possum

We are early risers. Rescue dogs Lily and Lulu go outside for their last evening ablutions around 7. With cooler weather here we woke even earlier than normal today. Lulu got to pick front or back yard, and chose back. Lily ambled over to the end of the yard to scratch and sniff what changed over night. Lulu took the other side. Leaves flew, loud hissing and a grey blur darted out, long, ropy pink tail.

Oh no! Rats again. I looked closer before running to get a broom. Too big for rats. Small possum!

It was somewhat cornered. The house was to its left, I was behind it, Lulu was in front and Lily to its right. Lily had yet to catch wind of it and Lulu was feigning disinterest. It backed away, looking over its shoulder every second or two at me. I gave it a wide berth, and it turned and ran around me to the other side of the yard where it climbed the fence. Lulu, realizing her quarry was escaping dashed after it, too late as it topped the fence and toddled away. At this point Lily got interested and she and Lulu darted back and forth along the fence to see where it was.

Long gone.

I am happy to have these little visitors. They don’t carry rabies because their body temperature is too low. They feast on beetles, cockroaches, ticks and all sorts of other unwanted pests. They are virtually harmless and more afraid of me than I of them.

IMG_0216.JPGWe know something is out here. We’ll wait.

I haven’t seen a possum in the yard for a while. Maybe being so preoccupied with Lily and her surgery recoveries I hadn’t noticed. Besides, there are fewer steps to the front door than the back door so because it’s easier for Lily we’ve gone out there more than the back yard. Not much happens in the front yard. The occasional rabbit maybe.

I miss seeing deer. To many people they are big pests. They eat a lot of flowers and shrubs but they are so graceful. Where I moved from I often would see them early mornings at my bird feeders eating all the birdseed, then drink out of the bird bath. It did not take much to scare them off. They would sail over the yard fence like they could fly.

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There has been a lot of new construction in this little town. New homes, shopping centers. Development is normally a good thing but eventually there is no more room to build. Which means wildlife has no place to go. So they find themselves in backyards and some humans are not willing to share. Seems unfair to me. Here we have helped ourselves to their homes, cleared their trees and underbrush. When I lived in south Florida I learned about melaleuca, a small, non-native invasive tree also known as tea tree. These were planted everywhere because they soak all the water with their fibrous root system and make marshland dry. So every now and then a massive hurricane comes along where nature tries to reclaim itself.

Against humans it is something of a losing battle.

I wish I had an answer.

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13 thoughts on “possum

  1. we have deer that almost come up to the door at times – I adore them, but they are known around here as “tick taxies” because deer ticks abound. Possums, however, eat ticks. So yay for those little critters! I need more of them round here!

  2. Enjoyed your post. In the country where we live we have a lot of wildlife in our yard – see a lot of opossums in our yard. Do not see many deer anymore and I do miss those beautiful creatures.

  3. 🙂 We have a skunk living in our densely populated neighborhood. I have never seen it, but I got a slight whiff of scent just today. I just hope it stays away from Miles dog.

    • You sure do. I adopted Lily when I lived in NM and had a family of them that I learned of when Lily went out the dog door one night, shot right back in. They got her point-blank range. I will never forget it. Made my eyes water. She had to shed before the smell was gone. Baking soda, detergent & peroxide helps but it basically has to fade on its own. Awful.

  4. Your place is beautiful, living right by the wild life. We live in town at the moment so seeing a deer, a rabbit from the house is like a dream world to me 💫

  5. I love seeing all the wildlife in our backyard. We have a deer that comes back every year that has a leg that seems bent the wrong way. We’ve also had a raccoon coming on the back porch eating the cat’s food! Your dogs are so cute!

  6. I think it is so sweet when wild animals are around our yard. We only see this up north. Here in the city we have doves that I feed. For some reason the city pigeons stay away, just the doves stop by to eat. We also get sparrows. Up north though we get raccoons, skunks, squirrels, elk, deer, coyotes, foxes, bobcats, and once we almost hit a mountain lion with our truck, by accident of course. I love getting visits from animals.

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