Every morning I sit on my deck after I fill my bird feeder to watch the blue jays and cardinals while I sip on coffee wrapped in a little blanket.
Yesterday morning was a bit different. I heard a noise I would normally attribute to a squirrel or two, but this noise was loud. Really loud.
I looked to my left and it took me a moment to even focus on what was moving. I initially thought it was a small pig. I stood up to look closer but "it" started moving faster along my tree line and clearly I was struggling to take a photo before it disappeared into the thicker woods. It finally dawned on me I was looking at a possum, and this one looks very pregnant.
A few years ago I probably would have screamed and ran into my house. They are so odd looking, but thanks to a friend with whom I grew up, in Massena New York, I no longer have a fear of these fascinating and loving creatures. (Yes, I said loving!)
My childhood friend, Lea Murray, is a vet tech in Florida and on her way to work one day, she stopped to save the life of a possum struck by a car. The rest is history so they say. Since then Lea has helped hundreds of these animals and in 2014, a book titled Barley, A Possum's Own Story, was published.
I posted my shaky photo on Facebook and tagged Lea to get her input. To me, the possum looks pregnant but having zero knowledge except from Lea's Facebook posts, I wanted her advice. Because it's the first time all year I have seen this girl (my guess is girl) Lea thinks she may be hungry, and if she's pregnant, a safe place for her to give birth could mean saving her life and the life of her little ones.
Lea recommended building a shelter and I'm going to do exactly that over the weekend. She also recommended cat food, eggs with shells, cooked pasta, and sardines to attract her to the shelter. There is a highway fairly close to my backyard tree line, and I do not want to see this girl or her little ones on the side of the road so I'm going to give it a shot. I will let you all know how it goes!
Thank you, Lea, for the advice and to everyone else, go check out her Facebook page to see some really cute videos and photos, and buy the book of course!