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Didelphis virginiana- a study

Living out in the country again has afforded me a lot of wildlife studying opportunities over the past few weeks. With spring rolling in, the woods is starting to wake up. Sadly this means there are a few casualties with automobiles as everything begins to move through the countryside.  

 

We found this possum near the road one morning, it had been hit but waddled to safety on the edge of our property before passing away in a bed of pine needles as the sun rose. I found the body as I walked the dogs that morning, I noticed a pair of buzzards circling the property much lower than normal. Fearing some kind of ominous prophecy I followed the dogs’ noses to find what was attracting the birds. There laid this possum, I’ve omitted the wound sustained from the vehicle in my illustration. 

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You can catch a video time lapse of this piece coming together on instagram-

 https://www.instagram.com/tv/Bv_uPS8lHYE/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=1tk8dvuwevdf9

To ensure the buzzards a comfortable landing for their breakfast, I moved the possum to the center of a nearby cornfield, allowing Mother Nature to take her course.  

I’m finding a refreshing peace in studying from life. Although it may appear slightly macabre, I’m following a long history of artist naturalists working to honor these animals in one form or another. With spring on it’s way, I’m ready for a fresh start myself. Our chickens are begging to be painted and it’s hard to resist taking my paints into the woods as things begin to sprout.