Saturday, May 21, 2011

Hello Possums.

Anecdotally, the two most common lies told to susceptible first time tourists to Australia are:
(1) there will be kangaroos hopping down the main streets and
(2) it is dangerous to walk under eucalyptus trees because koala bears (also known as drop-bears) could fall on your head.

Whilst I have actually seen kangaroos on urban streets, it is a rare sight in the inner suburbs. The last time I did see one, the roo was clearly lost and was being shepherded back away from the main road by a couple of police. As for the drop bears, well, I have lived here all my life and it's only recently that I've even seen a koala in the wild, and let's just say we don't really call them drop bears.

However. For a bit of good old Australian fauna in an urban setting you can't beat possums. (Well, possums that are outside, anyway. No-one wants a possum to take up residence in their roof.) Tonight our Mothers Group took advantage of a warmish evening to gather for pizza in a favourite park. We've been doing this semi-regularly over summer when the days were long, but last night it was dark at 6pm and suddenly a multitude of possums came out to play. They turned out to be well accustomed to humans, and we all delightedly watched them play and even got to feed and pat some. So tame, so soft!

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Our boys came home on a great big happy high. Best pizza in the park ever!

9 comments:

  1. Aren't they soft, soft as bebe kittehs soft.

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  2. I remember the possums at that park south of parliament in Melbourne (near Spring St?) where those possums would come running in your direction? All I know is that Possums sound monsters in your roof and stink to high heaven when they die (sic) in your roof. lol

    Kolas? Well you should take a visit to my folks in St Gippsland - I've never seen a koala fall out of a tree (yet) but I've seen many sitting staring in the trees. Kangaroos? They do hop down the main drag (well kinda) in my home hamlet. =)

    Okay, feel homesick now.

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  3. My God, your Australian possums are adorable. Ours here in the US are horrible, nightmare-inducing things with white faces and claws and long hairless tails like giant overgrown rats (google images for Virginia opossum if you want to see what I'm talking about)(and YOU WILL NEVER SLEEP AGAIN).

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  4. my girls are squealing "OMG!!How adorable!!!"

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  5. I'm with Kathy...I gasped in horror when I read the kids were petting the possums...LOL! American possums are eeeeevil looking creatures...nasty and sinister they are....hide the children! LOL! ~*~Lisa

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  6. You'll be marched out of the country for revealing the drop-bear legend!!!

    I will give you a pass on the possums as they look like ringtails. Brushtails are pests in New Zealand, and I have a lovely fur hot water bottle cover to show for it ;)

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  7. But did you see a kangaroo was found hopping around someone's backyard in ENGLAND!!? How hilarious. I reckon they could charge an entry fee to all who want to see.

    Anyway, when it comes to seeing our native animals in the wild...any of them really...I get very excited. Hubby and I had a great time on our last holiday cutting up raw chicken meant for our plate to feed to the Kookaburras, Magpies and Bower birds that took a shine to our dinner plates. It was WONDERFUL.

    Not too excited about the native spiders, however that is a different story altogether.

    Going to look up a pic of the Virginia opossum, I am curious now. :)

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  8. Oh how fun! We have possums here, but they look like overgrown rats! Nasty things!

    We have poisonous snakes here, but I've only ever seen one in the wild. Also have only seen wild turkeys since we moved here. And I've NEVER had a mint julep nor seen one served on a veranda or anywhere else for that matter. Weird how these misconceptions arise.

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Don't let the cat get your tongue.