Winter varmints

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.

13 people are having a conversation about “Winter varmints

  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….

    • 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.


  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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