Sleepy Time (Re-post)

(This post originally published in September 2010)

During one of my recent trips to the Prairie Meadow, I had an unusual encounter. To get to the meadow, I must first follow an uphill trail from the parking lot and through an open area, then through a wooded area that leads to the entrance to the meadow. While walking on the trail in the woods, there is an old, dead tree that stands at the edge of the trail. This tree has a rather large cavity in the tree, about 5 feet above the ground. Many times, when walking this trail, I’ve thought “that would be a perfect place for a critter to be hiding” but until this day, I never saw any there.

However, as I walked the trail this morning, I noticed some movement from the cavity as I got near the tree. Looking into the cavity, I saw this young Virginia Opossum (Didelphis virginiana), who was settling into the cavity for a nap:

Opossum in tree cavity


Moving in a bit closer, here is another shot:

Opossum in tree cavity

The little guy stirred a bit, looked up at me, and when I passed by, he just laid his head down and took a snooze. After my meadow work, on my way back to the truck, he was still in the cavity … guess he sensed I was not going to harm him. This has been the one and only time I’ve seen any critter using this space as a place to settle in, whenever Mr. Sandman comes knocking!

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