first sighting

I was talking on the telephone to my son mid-morning Saturday and preparing to let the pugs out the back door.  When I looked out this is what I saw…a cold, hungry possum eating birdseed.  Thinking of them as nocturnal, I was not only surprised but afraid that I was watching a dangerous, rabid critter.  Needless to say, I didn’t let the pugs out but let them leap, bark, and generally go crazy while I went to get my camera.  My son, 800 miles away, got a front seat to experience the entire drama.

just walking around

I watched the Opossum for a long time.  He was unfazed by the noise and frantic movement on the other side of the glass.  Maybe they are blind in the daylight, especially with the glare of snow?  He took his time to amble around the wall, across the patio, right up to the house at one point. He was calm, quite civilized in fact, and we were wild.

very pink nose and feet

It wasn’t that I was personally afraid of this opossum, in spite of considering her an ugly, slinking rodent.  My fear for the safety of my dogs took me outside, large plastic snow-shovel in hand, to shoo it away without injuring it in any way. Well, I didn’t injure it and it didn’t injure me, but I didn’t shoo it away either.  Instead, the opossum slunk under the row of boxwoods and hid until I gave up and went back in the house.

opossum tail

As I look at it now, the opossum and I both won in that encounter.  She got a meal, a nice walk in the garden, a look at how the other half lives, and a cozy place to spend some time on a cold day.  I got a beautiful little adventure in nature without having to spend much time out in the cold. The only losers were the pugs, who had to wait a long time until I would let them out and give them lunch.

Vinny with a big face

I learned some really interesting facts about opossums, including that they are the only marsupials in North America. When the joeys (babies) are born, they are the size of a honeybee and spend 2 months in their mom’s pouch before they move out to ride on her back.  And, they rarely carry rabies or other diseases.  If you want to read more very interesting info check out  http://www.planetpossum.com/facts.htm

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