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Arts & Culture > Poetry & Prose > Skunky


There hasn’t been much rain lately, so it has been costing less to keep the lawn mowed. I made the mistake, a couple of weeks ago, of pulling vines from the rock wall with bare hands, and discovered a new allergy — morning glory vines. Blisters popped up on my hands and forearms within minutes. They’re finally going away now. I’ve never reacted to it before so this was a surprise. Online it looks like this is really common, and these vines keep regrowing like kudzu.

Another thing I learned was not to toss old grapes into the yard for the birds and the groundhog anymore. This morning the groundhog was out there eating them, but he must have left some. The local skunk showed up around 9pm and spent a long time examining the ground under the tree near my front door — smelling those grapes, apparently — so I started turning on lights and playing really loud music, hoping to frighten him away. I had to resort to shining a flashlight out the door at him and banging on the glass door before he took off. I stood out of view, because it seemed better not to be seen, as if he wouldn’t know what creature was making the racket. And be less likely to come over and spray.

I’m not sure I can walk at night anymore, because the skunk comes out to make rounds as soon as it’s dark.

The last couple of days have been wonderfully cool at night.

I’m still critiquing on Critters, the science fiction writers’ site, but lately I find the quality of work submitted is so poor it’s scary. They aren't writing in complete sentences, and the grammar is painful. It takes twice as long to read and respond to a story when it seems as if the writer is unfamiliar with how English works. I am afraid the online posting younger people do is eroding their ability to write a full page.

posted on Aug 25, 2019 9:41 PM ()


One summer one of our garages smelled slightly skunky, but we couldn't find where skunks had dug under the foundation to make a home. Years later we found the skeleton of the skunk - it had apparently gotten trapped in a 5 gallon bucket in the garage and couldn't get out.

A few years ago one died in the crawl space of the house next door - it smelled skunky all summer, worse right when you went in the back door, so that must have been over where it was in the crawl space. Finally, the smell went away. Our pot smoking/eating friend said it smelled to her like pot, so we pretended that was the case, not that anyone asked unless we brought it up first. But I've never seen a skunk up here, not even dead on the road, so I don't think they are very common.
comment by traveltales on Aug 29, 2019 3:10 PM ()
The one thing I haven't seen on this island is skunks. I am grateful. We did have a palm rat hang out in our attic. Big $$ to repair dishwasher several times because he'd find his way into the kitchen and chew through the lines to get water. Was washing dishes in the spare bathroom for weeks.
comment by tealstar on Aug 26, 2019 8:31 PM ()
I used to think warmer weather places have the worst critters, but now that Lyme ticks here are so much on the increase (and Pennsylvania is where most of the Lyme disease cases are), I guess we're all at the mercy of living stuff out there.
reply by drmaus on Aug 27, 2019 3:10 PM ()
I've had more than one encounter with a neighborhood skunk without incident. The only time there was trouble was in 2015 at 5pm when the skunk was rabid. The coonhound took care of him tho. Skunks don't expend the energy to "attack" for no reason. As I said above, I walked right past two of them and photographed one walking past me on the front lawn. If you're not aggressive you'll be fine.
comment by jjoohhnn on Aug 26, 2019 4:18 PM ()
Okay, that is similar to what I've read. The thing here is just that there are many trees obscuring the yards, and a skunk might be stepping out of a yard, and we might meet abruptly on the sidewalk and get startled. Only way to avoid that is to walk in the street itself, I guess.
reply by drmaus on Aug 27, 2019 3:03 PM ()
rivergirl at wordpress wrote about a skunk visiting her along with deers and birds--they all stayed away from the skunk--including her!!

I am surprised the 'writers' aren't posting everything in abbreviations!!
comment by greatmartin on Aug 26, 2019 9:33 AM ()
Yes -- I expect them to start writing in text abbreviations any time now. It's horrible. I ask my coworkers never to ever use that in emails with other businesses, ever.
reply by drmaus on Aug 27, 2019 2:58 PM ()
Jose and I have encountered skunks on our morning walk and he seems to have enough sense to leave them be but I still hate it. I really like walking about 6 a.m. It seems to start the day right for both of us.
comment by elderjane on Aug 26, 2019 3:58 AM ()
I don't walk outside anymore. I use the treadmill instead and can adjust the speed and the incline for a good workout. Anyway, I can't get myself out of the house really early any more and that's the only good time to walk because it gets so hot. It's a shame too, because I made friends. Did I mention I rarely get to bed before 2 a.m.? No matter how hard I try, there's always something else I'd rather be doing.
reply by tealstar on Aug 26, 2019 8:35 PM ()
I love very early morning too -- even laundry at the laundromat is okay then. Some dogs are smart about skunks, but I'm afraid I'd get a dog who would get excited and chase one.
reply by drmaus on Aug 26, 2019 7:07 AM ()

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