This opossum was calmly perched on a fence in our neighborhood as we walked by on a recent morning dog walk. Opossums are nocturnal animals, so seeing one out in mid-morning seemed unusual.
Virginia Opossum (Didelphis virginiana) is the only wild species of opossum in the United States, and it is our only native marsupial. They have a reputation as a pest, but this may not be deserved. They are useful scavengers of dead animals, and also eat many types of noxious rodents and insects, particularly ticks.
I was surprised to find an organization online that is devoted to opossums, the Opossum Society of the United States. They rescue and rehabilitate injured and orphaned opossums, and also present educational programs in schools. Good for them!