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The Lord of Possum Kingdom

Tomorrow I’m heading to Possum Kingdom as Tex’s official helper. I’m not sure what this will entail. Maybe some painting, or just general gophering. In any case, it’s a road trip – yeah!

No one seems to know how the place got its name. To me, Possum Kingdom conjures up a Beatrix Potter scenario with a regal possum wearing a crown and robe whilst sitting upon a throne made out of an old cedar stump. So that’s exactly what I’m expecting, talking possums who live like medieval kings and queens in quaint, yet lavish, oak forest castles.

Tomorrow will also be my first big outing with the DSLR Tex and I got for Christmas. Every time I pick it up, I still feel both excited and uneasy, like someone just handed me a newborn and I might drop it. Once in hand, however, I am reluctant to put it down or let anyone else (poor Tex!) have a turn. Since the new camera brings out my inner OCD Hobbit so acutely, we’ve taken to calling it The Precious.

Male Northern Cardinal

My bird feeding station has become very popular with local avians. At least a dozen different species swing by every day. After such an uncharacteristically cold winter, I feel even better about having the suet and seed out. I also hope it encourages them to nest in our yard.

There’s a cardinal pair that comes by every day. Since I have a penchant for naming creatures that I see on a daily basis, I call him Monsieur Richelieu and her Betty. I didn’t realize that the males sing so well. One afternoon he and I had a call and response session, since the tune he was riffing on right then was pretty easy to whistle.

Later, I worried that he might have thought I was another male (albeit an odd sounding one) but it turns out that, unlike most bird species in which the male does all the singing, male and female cardinals actually like to sing together. No – not like those cheesy male/female ballads with Meatball crooning and mopping his sweaty brow, that’s not what I want you to envision right now at all!

Tui Snider
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Published inTravel Photo Essays


  1. I can’t wait to get my DSLR. I’m getting one (albeit, a very cheap one) within the next month. I’ve been saving my pennies. I will start out with the low line (probably the Canon Rebel) and then move up from there. I’m like you, though. It makes me kind of nervous. The last SLR I had was many years ago. It forced me to learn settings because it had no automatic settings. I have forgotten most of what I learned, although I do use manual settings occasionally on my Fujifilm s8100. I wish we had Cardinals here. I don’t remember them from when I lived down in Oklahoma.
    Have fun on your little trip. I’m looking forward to seeing some pictures from your new camera.

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      I’ve seen great shots with Canon Rebels, Sheila. I look forward to seeing your photos when you get yours. I need to learn more of the tech side of photography, too. I have a nice SLR but have not used it in years, and I am embarrassingly rusty on the basics.

      Cardinals sure are pretty. The female has a bright orange beak, as well. I would love to find a discarded red feather from the male. Thanks for stopping by! :)

  2. i wish the critters around here were a bit more fascinating… hmm…

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      Well, we’ve always got Timmy the Tree to make up for that, right? ;p ~Tui

  3. gail bray gail bray

    have a fabulous road trip, Tui! I hope it’s looking and feeling a bit spring-y er there than in your photo of the gorgeous cardinal. I missed seeing them when I was in the northwest, and they do looks especially striking with a snowy backdrop. but right about now I can hardly stand to see any more snow! Somebody make it stop!!!
    Fingers crossed that Possum Kingdom is as whimsical as its name.
    Safe travels, lovely lady.

    • mentalmosaic mentalmosaic

      I’ll let you know how it goes, Gail. If there’s whimsy to be found, I shall sniff it out. If there’s none, I shall manufacture some. Y’know, it’s not nearly as Springy down here as I would expect. The locals tell me we’re a good 20 to 30 degrees cooler than usual right now. Brrr! Thanks for stopping by! :) ~Tui

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