Possum Platter by Linda Starr
We've been having some rather mild June weather this year. The other night I was sitting at the computer and I had the office window open letting the evening breeze drift in to cool the stagnant air. My cat Binky was sitting on the window sill basking in the sounds of the night. I was concentrating on the computer when my ears detected a purring sound. I turned to Binky thinking it was him wanting attention. But then I heard the noise again and realized it wasn't Binky making the sound. It sounded like a cooing and purring outside the office window. It sounded like a cat and, yet, it didn't. I noticed Binky was looking very intently at the ground outside.
Possum in my Front Yard
I walked over to the window and tried to move Binky aside, but he just wouldn't budge off the window sill. I peered out the window but couldn't see a thing, but heard the strange cooing noise again. I hurried to get a flashlight to see what was making the sounds. When I turned on the flashlight I was greeted by two black eyes, the cutest little black ears, and a long snout, looking up at me, an opossum. In the Northern Hemisphere they are an opossum but most often everyone says possum. Of course, I rushed to get my camera, hoping the little guy wouldn't disappear before I got a chance to take his photo.
I was truly amazed this tiny possum looking up at me had no fear. He was just standing there under a shrub in the front yard. Unfortunately this photo was the best I could do pressing my camera up against the screen. I tried quite a few times to get a good photo through the screen and holding the flashlight in one hand, but I just couldn't get a better photo than the one above. Once I started looking at the possum with the flashlight, it stopped its serenade, but it made no effort to run away. After what seemed like quite a while, the possum wandered off under the bushes.
I was really struck by the lack of fear in the possum even with Binky looking so intently at him and me repeatedly shining my flashlight and clicking the flash on my camera trying to capture his photo. If you've been reading my blog for even the shortest little while, of course, you know what else I was thinking. Yes, it's true, I was thinking wouldn't this dainty little possum be the most wonderful subject for an illustration on my next clay piece. It was as if this fearless creature came to perform a marsupial serenade just for me under my window sill. I was privileged to see the possum. The Eastern US has many possum, but there aren't as many in the West.
Red Haven Peach
Ok, I know you're thinking I must be crazy to put a possum on a platter, but there is only one marsupial in North America and that is the Virginia Opossum. I found out many folks like them; there is even an opossum society. Some people rescue injured or abandoned possum. The possum is often misunderstood, but it should be protected since it is not destructive and is a very ancient mammal. Besides I think possum are so cute. The possum is edible and in the South possum is considered a delicacy and is used in such dishes as possum pie and possum stew. Now my little possum graces a platter I made in his honor. I'm hoping to get some pink stain for his toes and nose before I fire him.
I have a feeling more nocturnal animals will be visiting my clay studio in the future, so check back again to see what creatures are lurking in the night. Meanwhile in the garden my fruits are slowly maturing and will soon be ready to pick. All of the fruits I grow in my garden are varieties that aren't normally available in the grocery store. If any fruit falls on the ground, I think I'll leave it there a day or two for the possum. Next time I'll tell you about a fruit I am growing on a palm tree and it isn't a coconut and it isn't a date. Thanks for stopping by and hope to see you again real soon. Questions and comments are always welcome.