Spike by BronReid

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this was the first baby of our ‘adopted’ Brushtail Possum we called Harley. We found her (Harley) in our birdhouse, she was small enough to fit into your hand and was obviously orphaned. I became very fond of Spike, but found out that the mother drives the daughters away at about 7 months of age to establish their own patch, while the male offspring just roam at will, so in the ‘natural order of things’, our dear little Spike was driven away. I hope she found a good spot, as she was a real sweetie. I haven’t got as close to the others since her, and the novelty has waned a bit: I think we’re up to baby number 8 now.


spike, possums, brush tailed

Although I am still a babe in the woods when it comes to the technical side, I have loved photography most of my life, and it’s wonderful to get that occasional great shot I feel very proud of, for the hundreds of just ‘nice’ ones. I get quite excited at the prospect of visiting some places these days because of the great photos I just might get, if I’m lucky.

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  • weecoughimages
    weecoughimagesover 4 years ago
    Wow. how cool is that ? Don’t they bite Bron ?
  • ha! not if you don’t push your luck! They readily take apple and snacks from your hand, and if they’re a bit impatient might reach out and pull your hand towards them to get hold of the nibbles… I had to put this little one back up in the tree when she was little and she was fine with that at the time. She was very used to me being around. Alas, if mum doesn’t shoo the girls away we’d be inundated with them and their offspring and we only have a house garden surrounded by fairly empty paddocks, so they would be relying more and more on the extras we provide, which is not ideal… very sad, but that’s nature… Bron

    – BronReid

  • gen1977
    gen1977over 4 years ago

    Very sweet – a shame she had to leave.

  • this is true, I was very sad to not see any more of her and she’s the one that was easier to tell apart because of her white tip of the tail and white rings around her eyes… the other 7 offspring that have succeeded her have not had a discernible feature so I’m usually guessing which is which. Only the boys stay around, I think another little girl has been driven out just this past week… sad. Glad you like this, it’s my fave shot of her. Bron

    – BronReid

  • Georgie Hart
    Georgie Hartover 4 years ago

    Beautiful capture of this furry little darling Bron, they are such photogenic little creatures.

  • it helped that she was used to me and trusted me, a real little darling. Our garden couldn’t possibly support two breeding females, so it makes sense, but doesn’t make it any less sad to not see her any more. I do miss her. Yes, cameras generally don’t faze them! B

    – BronReid

  • chrisjf56
    chrisjf56over 3 years ago

    lovely little possum I had a family living in my garage and I used to feed them honey bread by hand but a friend used my garage to store stuff and one day I guess as the Mother was going through the boxes fell on her and killed her :<) the baby never came back ..but recently I have heard a possum in the tree near my bedroom window at night so will leave some fruit out again..

  • Oh Chris, that is so sad. Our colony began with an orphaned baby you could fit in your hand (there’s a pic of her when she set up house in a bird house in our drive, way way smaller than they are when mum rejects them ie aged around 7 months!). She (we called Harley) has had 9 babies now but all the boys hang around, the girls are shoo-ed away by mum to set up their own patch, which in hidnsight is a great relief. We have so much thundering around the bullnose verandah roofs at night with those who remain, and Harley has another baby every 9 months or so, the novely has worn down, so beware how much you encourage them (assume you mean Brushtails). We have had darling ringtails as well (see other pics) but they are much shyer, and I think the Brushies have shoo-ed them off over time as well, such a shame.

    – BronReid

  • ps: this little first baby of Harley’s Spike, was a gorgeous little girl (I was very sad when she disappeared, but realise that is how nature works with female possums needing their own patch), she was quite tame with me, and her markings quite distinctive. It’s almost impossible to tell them apart since her, all looking very similar and not those cute bright rings around the eyes.

    – BronReid

  • chrisjf56
    chrisjf56over 3 years ago

    yes Bron they were my babies and I was so heart broken when I found her decomposed under the boxes I just thought she had left of her own free will but sadly she had died under the boxes..
    I remember oneday one of her little babies was so small trying to work it’s way up the brick wall I actually didn’t touch it as I’ve heard they will be neglected by their Mum if in contact with human hands ?
    oneday I guess there will be another family come live in the old garage.
    Mother Nature is beautiful and yes needs us sometimes.
    oh still going through all your photo’s need my swag and a flask of tea LOL xo

  • I have put baby possums back up in the tree (Spike, eg) and it doesn’t seem to bother mum, perhaps when she knows you it’s OK. You can only do what you think is right, good on you for caring! Ha, yes, LOL indeed, you deserve a medal if you get even part way through my shamefully indulgent ‘selection’. I keep wanting to whittle it down a bit but it’s so hard working out which ones to discard so I go for those that have minimal viewings, when I get around to it).

    – BronReid

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