Saturday, 27 May 2017

Possum inna Pot

One of the best things about living where I do is the wildlife. There's lots of it and it's close. Sometimes too close. I've had to call a snake catcher to relocate a red-bellied black snake from my living room to a more suitable habitat, and I always have bananas in the fruit bowl because there's no better lure for honeyeaters and possums that have wandered into the house and can't find their way back out.

Whereas only a few animals head inside, many more of them hang around outside. Golden orb-weavers build their webs between the verandah posts, bats and snakes spend the day in the car port, and, after dark, possums use the roof as a shortcut between trees. Somewhere, there's a stash of hobnailed boots that the possums slip on before they trot across the corrugated iron. There's no other explanation for the noise.

A few days ago, I tweeted these photos.

It's a coppery brushtailed possum asleep in a big plant pot. That photo isn't as clear as it could be, because I didn't want to startle the animal with an electronic flash. A possum. In a pot.

Plant pots aren't the usual resting spots for possums — they prefer trees, roof spaces or cupboards — but this one feels quite at home here. 

She appears to be well. She isn't doddery and, as you can tell, doesn't seem to be undernourished.

This isn't her all-day space. She spends most of the time in what I assume is a more possumy haunt.

But in the late afternoon, she shifts to the plant pot next to my office window.

Since the weather is cooler now, she's unlikely to be bothered by amethystine (scrub) and carpet pythons. I don't need to use the pot for its intended purpose, so am happy to let her stay. Her activities are a pleasant distraction towards the end of the day.

Note on coppery brushtails
Coppery brushtailed possums are restricted to the Atherton Tablelands. There's still some discussion of whether they are a rainforest variant of the common brushtailed possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) or represent a separate species. The individuals I've seen here range in colour from dark brown to a bright coppery orange; I've yet to see a grey animal, which is the most frequent pelt colour in common brushtails.

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