Monday, February 23, 2009
Welcome to Possum Holler
Our golden retriever, Lilly, has been restless and pacing around more than usual lately. She always wants to go out and is very slow in doing her business because she is too busy sniffing around the yard. Her behavior has been quite annoying, especially when it's freezing and we stand there with the door open trying to coax her back inside. A few nights ago we discovered the reason, and it isn't rabbits as I had assumed.
No, it's a possum!
I've been leaving peanuts for the blue jays in this and I guess he has been coming for the last several nights and eating the leftovers. I tried to get pictures Friday night, but it was too dark. Tonight I changed the patio light bulb to a higher wattage bulb and preset my camera to the night mode and practiced taking a few shots beforehand. Every few minutes I looked outside to see if he was there. Sure enough, he came back tonight.
Last night, before I got home from work, my husband tried to run him off and he hissed very loudly at him. I can't imagine what it would do if Lilly got too close. I think Lilly would probably tuck her tail and run if she actually got hissed at. The thought of an encounter makes me very uncomfortable.
I don't think I had ever seen a possum that was actually alive, and I knew very little about them. Concerned for our safety and Lilly's, I did some research to find out about these strange, ugly creatures.
They are North America's only marsupial. Thankfully they are loners, so hopefully there isn't a little family out there too. They will play dead when threatened and are usually harmless even though they hiss and growl.
They are nocturnal. They are not usually carriers of rabies, (I was very glad to find this out). They are actually beneficial because they eat insects and bugs. I think they will pretty much eat anything they can find, including birdseed, cracked corn and peanuts.
Since he is now making regular nightly trips to the bird feeders, I guess I need to remove them. He may be harmless, but I really don't like having him around. Anyway, I much prefer Robin's Nesting Place to Possum Holler.