Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Nightly Visitor

The past two night our westies had a special visitor ... Mr. Possum came a callin'. 
 ... Facts About The Possum ...
Whither “opossum”? .. .. .. The name “opossum” comes from the Algonquin Indian name for the animal, pasum. How the initial “o” was appended no one seems to know for certain. Some have suggested that when Capt. John Smith asked his Indian friend what the animal was called, he uttered a short grunt before saying the word. The theory that the opossum descended from a family of Irish O’Possums has been entirely discredited by modern scholarship.

America’s kangaroo? .. .. .. The opossum is the only marsupial in North America. This means the animal carries its young in a pouch, much the same as does the Australian kangaroo. Once a female opossum mates, she gives birth a mere 13 days later to a litter of roughly a dozen baby opossums that are each no bigger than a honeybee. These tiny, blind, and naked babies crawl on their own all the way to their mother’s pouch. There they each latch on to a teat from which they receive milk. They remain there for nearly three months.

A four-legged bus .. .. ..  Once the young opossums leave the pouch, they’re still not ready to face the world on their own. For the next 10 to 15 days they go about clinging to mother’s fur. Eventually they become too heavy to hang on during these trips and one by one fall off. By the time this happens, the young opossum is fully weaned and able to forage for himself.

Westie are prey driven and they don't give up.  Julep and Derby were so excited by the visiting possum we had to literally carry them into the house.  Julep was barking and whining like a baby trying to get us to let her back outside. 
We still have snow in the yard and driveway.  The cinnamon bark on the crepe myrtle tree looks beautiful against the white snow.

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