Possum eviction Part 1.

My youngest son and I have spent  Sunday at my parent’s house.old pearly jenkins

My dad very kindly gave up his only day off this week to help me build three new possum houses and I am extremely grateful for his time..

He found the plans online and we got stuck in.

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Here are the finished products! three wonderful new homes for the possums.

It’s really important to me that we at least try to offer alternative accommodation.  We’re having  the rusty old roof replaced with a  brand spanking new one!! + insulation in a few weeks time.

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I hope the little buggers use them!!  I also hope that they’re  ‘rain proof’  We’ve built them out of marine plywood but I think I might still give them a coat of ‘something’ to keep our little friends dry.  Spring is just around the corner and that means Storm Season here in Queensland.

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Here they are,  buckled in the back seat of the car … ready to go!!!

I also want to share with you a recent project my parents have been working on.  It’s a Pergola by the swimming pool.  I love it!!!

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And here is the youngest son enjoying the last of the winter sun.  Despite it being winter, I still managed to  get sunburnt!!

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The flatbread hat and a hungry possum.

I know these photos have nothing to do with renovating the house but I couldn’t resist adding them.

While Mr F was engrossed in his phone last night we gave him a flatbread hat as we knew there was a possum waiting in the Frangipani tree.

It didn’t take long for the inquisitive and hungry little possum to come and investigate and steal Mr F’s hat.

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old pearly jenkins

The company I keep on cold Saturday nights.

For the pass month I have been slowly trying to strip back all paint from the front porch.  As I work full-time I try to do a little at night.  It’s an incredibly BORING job but today I finished the walls.  I’ve just got to work on the rest of the timber trims.  THEN it all needs sanding.

but…

Last night I had company while I worked. This possum is a new visitor. It wasn’t bothered by the noise of the heat gun, which sounds like a hair dryer.  Maybe it was enjoying the warmth that the heat gun produces.  It was a little cold last night.old pearly jenkins

Possum update.

It’s been quite a while since I mentioned the possums and there have been some changes!

During January and February, we’d open the cupboard to feed mummy and baby but mummy possum was never there.  It was just baby and Big B*#ls, whom we suspect is daddy.  I would worry about her because they were lying in the cupboard, the coolest part of the roof and we could hear them fighting when she would try to reclaim her spot..

Then…..

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Baby

baby possum appears to have moved out and BB only shows up occasionally.   It’s just been mummy possum sitting in the cupboard when we open it each night.  However  baby and BB are  still around as we see them occasionally in the Frangipani trees next door.

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Big Ba#@s eating some flatbread in the Frangipani.

We have our suspicions that mummy maybe carrying another little possum in her pouch as a few weeks back she seemed to have a reddish/brown  dirty mark in the area where her pouch is.

Perhaps this is why she’s back in the cupboard.

Middle son and I spent  some time this afternoon making her a little padded box to keep her warm during winter.  Last year we had a towel in a corner for them and mummy and baby would curl up together on it.  Check out this year’s effort.

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We made it out of an old box, some bits of an old duvet inner and an old towel.

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Mummy went in for a bit of a look, noticed that it needs a little work in the corner but we think she likes it.  We’ve fixed up the droopy bit and hope that it keeps her ‘snug as a bug’ all winter long.

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“WARNING” PLEASE DO NOT LOOK AT THIS PHOTO IF THE IDEA OF A WILD ANIMAL ON THE KITCHEN BENCH MAKES YOU WANT TO GRAB THE ‘SPRAY AND WIPE’!!

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Ok, I know it’s not very hygienic but I wanted to get a photo of him before he grew to big.  I did wipe the bench down after I put him back in his cupboard.

The Possums.

I know I shouldn’t but I worry about our little furry friends in the roof when the weather is this hot.  Its been in the  mid 30’s celsius (approximately 90 degrees farenheit) and under the corrugated iron roof they must be sweltering.  When we open the cupboard to give them their dinner late in the afternoons they are often  lying spreadeagled on the floor of the cupboard.  Is this their way of keeping cool?  Why do they choose to live in these conditions???

A few weeks ago we decided to put in a little water bottle usually used for rabbits, guinea pigs etc.  It looks like they’re using it too because the water disappears.  I did wonder if the water was dripping out, so I put a little bowl under it to see and so far its remained dry.  I’d really like to put a small fan up there but Mr F, who isn’t that crazy about the whole possum ‘thing’ thinks I’m going a little overboard.  I know he’s right, I just can’t help it.

I took these photos this afternoon when I came home from work.

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old pearly jenkins

The extended family members living in the kitchen!

Someone described the suburb we  were about to move to as a “Possum’s paradise”.
Knowing this should have prepared us but what sounded like a pack of dogs running on the roof scared the crap out of us on our first night in the house.

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Rosebush and Possum

We have two and only two cupboards in our kitchen and we don’t use either of them. Why? because the insides are gross and had a weird smell, so we just put an old ‘meat safe’ in front to use as a pantry and pretended they weren’t there.

Old pearly Jenkins

The top cupboard

Old pearly Jenkins

The substitute pantry hiding the yucky bottom cupboard

I’m not sure which member of the family opened the top cupboard to investigate one day and discovered a possum sitting inside. The top cupboard has the only access to the roof.From the state of the inside of the cupboard it looks like its been a home to many generations of possums.
Now at this point in most people’s stories about possums in the roof, a trap would be borrowed and the possums evicted!

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It just never happened. In fact they’ve become part of the family.
Its gone from asking the middle son “have you feed the cats?” to “Have you feed the cats and the possums?”

So one day in winter when we were opened the cupboard ( you have to climb on a chair and stand on the kitchen bench) we discovered that Possum had become a mummy. For the past six months we have all watched  ‘baby’ grow. It’s been really quite special and we’ve enjoyed being able to hand feed and stroke them.  We’ve learnt that they’re actually very clean animals and also very friendly. (they’re not idiots – they get feed).

Old Pearly Jenkins

Old Pearly Jenkins

I’m sure there will be someone reading this who thinks we are doing the wrong thing and interfering with nature and prehaps we are. It’s just been really special being able to share this with my children and its something that I know they’ll remember for a long time.

Until we know what we are doing with the house, we are happy to leave them be.  Apart from coming home every morning around 4.30am and making a bit of a racket.  (I wish we could teach them to tiptoe)  They’re not bothering us at all.