Proof that I can photograph more than just birds. This Virginia Opossum (Didelphis virginiana) must have been frightened by my approach and began climbing a tree to hide. While it was making a get-away, it was making a lot of noise and making me second guess whether I should take the path that I was on. I then remembered that there isn't really anything in Kansas that I should be afraid of (bears and/or mountain lions) so I trudged on and found this little guy. Of course, I had to take a ton of pictures. This is the first Virginia Opossum that I have ever experienced in the wild. I usually only see them in town near dumpsters. I began to feel that I was causing unnecessary stress by being in the area, so I continued my hike and allowed him to go about his day.
Virginia Opossums are the only naturally occurring marsupial in North America and have the most teeth (50) of any mammal in Kansas. They are one of my favorite animals. Although they have a reputation for being dirty animals, they are immune to rabies and Lyme's disease, with ticks being a good portion of their diet. Their fur is really soft and their tail is scaly and mostly hairless.