Saturday, May 22, 2010

Corralitas Drive: Skunk Tales

Photo: T. Glynn, May, 19, 2010. "Pepe" visiting a neighbor's yard.

This young, shiny, fluffy skunk has been visiting T. Glynn's yard regularly in the early evenings. "Pepe" has a distinctively wide swath of white fur on his back. (Skunks actually have wide variations in their stripe patterns.) Pepe looks like the same skunk I watched spray my neighbor's dog atop Corralitas Drive, a few weeks ago.

Skunks are omnivores. They particularly love flower bulbs. One neighbor couldn't plant bulbs in his garden because skunks would dig them up before they even sprouted. Skunks even used to dig bulbs out of our flower pots.

When Crazycatlady lived next door, "Petunia" used to have litters of baby skunks behind the dryer in her garage.

Don't try this at home:
One night, while locked out of the house, a neighbor learned first hand, just how friendly Petunia was. While sitting on the doorstep, reading a book, awaiting the arrival of a spare key, the neighbor heard insistent sneezing at her feet. Peering cautiously over the book, she found a skunk repeatedly sneezing and stamping its feet. Unsure of what this behavior meant in skunk language, the neighbor remained calm and didn't move.

The business end of the skunk was pointed away from her. After a few minutes of the sneezing and stamping, the neighbor cautiously stuck an index finger toward the skunk's head. Petunia moved forward and rubbed her head on the finger. The neighbor proceeded to calmly scratch the skunk's head with just the one finger, not daring to move any other muscle. A few minutes later, satisfied, Petunia moved on to her nightly rounds.