I don’t recall seeing a Possum in the garden before. The wildlife camera spotted this one walking briskly from a large Azalea, across a path, and into the rain garden. Note the skinny tail and the gait: this is no Raccoon!
Possums are “supreme generalists” when it comes to diet. They eat Slugs, Snakes, Mice, Rats, and various dead things as well as Plants, Frogs, and even Birds. Alas, though, they are not the Tick munchers that I thought they were, except in special circumstances in captivity.
Virginia Opossums (Didelphis virginiana) are the only marsupials in North America. The Opossum Society of the United States reports that these small mammals spend two or three days at site, then rotate to another place. If you spot one in your yard, enjoy the view and leave the animal alone.
I planted three Paw Paw trees with the hope of someday having Possums in the Paw Paw patch. It looks like that garden dream may come true!