Friday, September 18, 2015

meet & greet

Photo collage by Jennifer Roder

Their assignments were simple. The one-eyed screech owl and the orphaned, lame opossum were asked to greet people arriving at Symphony in the Park at Ijams last Sunday.

As part of the education staff, they are goodwill ambassadors for the nature center. Their human companions were there to answer questions and tell their life histories

Educator Sammi Stoklosa and the little screech (Megascops asio) are veterans of such affairs, owls are always so stoic. But the young marsupial is new to the staff, only about four or five months old. 

It was her first cocktailed soirée but she is much too young to truly partake. And who would want a glazed possum? They get into enough trouble on their own without libation. The shrimp hors d'oeuvres did catch her eye, or snout. 

With Ijams volunteer and UT student, Lam
Opossums (Didelphis virginiana) eat just about anything, and a skewered crustacean with a pre-inserted toothpick, oh my. How handy, since they actually have 50 teeth, more than any other North American mammal. So the sweet thing took to the hoopla just fine, as adroit as her distant Okefenokee cousin Pogo at meeting guests in their fancy soirée attire. 

Although after over an hour, she began to yawn and soon fell asleep in her handler's arms.

Soon thereafter, I put her to bed.

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