about this blog



I started this blog in 2008. It started mainly as a way of tracking the evolution of my dry garden, and that led to an interest in photography and in the creatures that live in the garden. It's still about the garden and wildlife, but now my passion is thinking about how we humans can learn to co-exist with wild animals and plants, especially in urban areas.

Monday, 21 May 2012

Possum Tale

It never was easy being a possum in Australia. In times gone by, they might be caught and eaten. Or made into a Possum Skin Cloak for keeping the people of the Kulin Nation warm on cold days and nights.  These days possums have other problems, in spite of laws giving them protection. Everywhere they suffer from habitat loss and declining numbers.


Lucienne Noontil is a writer and illustrator who understands and empathizes with the effect of habitat loss on possums. And she knows how to explain it simply enough so children can understand. Maybe even adults will get it. Because the effect of habitat loss on possums is that they become homeless. 




My 3 year old grandson read this book and quite reasonably assumed that it was a story about the possum in my garden. It could be. The story tells of the many dangers that Rusty the ringtail possum faces while he searches for a safe home in the suburbs. Eventually he finds a nesting box just like the one in my garden. He moves in, and at last has a place he can call home.





13 comments:

  1. It is a shame they have to move into man-made homes like nesting boxes because of the diminishing availability of natural habitat. It's amazing though, how there's always a possum or two sleeping somewhere under our roof despite our proximity to acres and acres of bushland. You would think they would much rather live out in amongst the gum trees! I'm not exactly sure why a couple still like living under our roof!

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    1. I guess it's not as draughty as a gum tree, with an occasional mouse and certainly no owls. Sounds perfect to me I think if I were a possum ...

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  2. What a super book and fantastic illustrations. Sounds as if it is just as well that there are people like you to provide them with housing. I think this is a problem the world over, man thinks it has the right to build more and more for themselves without thinking of the consequences for other species. Must get off my soapbox!!

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    1. I share your soapbox - the trouble is we're preaching to the converted. How to change the mind of those who don't care - that is the trillion dollar question!

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  3. These are just great, really enjoyed them thanks.

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  4. Poor possums. But those books are great books for teaching children to love the animal from young. I hope possums will have better living conditions in time to come ;-)

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  5. I love the illustrations! We don't have ringtails here, only brushtails, and there are lots of them. They come into the backyard and growl at us at night, but we love them (except our dog, who doesn't like the growling - it does sound very ferocious sometimes).

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    1. it is surprising that such cute looking animals make such loud fierce growling noises. I used to have brushtails, but I saw one dead on the road and the others seem to have disappeared, replaced by ringtails.

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  6. This looks like a really cute book. Possums are plentiful in the US and are cranky, homely animals that tend to live under decks, etc. Your possums are adorable! Books like these educate adults through the young. I had a frustrated neighbor tell me last year that his daughter, who was in my class, had gotten very upset about what fertilizer he bought since its such a pollutant here. He might ignore me but I knew he wouldn't ignore his daughter. :o)

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    1. good strategy, to focus on the upcoming generation.

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  7. Great story book! Will make a note to order this one from the library for my little grand-daughter.

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  8. The illustrations look lovely. Your grandson must be thrilled that your garden possum has appeared in a book!
    Thanks for the comment about the Chelsea Flower Show. I did see the Korean war garden and it was excellent - a rare example of an intelligently themed garden with a message. Sadly my pictures did not do it justice so I didn't include it in the post.It deserved the gold medal it received - the designer is an artist rather than a landscape designer which makes her achievent even more remarkable.

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  9. It is a beautifully illustrated book. I have a lot of sympathy for the wildlife whose homes are slowly being taken away. Those possums don't seem to be a sympathetic animal to many they do serve a good purpose in the garden.

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