Notes from the Possum in my Backyard

I have lived most of my life in Minnesota. When I was growing up in the 70s and 80s, we didn’t have possums. Possums were rodents from rural Alabama, not Minnesota.

I’m not sure why (I have my theories, such as climate change, urban explosion, and severely declining habitats for wildlife), but now we have possums in Minnesota. I no longer consider them rodents from redneck states, and in fact I sort of like having them around. My cats aren’t afraid of them, they are so slow that you can’t be frightened of them, they’re harmless in terms of my garden (which my rabbits and deer eat) and the old foundation of my house (which the mice dig holes into). “Our” possum lives under an old shed, and he just looks around for stuff to eat and likes to drink water from the birdbath from time to time. And this possum, well, he’s so ugly that he’s cute.

It snowed here last weekend, a fluffy snow that landed smoothly and made everything look beautiful outside. When I got home from work Monday night, I noticed some funny tracks in the backyard snow, and realized they were from our southern redneck midwestern friend with the loooong tail:

possum I

possum II
possum III

This possum is welcome here. I hope he sticks around.

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2 Responses to Notes from the Possum in my Backyard

  1. Zellie M. Quinn says:

    We have a possum too. Or more. We caught one of them this past summer, or rather, it fell into an empty garbage bin in our shed. We didn’t know how long it’d been there, but by the smell and the fact that it wasn’t moving, we thought it must’ve been trapped in the tall bin a long time. Poor thing. But when my husband went to dispose of its motionless body, he found the body was not so motionless. We ended up driving the whole bin to the forest preserve, just in case it had enough life in it to get survive. Soon as the possum thought itself safe, it scurried out and disappeared into the underbrush. It’d been playing ‘possum’ the whole time.

    • clockwatcher23 says:

      Zellie–thanks for the great story about “your” possum. Wow! I’d love to hear that one from the possum’s viewpoint. And I love knowing there are people who care enough to give a possum a chance at a new life!

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