In Melbourne possums are widely hated because they eat people's gardens. A bit like the War on Terror or the War on Drugs, there is effectively a War on Possums. A dear friend recently demonstrated the latest weapon in her arsenal: strong light shining all night to repel them. She was not impressed when I showed concern for this cruelty, for the possums and for any other wildlife which I imagine would suffer terribly during the long bright nights.

Nurseries often stock things which are supposed to repel possums, products with names like poss-off. You often see trees with ugly plastic skirts on supposedly to prevent possums climbing them.

I am fond of the possum in the picture. I think it is not very bright, because its nest is quite low and next to a path. I can catch a glimpse of possum fur if I stand on tip toes, as it sleeps in the daylight. Once I got up early, when it was just light and I saw it coming home along the fence from its night out. When it saw me it was quite surprised, and sidled past its nest, doubling back and jumping in when I pretended to look away.

When I see it at night it is generally alone, but I know it has mates because I hear them growling and hissing to each other. They don't eat the plants in my garden, maybe because they get a free meal from the compost heaps.

A garden without wildlife is sterile. I don't just want a few plantings, I want a rich ecosystem. I do believe that human beings have a right to live in the suburbs, and of course this will impact on non human residents. But I wish we could all struggle to find a way of sharing our environment, be prepared to comprimise and at least try to find a way to achieve peaceful co-existence.


  1. I know nothing of possums . . . not even how big they are. I'll have to find out now!


  2. Hi Sue, how is it going? Has blotanical become more familiar?
    About the possums, I think wildlife is part of my garden. I have a possum it lives in a big staghorn. Perhaps there are more around. They sometimes try some of our fruits; so be it. I have a carpet snake since many years living in a staghorn. Flying foxes come and help us eating the grapes
    but most of the time they enjoy the native fruits and blossoms. There are many others who come and go. In my garden wildlife is very welcome.

  3. I'm having trouble with feeds to PICTURES JUST PICTURES .

    Followers cannot access it at present through their Google Dashboards and it isn't possible to click to the blog through Google Readers either. I'm assuming people using other Readers will be experiencing the same problem.

    Please excuse this format message - but I'm cutting and pasting it to 'Followers' and to other people who have left messages on PICTURES JUST PICTURES from time to time.

    When I have worked out what to do - I will. Meanwhile, I will continue to post daily.

    You can either use this link PICTURES JUST PICTURES or click through from the sidebar of LOOSE AND LEAFY.

    Internet Explorer Bookmarks still work

    (Members of Blotanical may sympathise if I say 'Isn't it Wonderful!')

    Lucy Corrander

  4. Hi Lucy, have you found out about possums? There are different types and sizes, but I think they are equivalent to squirrels.

    Hi Titania, Blotanical is getting a bit more familiar, but I haven't yet decided how much time to spend on it.

    I guess the thing about wildlife is that it is welcome if it is not in plague proportions, like the flying foxes in a certain Queensland town (I've forgotten the name) where their noise and droppings do seem very nightmarish.

    A few years ago I had an infestation of weevils. I used to go out every night in summer and obsessively pick them off one by one to stop them laying so many eggs.



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