With extraordinary timing, a reader has posted a comment on a previous post. Why is the timing significant? First we need to go back in time about five or six months ……..
I am sitting in my living area, or lounge as I used to call it, it is a late at night and everyone else is asleep. I am chilling out watching drivel TV, I am in my favourite armchair and my head is probably tilting somewhat to the left. My jaw is relaxed and my mouth may be slightly open. But that’s not important right now. Let’s just say I am relaxing.
Out of the corner of my eye I see something move. I look over at the window. And there it is. A cat? I look at him. He looks at me. Time freezes momentarily. To break the ice, I wave. With that, the cat? turns and runs.
I don’t know if you’d have noticed, but when a cat runs, you just know it is a cat. Cats glide. Cats move in only the way cats can. And whatever had just run off, wasn’t a cat. All I had seen was its white furry head with a black patch across his face and pointy sticking out ears. I had no idea what it was. So I went to grab my “Wildlife of Greater Brisbane’ book to find out.
Now, back to that extraordinary timing. As you know I am working through a category called “Australia’s Bad Things”. It may surprise you to know that I plan ahead wherever I can. So I have a list of intruders that have trespassed on my land or entered my house. This list is already arranged in the order in which I want to blog them. Starting with the cutest and working up to the nastiest, scariest and deadliest.
Before I had the chance to open that list to see which intruder I was due to write about today, I received an e-mail notification that a comment had been added to my blog called “Strange Australian Back Garden Beastie Sounds” – where I had posted the video now at the top of this page.
I said I’d like to hear from anyone who recognises the sound. And this was the message I received from Christine this morning…..
That sound is coming from a brush tail possum. They make that noise when there is another possum around, its a warning sound made to another possum invading his territory. Sometimes they fight and the sound get worse.
Oh and btw its not the sound of dragging its the possums growl 🙂
And you guessed it! When I looked to see which intruder I was going to be talking about today, the next on the list was “possum”.Image Courtesy of VaguelyArtistic
Cute huh? Possums are marsupials and as Christine pointed out, they are very territorial. They feed on leaves, buds, flowers and fruits and they are the size of a cat. They are also, I believe, a protected species. It is illegal to remove one from your premises. So I guess that makes my possum neither an intruder or a trespasser. It seems he just “lives here too”.
There’s no point in evicting him anyway, he is the one that stops other possums moving in. I know, I heard it. And Christine kindly explained it.Image Courtesy of AndrewKantor
And this is what they look like when they are cornered by a dog. Still cute? Or an Australian Bad Thing?
As several people have pointed out, neither of these are native Australian possums. They are both American opossums.
So I brushed myself down, took it on the chin and simply wrote another post. Check it out here…