So here’s the thing: while I’m not all that wild about wild animals, most of the more common ones, such as possums, are relatively harmless. And even though we live in a very urban area, very near a freeway, there are patches of woods around, and therefore there have been foxes and possibly coyotes, and certainly possums. And with the current drought those creatures are coming closer at times to their natural enemies, us, because they’re desperate. The other morning, I looked out into the garden very early, and there was a small grey animal, which I at first took for a cat, drinking water out of the saucer underneath the pot of mint on the patio. I stepped out and said, “well, what are you doing here?” only to see, when the creature turned its face toward me after moving further away, that it was actually a possum. And not a particularly frightened possum at that. It ambled on toward the north fence, and then toward the northeast corner, I blinked, and then it was up on the top of the fence and moving away. Well, I had a tender feeling for the poor thing, obviously desperate for water, and merely shrugged and went on about my day. I did mention it to my family, because we’ve been having to vent our garage doors due to the bitter and oppressive heat, and I wanted to be sure that everyone knew we needed to lower those garage doors in the late evening so as not to be hosting that possum or another sort of creature over night. Squirrels are particularly anxious, this time of year, to find a place to store nuts, and a couple of years ago while cleaning the garage, we found a couple of nests of leaves and nuts in the corners. Don’t mind squirrels as long as they keep their place, which is outside. But possums are generally harmless, their soft hands don’t dig holes in the pots and flower beds like squirrels do, so I didn’t worry that much about it.
Then there was yesterday, when I looked out the front door, to find a possum, probably the same small, nonchalant one, ambling across the front side walk and then across the bed of ajuga there, stopping to eat an acorn along the way, and in no hurry whatsoever. Then later I looked at my pot of prized sedum sieboldii, which is wonderful and which I have been nurturing for three years and fully hoped to have lovely fragrant pink blooms of this fall, only to find that something, and we all know who I suspect, had been curling up in that pot and had squashed the heck out of my plant. It was not only squashed but many if not most of the leaves were broken off, sedum having brittle stems. Well, I found a handy plant stand and placed it on top of the pot, after gently lifting up the remaining branches of my poor benighted plant, but while I was doing so I was thinking hard, hard thoughts about that possum. There are all sorts of areas where that possum could recline, but no, it chose the one place that would break my heart with its weight. Well, my heart is tough, and hopefully the sedum sieboldii will prove to be so, as well.