All of the brushtails are visiting and in good health. I know I say that a lot and it's probably getting tedious, but possums live dangerous lives and I'm glad every night that they turn up happy and healthy.
|Sasha with Shane back-riding - 26th Feb 2021
|Sasha with Shane back-riding - 29th Jan 2021
Although Sasha looks after her babies well, she doesn't coddle them. Here she is turning around and tearing a piece of grape out of Shane's mouth.
|Sasha with Shane back-riding - 26th Feb 2021
Pax is doing well.
|Pax - 28th Feb 2021
She is growing bigger and stronger all the time.
|Pax - 10th Feb 2021
|Pax - 27th Feb 2021
Wink is sharing the garage with Sasha and Shane. Wink is certainly aware of the other possum boxes in the area, but for some reason prefers the garage. It's possible the death of her older sister Rahmet was traumatic to her and she decided she wanted to stick to the safest sleeping spot in the area.
One day, Wink was sleeping in Box 7 in the garage and her mother Sasha entered the box and curled up next to her. This is the first time that two adult brushtails have shared a possum box. Wink was a little angry at the intrusion, but Sasha ignored her and both possums soon curled up side-by-side.
I don't know precisely what was going on; Shane had been left outside the box while this happened. Possibly Sasha was announcing that it was her turn to use the box - Wink has been using the box for several days prior to this and Sasha and Shane have been using the box ever since.
|Wink - 29th Jan 2021 [Photo by Xesce]
I'm not sure why Wink's ears look so big in the photo above; maybe she has them turned more towards the camera than usual.
|Wink - 21st Feb 2021
It's not clear whether Wink has a baby in the pouch at the moment, but if so it seems likely that Marcel is the father.
|Marcel (left) and Wink (right) - 5th Feb 2021
Nikita has not been back and there have been few ringtails seen about the place. There are probably plenty of ringtails around, but this summer the foliage in the back yard is thicker than before so they have more cover to hide in.
I managed to take a photo of a male ringtail who may be Omar and recently a very young ringtail was seen but not photographed.
|Omar(?) - 7th Feb 2021
A new rat has started visiting. The rat was behaving exactly like Morse but was male and therefore was definitely not Morse. It's possible the rat is related to Morse and he has been named Dash.
|Dash - 11th Feb 2021
Box 2 suffered a bee invasion. Propping open the lid (which I did from ground level with a very long pole) was not sufficient to deter them and I ended up having to fill the box with water to force them to leave.
When the bees had gone, I removed the box from the tree to let it dry out and to scrape out the wax the bees had started to deposit inside.
After I put the box back up, bees started to come back and check it out. I left it open for a while and then put some blocks of camphor inside to discourage them. I'm thinking that camphor won't be so toxic to other animals - the possums here eat camphor laurel leaves after all - and it can be removed when there are no more bees around.
There was also a big storm recently. A branch came down over the power lines and we were without power for over 5 hours. Another branch took out the TV antenna (no great loss) and a dead golden wattle was also uprooted. Before it died about a year ago this tree was very popular with the ringtails who would build their dreys in it.
Fortunately, none of the possum boxes were damaged by the storm and none of the possums were harmed.
Early in February a partly-grown brush turkey was seen. This is encouraging, because I normally only see brush turkey chicks the first day or two after they hatch and the worry is that they are getting quickly killed off by cats or other things. But it seems that at least some of them are either hiding super-well in the yard or finding somewhere nearby to live.
|Young Brush Turkey - 6th Feb 2021
There have also been more chicks hatching.
|Brush Turkey chick - 22nd Feb 2021
Including two in one day.
|Brush Turkey chicks - 23rd Feb 2021
This is a big improvement over last summer when there were no brush turkey chicks seen at all.
Lastly, I got a tattoo of a baby possum riding on my back.
This was done by Drea Darling at With Love Tattoos in Brisbane. Drea has done some awesome tattoos of native animals and when I saw some of her work I knew that was what I wanted.
|Possum Tattoo - 18th Feb 2021 [Photo by Xesce]
This isn't meant to be of any possum in particular, but I think it looks a bit like Shane.
|Possum Tattoo closeup [Photo by Xesce]