Does anyone recognize this bird? It was out in the tree yesterday afternoon. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it before.
At least birds don’t keep you up at night.
What keeps me up at night is Charlie. He wants out because the possum is out there. What is it with this possum? If it doesn’t go away soon I’ll have to name it.
Then this morning I found Charlie trying to pick up a dead bird. There’s something to be said for a dog with no teeth.
And naturally it was in the corner by the fence which has water sitting due to all the rain. So I had to slosh through the water to get to it.
I think the possum may come down and hang out on my patio. The picture above is where Charlie sniffs like crazy every time he’s let out.
Maybe the possum fancies my settee.
A reader (thanks Carolyn!) sent me some great information about possums.
The NWF (National Wildlife Federation) has an article entitled:
Opossums: Unsung Heroes in the Fight Against Ticks and Lyme Disease
Opossums are extraordinarily good groomers. They kill the vast majority (more than 95% percent) of the ticks that try to feed on them.
So these opossums are walking around the forest floor, hoovering up ticks right and left, killing over 90% of these things.
So they are really protecting our health. – Rick Ostfeld, Senior Scientist, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
They will catch and eat cockroaches, rats and mice – in addition to consuming dead animals of all types (also known as carrion).
Gardeners tend to like them because they have an appetite for snails and slugs. They also clean up over-ripe fruit and berries. So they “hoover” the garden as well.
Opossums are resistant to snake venom and actually prey on snakes, including venomous species such as copperheads and rattlesnakes.
I always thought when possums “play dead” that they are merely acting. But that doesn’t appear to be true. They are basically rendered catatonic.
When frightened or harmed, opossums suddenly freeze and lie still as death.
They have no control over this response, which could be said to paralyze them with fear or have evolved because almost any predator can outrun them.
If left unharmed, a catatonic opossum will recover in roughly one to four hours.
So it seems like this is the brain’s response to fear. Interesting info. I never knew that. Did you?
All my life I’ve heard “are you playing possum?”
I’m going to have a veritable forest on the patio if this rain doesn’t let up. It has rained every single night for nearly a week.
I have cut back the mint and lemon balm and everything else that seems to be getting out of control. And within a week or less, I have to do it again.
I scaled back the mint and lemon balm in the blue container bed at the first of last week so that you could the hostas could be seen. But now they’re just about covered up again.
I’ll be needing to get my clippers and my bucket and roll around on my little cart and cut it all back again.
Ivy seems to have no interest in the possum, if she’s even seen it. But not much escapes Ivy. She is interested in the birds.
Something has to let up with this possum. I’m about as tired when I wake up as when I go to sleep.
I kind of worry about it. Are possums solitary or do they live in packs? Does it have a family? Did it somehow get left behind? I wonder all this while the possum and I are staring at one another through the tree leaves.
Charlie is beside himself with excitement and wants to go out there and be Deputy Dog with this possum. He has no idea what he’s up against.
Rain, rain go away. Come again another day…
Of course a gardener is not going to wish away rain because of the effect on their plants. But in Oklahoma we now have a lot of flooding.
Not where I am in Tulsa, but in other areas people have been run out of their homes. I think I read around 1000 homes.
Lawsy, nature is unpredictable.
And apparently so are possums.