Sunday, 27 February 2011

fruit bat vs. possum

Last night I heard a horrible screechy racket outside.  The main fig crop is just starting to ripen (not ripe enough for humans to eat, but ripe enough for animals) so I knew it was either a fruit bat or possum.  I went out with a torch to see if I could figure out which it was.  I saw a rustle lower down and tried to find a possum but the branches are so thick this year I couldn't see anything.  Then I looked up to see this bold fellow staring back at me.
http://www.alexareynolds.com/garden11/batfeb.JPG
He didn't seem at all bothered by the torch or the camera flash, cheeky fellow.  But then I saw a flash of gray fur and a fluffy tail, lo and behold there was also a brush-tailed possum in the tree!  Again, unperturbed by my attention.
http://www.alexareynolds.com/garden11/brushyfeb.JPG
I know we've got a local ring tailed possum but this is the first time I've seen a brushy in my yard.  It's not really good news, they're more destructive than their smaller cousins, so I hope he's (she's?) only here for fig season.  And after all that, I still don't know who was making all that racket. I just know they were fighting over who deserved the first figs.

Although I didn't get a picture, these weren't the only wildlife I found in my garden this weekend.  I was checking on my watermelons the other day when I caught a flash of brown darting across the straw mulch.  It startled me because my first thought was it was a tiny snake.  But no, I think it was another weasel skink like the one I found in the garage last year.  By the time I grabbed the camera and came back I couldn't find him again.  But I'm just so happy to know he was there, lizards are a great sign of a healthy garden.

3 comments:

Lanie at Edible Urban Garden said...

Mmm. Up here in Sydney it's a similar story. Bats and possums just love the figs. Hope that they left some for you!

Mrs Bok - The Bok Flock said...

Bats and possums = no figs! We had a huge old fig tree at our old place, lots of possums about but as soon as the figs were ripe, the fruit bats descended and scared the possums away. They were hanging off the tree for weeks until there were no figs left...so sad...I hope you get some! Bag them up!

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

Wow, this sounds so exotic to this American reader!

I suppose I could entertain you with stories about black widow spiders in my garden...