Winter varmints

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In the summer, setting up the Varmintcam’s a crapshoot. I know we’ve got varmints galore, but I have no idea where I’m likely to be able to catch them in the act.

In winter, though, their tracks in the snow are a dead giveaway. I spotted little pawprints near the oyster shells we tossed behind the compost pile, and I thought I’d try to find out who they belonged to.

Here’s the little drama that played out over the last couple of nights.

On Saturday evening, 8:39 PM, the opossum arrived and took a look around:

And then had a snack:

The next night, at 10:00, the raccoon stopped in:

10:02, he ate the remains of an oyster:

10:05, he took off for greener pastures:

Okay, Wild Kingdom, it ain’t. I can’t really explain why I like having photographs of our resident creatures, even if they’re doing uninteresting things like raiding the shell pile. It’s a kind of voyeurism, I suppose — getting pictures of something you’re not supposed to be able to get close to. Or maybe it’s just because they’re cute.

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  1. I love seeing the pictures on the wildlife cams. Crazy flocks of birds, funny raccoons, deer, coyotes… but that is in the woods. The wild. Not my yard. 🙂

  2. martha in mobile says:

    I need no varmit cam. The raccoon varmits live in a cavity in the live oak above my chicken tractor. I lock up the hens at dusk, and the wretches stick their heads out of their hidey-hole to watch and see if I will forget the latch.

  3. I don’t find raccoons cute, because I hate them so very much, and opossums are scary ugly.

    I think it’s just the wild factor, that you dig. At least, I hope that’s what it is….

  4. I think I’d enjoy such voyeuristic pursuits too if we had a varmint cam. All I’ve got is a strategically placed bird feeder. At least the things that show up there are no threat to the hens.

    • martha in mobile says:

      Kate — do you have hawks coming in to grab birds at your feeder? We have red-tail, red-shoulder, and Cooper’s hawks that watch our birdfeeders like, well, hawks. We stopped raising slim-bodied banty hens (mille fleur d’occles) because the hawks would swoop in.

      • Martha, no, not at all. We have plenty of hawks. But the feeder hangs under pretty serious canopy from three mature shade trees, and near a large bush. I reckon both the hawks and the little birds know that there’s no clear and fast shot at the feeder for a large bird, and plenty of protection in the bush for the small birds.

  5. They are cute but I am still hoping you’ll get a snap of Sasquatch!

  6. I like the VarmintCam pics. It is nicve to know that what we waste may find it’s way to a more suitable end user. Just because these end users are “tree rats” (In the above there is a white-face tree rat and a ringtail tree rat.) is no reason not to admire the elegance of the system they (and we) participate in. I just wish the other participants around here would participate farther from my house, truck, and bee hives.

  7. Hoosierbuck says:

    Grinners and coons are not highly regarded around here. I recommend a nice spotlight and a .22 magnum or .17 HMR, followed by a fleshing knife and a medium fur stretcher.


  8. I don’t know why, but I have the urge to photoshop your varmint picture and put the possum a in a tiny but brightly coloured parka and scarf. Maybe a knitted bobble hat for the raccoon. It would make a great holiday card.

    This is what happens when I have free time.

  9. You know Tamar, I have to say I feel the same way about weird animal stuff like this. I was watching some NatGeo show the other night and there was a video of a bear trap (to relocate him) and I was mesmerized! It was hilarious to watch this bear, but also to see how smart he was. Until his hunger got the better of him.

  10. Love seeing the pics. Living as I do in a completely different culture (Spain, since you ask) your pests are really exotic to me.