Hillsborough Extension Garden Blog

Solutions you can use for your gardening problems.

Unidentified Dung Mystery Solved! January 29, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Hillsborough County Residential Horticulture @ 9:17 pm
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JoAnn, the horticulture program assistant at the Extension office, went in this morning to work in the garden, and what do you think she saw? Well, the trap was set for several days, but our elusive critter waited patiently until last night to check it out (too much human activity in the garden during the work week, I suppose).

This little guy is definitely more than a baby, but not quite an adult. According to JoAnn, he even smiled at her (without the usual hissing that accompanies a possum’s “smile”).

So for now, the digging and pooping problem has been solved. However, the kumquats are still a mystery, since opossums are not known for their meticulous and delicate eating habits. More than likely, we also have rats. Great…

 

The photo to the left was borrowed from another blog (thanks, Debi in Merida), because I’m posting this from home and don’t have an actual photo of the eaten kumquats. However, the evidence is similar. Note the carefully gnawed hole on one side of the fruit and the insides that have been eaten. The kumquats look the same, except there is nothing left of the insides, since it is much smaller than this orange.

These are the joys and the frustrations that go along with having a garden in Florida. You have to learn to share your bounty with other critters. I’m an only child, though, and I’ve never really been into sharing… just kidding.

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5 Responses to “Unidentified Dung Mystery Solved!”

  1. Kelly Says:

    I wonder if he/she was living in the staghorn fern, because something has roughed it up pretty good. Glad the culprit has been apprehended! I must confess to nibbling the kumquats…but it didn’t look anything like the picture when I finished, so it wasn’t me.

  2. mdabreau Says:

    The staghorn was roughed up by the freezes in December and January, unfortunately. I doubt that’s where the opossum was staying, since we’re always throwing banana peels up there and the visitors to the Discovery Garden have to walk right by it every time. Thanks for ruling yourself out as a suspect on the kumquats, though. 🙂

  3. Don’t like kumquats … wasn’t me!
    Another possum tale: We started getting an unhappy smell in our garage. Every day it got worse, and every day, my husband or I would walk around sniffing, trying to identify the source. We washed all the second-tier laundry backlog, made sure all the trash got put out, and still we smelled ick. Finally, my husband looked into an un-used garbage can. On the bottom was a baby possum, who got in, but couldn’t get out.
    Much as I hate possums, I felt sorry for the little guy.

  4. Connie Says:

    That is way too funny! Love it!

  5. mdabreau Says:

    I actually volunteered to raise a litter of orphaned possums when I was an undergrad… big mistake! Aside from having to tube feed them and then stimulating their little tummies to make them poop… the smell was more than I could take in my little 1-bedroom apartment. I stick to the “normal” pets now – iguanas, birds, cats and dogs!


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