Twilight Possum

After an unusually warm day, the air turned swiftly cool as the sun went down in a pale orange sky and the light began to fade. A bat swooped and fluttered over the road and grassy lawns. Overhead, the sky was clear, gray-blue. A pair of Phoebes called “tsup! tsup!” from spot to spot around the yard as they did some late hunting. A Pine Warbler trilled, and a White-throated Sparrow sang one shaky, plaintive, “Come a-way with me.” Several Juncos and White-throated Sparrows were still feeding on the ground, but gradually birds slipped away into the bushes and trees, calling out in short chips and seets as they settled down for the night. Peeping back and forth with her mate, a female Cardinal came to the bird bath near our porch for a drink, as she does almost every evening just before dark. A Towhee called “To-wheee.”

In deep twilight, I heard rustling footsteps making their way down the hill toward our house, and could just make out a form with a pointed pale face and a fat waddling shape – a possum. It rustled steadily all the way up to the sidewalk three feet in front of me, and didn’t even flinch or turn when I made a noise. It just waddled on, unperturbed, across the sidewalk, past the bushes and out of sight.

Leave a Reply