Virginia Opossum Takes A Walk In The Snow
On a wintry day, Bob and I headed to our local Toronto, Ontario, park for some fresh air and a bit of exercise. As we walked the asphalt trail through a wooded section of the park, I noticed movement off to the side of the walkway. A young Virginia Opossum had dared to be out of its den during daylight hours!
With my camera at the ready, I was able to snap a few quick shots of this adorable little creature as it gingerly walked through the icy cold snow.
We had seen Opossums at this park in winters past, but it cheered us to realize that the population is expanding by the sight of this immature Virginia Opossum that was possibly from one of this year’s litters.
A couple of years ago, we had an adult Opossum visit our backyard for the first time. Before we knew it was present, the Opossum had been feeding on nyjer seeds below a bird feeding station evidenced by tubular shaped feces littering the ground.
This Opossum that frequented our backyard was an adult. Its ears no longer displayed the delicate pink tips, and there was damage to its slender, rat-like tail.
On another occasion, we did, however, have a much younger Virginia Opossum pay us a visit. The pink edging on its ears was still intact, and its tail still showed a pale pink colour.
The young Opossum in our garden was shy but less wary than the adult Virginia Opossum, which scurried to hide as soon as we stepped out the back door.
Although some people bemoan having an Opossum on their property, one must remember that one Virginia Opossum can consume up to 1,000 ticks per day, a real benefit in this day and age when ticks that spread Lyme Disease are becoming more of a concern.
I suspect that this young Opossum in our neighborhood park has a varied diet with ticks making up a small portion of what it eats.
The Opossum brought a smile to our faces as it scurried across the walkway and made haste to its den.
With the days being fairly warm so far this winter, this Opossum’s ears, feet and tail will be safe from frostbite for awhile longer. Cold January and February temperatures will likely take their toll unless the Opossum restricts its prowling to warm days and stays tucked up warm in its den during cold nights.
Stay safe, little Opossum. Hope we see you again.
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