More Natural World

Opossum Seeks Admittance

The weather is rainy and a baby opossum looks for a way in. He looks unperturbed as we approach with camera in hand.

by Nancy Kerstetter

Early this morning I hear a scratching coming from the patio door. Looking out, I spy a small close set pair of beady eyes looking inquiringly through the glass pane. Startled, I jump back. So does he. A young hairy opossum wants to come in.

The best opportunity for a photo is lost, but an hour later we scour the patio for the critter. He shows up climbing the wall of the house toward the eaves. Wondering if he already knows the road to the attic, we shoo him down into the yard.

He looks unperturbed as we approach with camera in hand.

docile opossum

The young opossum appears docile as we move in to get a closer look at him.

In the drizzle we maneuver closer and closer to get a good shot of him.

Reverting to his natural instincts, he does not trust our overtures. He kicks into fight-or-flight mode and bares his tiny teeth. He is probably frightened.

opossum baring teeth

The small opossum snarls as if to say, “Back off!” when the cameraman gets too close.

We back off after reminding him that although we are a National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat, he must remain out of doors. After all, it’s the yard that’s certified, not the house.

opossum under umbrella

Armed with a camera and umbrella we seek an advantageous angle for a photo. Is the umbrella to protect the human, camera or critter?

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