Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Possums, Our Only Marsupial . Shopping.


What happens when you play possum for too long!

In this video Dr. Karen Becker discusses critters we love to hate -- and why we should open our minds to the knowledge that every living creature on earth has a reason to be here.

"As a wildlife rehabilitator, I feel it's very important that while every species of animal may not be appealing for some reason, each one is deserving of the same respect given to more attractive creatures.

Every species on planet earth plays a vital role in the balance of the ecosystem.

Some animals are so loathed and disrespected, people intentionally harm or kill them, which is terribly unfortunate. There are species singled out as somehow unacceptable, unhealthy, and undeserving of life – while others, for example the bald eagle, are thought of as beautiful, magical, and worthy.

It doesn't make a lot of sense, and I hope I can help people think twice about the treatment some species suffer simply because of appearance or misconceptions about them.

My 'Loathsome Species' video is intended to do just that. I know for a fact once you learn the natural history and habits of different forms of life – everything from bugs and crustaceans to the life cycle of plants – you gain a deep respect for the fact that all species, regardless of whether they are appealing, are worthy to share the planet with you.

Every species serves a purpose and is part of the balance of the ecosystem. And each should be respected and rehabilitated when injured. 

None deserve to be maimed or killed.

The populations of many less popular, loathsome species are in decline due to habitat loss, human ignorance and abuse, and disease.

Nature's Garbage Disposals

Think of opossums as, well ... nature's clean-up committee.

Possums often eat leftovers that most other animals won't consume.

Clara also enjoys dog and cat food. If you leave pet food or edible human food outside and there are opossums in the neighborhood, they'll gladly gobble up the leftovers.

People often encounter possums in the garage. If this should happen to you, just leave a door to the outside open, remove any source of food, and she'll leave on her own.

Possum Babies

Clara is a female, so she has a pouch. Inside her pouch are 13 nipples.

Possum babies leave the womb after just 13 days of gestation. Nature has arranged it such that most of the pre-born babes aren't able to make the two-inch journey from the womb to the pouch.

Those that do survive will attach to one of the 13 nipples and stay right there for the next two months to finish their gestation outside the womb, but snug inside the pouch.

At two months of age, opossum babies gain voluntary control of their mouths and are able to let go of the nipple. They can then crawl out of the pouch to ride around on mom's back.

This goes on for about another two months, until the babies are old enough to be weaned. When they reach that stage of development, they one day simply fall off mom's back and wherever they land is their new home."

This is Dr. Becker's 4 year old "Clara". 

She could not be released due to eyesight problems.

More at:


I am so glad that we released the possum that we trapped, at a lovely area down by the lake:

We were trying for some stray, sick cats!!  Unvaccinated cats can carry the deadly FIV and Feline Leukemia, and these sure were sick.  Another reason to keep your cats indoors.



Jay and I went into the next town to shop.

We had intended to pick up some 'Horizon Blue' shingles to fix the place on my roof where the turbo vent blew off during Hurricane Ike.   But they don't sell them any more.

The reason this has not been repaired before is that we had a very cold, long, winter last year that started so early that it caught everyone unawares.  It is too hot in the summer time.

Install ice and water dam membrane on roof

When it happened, Ray and I had fixed it by screwing down some plywood with sticky 'weather membrane" over it, and it hasn't leaked.  I had some left-over weather membrane, as I always used this when adding onto buildings. Saves a lot of trouble later! 


So we went thrift shopping.  I bought two pairs of pants, 2 pairs of jeans, 2 pairs of leather ballerina shoes and a pretty T-shirt.  Jay just bought a winter shirt. 

His cut chin is healing up well.


It was definitely a day to put the van window shades up when parked, and AC weather.  The high was 96 deg in Conroe.

I wished I had worn a sleeveless top, as it warmed up so quickly during the day.


pidge said...

I do a lot of thrift shopping to. Hate paying full price for things I can buy slightly used. Some things I get still look brand new. Stay safe.

Sandra said...

I think possums are cute and armadillos too!

You sure do well at thrift shops. I've been looking there to buy some warmer winter clothes but haven't found anything yet.

LakeConroePenny,TX said...

Thank you for your comments, Pidge and Sandra.

I am like Pidge, I only buy things that look new. Even then, I wash and disinfect them before wearing them, so the 'new' clothes are now hanging in my closet.

They have all the winter stuff out in our thrift shops now, Sandra, even though it was 96 deg. in Conroe yesterday. We don't get much winter, so I am surprised that they don't have winter stuff offered up there. Maybe sold out?

Happy Trails, Penny, TX