The Rainforest Journal: Outing #16 – Day 8

(Sunday 21-December-2014)

@4:34pm

Got back about an hour ago from getting water *solely* because there wouldn’t have been enough to cook pasta dinners for all three+ Possums, and the night before last – when everyone had a seperate plate of their own – I didn’t hear any drama at all the whole night.

On the way back of course, I hear scratching as I walk and look over to see this little dood…

A Short-beaked Echidna.

A Short-beaked Echidna.

.. as is often the case, by the time I recognized what was making the noise and got the camera out and ready, he’d already hidden himself. Not very well mind you, but the face is the most appealing part of the animal and he successfully deprived me of that.

Would you wanna grab that just for a photo of a distraught native animal?

Would you wanna grab that just for a photo of a distraught native animal?

Marsupial Mayhem

Last night saw a record of four Possums getting scrappy over the food I’d left out. I did a Pearl cous-cous but since I used too much spice, I figured the peppery burn would not appeal to them at all.

The correct answer is 3.

The correct answer is 3.

Turned out young Bobby doesn’t mind a bit of spice in his rice, and he spent a good portion of the latter half of the evening chasing the two female Possums up nearby trees. He picked on the smallest one the most of course, and several times throughout the ruckus I saw him attack the little one; even though she was already hiding up a tree, not even close to any food.

The mother/daughter pair trying not to offend Cranky Bob.

The mother/daughter pair trying not to offend Cranky Bob.

I am pretty sure the two new Possums in these photos are female as well as mother/daughter. Males have an orange mark on their chests – caused by a scent gland that secretes, scent – and not only do neither of these two have the scent-gland stain at all, they’re fur is darker, their ears are smaller and they’re both rounder in the face with less contrast in face markings.

Staying close to Mum.

Staying close to Mum.

Bobby “Boots” McGee, on the other hand has longer ears, the conspicuous scent-gland stain, a lighter face with little chocolate splotches on his cheeks and even more telling; his aggro, macho-man behavior. All the time I watched the three interact last night, it was *always* Bob charging at the ladies.

Young Bobby McGee, just to illustrate the difference it colour, and show the oily orange grime around the scent gland on his macho little chest.

Young Bobby McGee, just to illustrate the difference it colour, and show the oily orange grime around the scent gland on his macho little chest.

They would sneakily approach nonetheless, but only ever until they reached some rice bubbles I’d put in a container a few feet away from the main meal at the tent door, and they never challenged the nasty little man for his food; he’d just charge at em everytime they looked like getting to close, of his own whim.

Young Bob (below), corners the mother (above), having already beat shit out of her offspring a few times.

Young Bob (below), corners the mother (above), having already beat shit out of her offspring a few times.

There were four Possums all up that I counted, but one didn’t come within range of the dim red LEDs on my headlamp at all. I saw the other three right in front of the tent, running up the trees, doing all that Marsupial/Arboreal nonsense but all I saw of the fourth was the eyes.

I wish I could take a photo of all their eyes in the dark. One Possum with glowing eyes is a pretty cool sight, so four is just “wow”.

Just imagine, pitch black – can’t see anything further than two meters because of the dimness of the red nocturnal LEDs – and off in the dark are these pairs of brightly luminous, glowing red eyes bobbing and sneaking around, looking around and quietly moving. The last photo – of Bob and the Mum up the tree shows the red ‘fleccy eyes, so if you just imagine that’s all you can see, surrounded by ink-black and multiplied by four animals, yeah pretty cool indeed.

The little girl steals a rare moment to taste Rice Bubbles for the first time.

The little girl steals a rare moment to taste Rice Bubbles for the first time.

Of course the other two Possums got some food for themselves – sneaking around the edges of the tent’s periphery – but not as much as the Bobmeister, so tonight – again – I’ve cooked up a full litre pot-full of pasta with peas and tomato paste plus a little parmesan for fat, and spread it into three seperate meals, several meters away from each other. This should solve the macho-man-beating-the-bitches problem and allow everyone to fill their bellies.

The best for last? Baby she-possum tastes breakfast biscuits, also for the first time.

The best for last? Baby she-possum tastes breakfast biscuits, also for the first time.

The Rainforest Journal: Outing #16 – Day 8
Rate in Guidos

Jason
Animal-loving cleaner with a parrot.

, , , , , , ,