Skunks and Other Stinkers – February 21, 2014

FotoSketcher - IMG_1438

There is nothing quite like the scent of a skunk.  They can  be smelled long before they are seen.  No other creature on earth of which I know carries the pungent repellant sprayed by skunks.

On a recent drive through Kentucky along a rural road, I counted twenty two dead skunks before I stopped counting, and smelled the potency of every single one of them.  It seemed like every skunk in the state must be trying to cross the highway on the nights of February’s full moon.

Skunks are only found in North and South America.  They are easy to recognize not only by their smell, but also by their black and white markings.  They eat animals and plants, may hibernate through the coldest part of winter, and bear young in the spring.

They are nosey little creatures, which may be part of what causes their problems on the highway.  Like humans, apparently they want to know what is on the other side.  They may be searching for food after the winter thaw, or maybe looking for a mate.

I was once photographing a skunk (maybe the one in this photo) at Cumberland Falls.  It was coming up a forest path toward me.  I took a few shots then hid behind a tree, trying to let it get closer for a better photo.  I leaned out to see where the skunk was and it was no longer on the trail.  I felt something at my foot and looked down to find the skunk sniffing my toes.  Needless to say, I did not move, and eventually, the little guy lost interest and waddled away.  It was so close, my camera wouldn’t focus on the settings I had used for the trail and I couldn’t manipulate the camera without disturbing my little visitor.

Lloyd Dodgett said, “Sometimes when you get in a fight with a skunk, you can’t tell who started it.”  The end result is still the same – the stink is all over everybody/everything.

Drawing a comparison between people and skunks is pretty easy.  Some people are just plain stinkers.  They are always up to something, always offending people, and always causing people to try and get away from them because of their whining, grumbling, and general bad attitude.

Skunks earn their reputation because of their behavior and the stink they leave behind if they have felt frightened or threatened.  Maybe people stir up stink around them for the same reasons.

Lloyd Dodgett said, “

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