side in the "vermin" debate. In fact, I've met more humans than animals to whom that title more aptly applies!