Monday 18 April 2022

Update 18th April 2022 - An anniversary and some sad news

This blog has now been up for ten years, but the anniversary sort of snuck up on me and I haven't prepared any sort of special post to mark the event. And also there has been some very sad news which has put a damper on things: Darcel was found dead. He was found next to a power pole and appears to have been electrocuted.

Darcel - 20th Mar 2022

Darcel has been buried next to Marcel, who is probably his father.

Darcel (left) and Sasha (right)- 7th Mar 2022

Darcel was a calm and confident little possum. He was intelligent and prudent like his parents and I think he would have done well if he had had the chance. He was not yet at the age where possums leave home, but was just at the point when they start tentatively exploring on their own and he got unlucky. Humans leave so many lethal traps in the environment for wildlife.

Goodbye little Darcel.

Darcel's mother Sasha has been here seven years and probably now has her 15th (known) baby in the pouch. Sasha was already a large adult possum when she arrived, so she would now be at least nine and possibly ten or more years old. Brushtails are said to live up to 13 years in the wild and 16 in captivity, but the average lifespan is much less than this. 

Sasha has done extraordinarily well. She looks to be in perfect health and has got this far without ever needing treatment for exudative dermatitis or sustaining any major injuries.

Blossom has left the area. For a long time she had been sleeping in Box 2 and seemed to have arranged a truce with her mother Wink, but late in March she started acting differently. She disappeared for a short period, came back briefly, and then disappeared again; this time apparently for good.

This is exactly what the young males do when they leave the area and it happened at the same age. She had been out of the pouch for seven months and males usually leave between 6 and 9 months.

I think it was possible she had a baby in the pouch. Maybe she remembered how her mother Wink had treated Shane when she had a baby and decided that it was best to move away. I hope the best for her.

Here is Blossom on her favourite perch not long before she left. I think she is the only possum to ever use this location and maybe she chose it because it's sort of a neutral ground between her mother's and grandmother's (Sasha's) territories.

Blossom - 7th Mar 2022

The photo below is not a characteristic photo of Blossom but I thought I'd include it because it's the last known photo of her and shows her in an unusual pose.

Blossom - 16th Mar 2022

Walt is still around and looking healthy. Here he is pretending to be a Greater Glider. (For reference, this is a Greater Glider)

Walt - 12th Mar 2022

and Hapi are doing well.

Wink (left) and Hapi (right)- 20th Mar 2022

Wink (left) and Hapi (right) - 2nd April 2022

Usually they stick close together but occasionally Hapi goes off on his own a short way.

Hapi - 20th Mar 2022

Honorary possums Elmo and Buffy are still around. Elmo is seen most nights and Buffy only occasionally.

The last two wet years have been a boon for other wildlife. There are currently five brush turkeys in the yard and I am sure that at least a couple of them hatched here. I've also seen a small water dragon in the yard for the first time in years. Orb weaver and huntsman spiders are plentiful and a Green Tree Snake has been seen in the front garden several times.

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