Sunday, December 02, 2007

Fluffy Sweeps, Then Eats.

Gusts- to 40 MPH
Wind Chill- 12F

6:01PM My, my, it's only an hour and a half after sunset and Fluffy is already browsing under the feeder. The patio light is on which must not bother him.

Fluffy could be a cat if you saw her out of the corner of your eye. Well, maybe.
I come up flush with the glass, doesn't Fluffy see me? Probably not opossums have very bad eyesight and poor hearing. I accidentally tapped the camera on the glass and she didn't even look up. Fascinating for the species to be so limited in t hose senses and yet continue as a species since prehistoric time relatively unchanged. A powerful sense of smell and a advanced sense of touch seems to have been enough. I supposed if you don't use two of your senses all that much if you accidentally loose that sense in an accident say, it doesn't put you at much of a disadvantage.
I wondered if the light interfered with her vision at all. As she's nocturnal and all, but the experts think not
What is she after?
I think she's looking for corn. See her tongue? Sometimes it comes out and retrieves things.
Fluffy tends to be an animal in motion. I realize that she is doing little sweeps back and forth with her head. I begin to think her sense of smell is the only sense to speak of that is leading her to the tidbits she's looking for.

Her head goes right,
Then left,
Then right again.

Her nose has found something; she leans forward, chewing.

Then left again,

And right.

Now she goes even further right in the arc. ( The gusting wind gives me a good view of her white undercoat and stiff outer gray coat.)
Then left and she pauses.
More chewing.
It strikes me that it looks like Fluffy is lying on someone's hand. Look carefully and you can see Fluffy's whiskers. I'm betting that as they sprout out of her entire snout in various directions that they are an important part of her navigation and food finding equipment.
She continues the arc,

Then back slightly towards the original apex.
Now back again. I'd say, she's attempting to pinpoint the location of the bread, down left. Her sweeps make perfect sense. She won't miss anything else while searching for the bread, and her nose going back and forth will cause the the bread smell to rise and diminish. Therefore allowing her to hone in on the bread if she can't see it.
That's what she's after! The bread slides in, I think on her tongue, and disappears in one smooth movement.
Fluffy comes right up to the glass with an expression that looks demonic to me. It could be a perfectly positive opossum expression but I haven't watched them enough to know.

Fluffy does register my presence. She moves away. No arc now. Look carefully at the photo. Fluffy is hissing at me.
Okay, okay, I'll close the curtain. Go 'head, and sniff out your dinner.
Donegal Browne

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