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The Daily Bucket is a place where we post and exchange our observations about the natural happenings we see. Birds, blooms, bugs and more - each note is a record that we can refer to in the future as we try to understand the patterns that are quietly unwinding around us.

We have a small opossum that hangs around under our feeders. It shows up most days in the mid-afternoon, to graze on seeds and bits left by the birds and squirrels. Cute with its fur sticking out wildly all over, it's not very big. Based on the three-pound pot roast I made recently, I guestimate it's only three or four pounds. A "typical" opossum is about the size of a large house cat, and weighs in at 10 to 13 pounds.

The title calls it a "possum," but that is actually a different animal native to Australia and New Guinea. In North America, the animal is an "opossum." Both are marsupials. With its prehensile tail and opposable thumbs, the opossum is an excellent climber.

Besides the seeds my opossum enjoys, they are foragers and will eat carrion, rodents, insects, frogs, and plants including fruits and grains. As they are nocturnal, usually they are out at night. However, in the winter sometimes they change their patterns to take advantage of warmer temperatures during the day.

If you're hungry, you could try this recipe for roast opossum. The recipe also includes stuffing.

1  Roast Opossum:.

2  The opossum is a very fat animal with a peculiarly flavored meat.

3  It is dressed much as one would dress a suckling pig, removing the entrails, and if desired, the head and tail.

4  After it is dressed, wash thoroughly inside and out with hot water.

5  Cover with cold water to which has been added 1 cup of salt.

6  Allow to stand overnight. In morning, drain off the salted water and rinse well with clear water.

7  Stuff opossum with opossum stuffing (stuffing recipes next); sew opening or fasten with skewers.

8  Place in roaster, add 2 tablespoons water and roast in moderate oven (350°F) until tender and richly browned, about one and one half hours.

9  Baste every 15 minutes with drippings.

10  Remove skewers or stitches, and place on heated platter.

11  Skim fat from gravy remaining in pan.

Okay, and this was too funny and too weird to leave out. Listen to Cy Scarborough and the Bar D Wranglers at the Bar D Chuckwagon in Durango, CO.

It's cold here this morning, about 4° at about 8:00 AM. It might warm up to the mid-teens under mostly cloudy skies. No wind to speak of. I'm staying in to catch up on some things and chat with you.

What's going on in your neighborhood? Do you have non-bird critters visiting your yard?

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