Friday, July 2, 2010

Skunk Saga

Well the city guys came out yesterday and set a trap in front of our skunk's front door. He was supposed to smell the food pellets, follow them into the box, be trapped by the falling portcullis, and rest contentedly without spraying anything until they get here to take him away.

Supposed to...
This morning the trap still looked like this.
I'm beginning to think our skunk is a Mrs. Skunk, and maybe there is a whole nest of skunklets under there. Won't that be nice if they all detonate right before the wedding?
People would remember that one for years.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

That Old Skunk

Last night, we were determined to block the skunk's gateway to the underworld of our house, so Turtle went into action. Loyd stayed around after VBS, staking out a position in his vehicle and helping us watch for the creature's departure. Turtle watched from inside the den. Loyd saw the skunk first as he crossed our yard--keeping well within the shadows of the fence--and dove into the underbrush of the creek across the street. He called Turtle on his cell phone and my fearless protector went into action with a heavy slab of wood, two stakes and a sledge hammer. He pounded the stakes into the ground, being careful not to mess up my flower bed of pampered petunias, and slid the board between them and the house. "There," he said, reassuringly, "That'll keep him out."

This morning, just before sunrise, I heard noises by the back door. The skunk was actually trying to get into the house, nosing at the door and scratching at the glass for all the world like a pet dog. I waited until he moved over toward the trash can, then stepped outside and got his picture.

He raised his tail.
I retreated into the house and waited until he trotted off around the corner of the garage before I dared to leave for my morning walk. I imagined that he would hide in the woods, or under a swooping juniper bush in the front yard.

But I badly underestimated the fury of that skunk.

When I returned from my walk, I saw Turtle walking around outside, talking on the phone. Immediately, I thought someone had died. Thankfully no. He was talking to city hall to see if our town had an animal control unit because our uninvited resident, Mr. Skunk, had attacked the portcullis, thrown down the stakes, and gained access to the castle dungeon.

Hmmm. Now what?
My petunias are highly offended.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Skunk

There's a skunk under my house. Yes, you read right, a real skunk.
Last evening as I was getting ready for bed I got a call from Loyd, one of the elders in our church, who was the last to leave the building after our evening VBS.
"Hey, I was driving by your house and guess what? I just saw the prettiest little black and white kitty come from your flower bed and head toward the creek."
It took me a minute to ponder why he would call me over a kitty. I'm allergic to cats, but one in the yard is no problem. Then it soaked in.
"Ok, I'll stay in."
"No. I think he has a nest under your house. Are you sure there's not a hole somewhere there?"
"Well, I don't think so. All the vents are sealed off."
"You'd better check. Skunks can get in through very small holes. Right now he's gone, so it'd be a great time to seal any holes you see."
So I dressed and went outside. Sure enough, there was a little hole at the bottom of the vent to the crawl space where a brick was missing. I found a brick that was more or less the right size, then piled more bricks over and around it for good measure, went back into the house and went to bed. This morning just before six, I checked the vent before I took off for my morning walk. The bricks had been moved; the little skunk hole was open again, so I know he's under there.
I don't think I'll vacuum the bedroom today; don't want to startle anything.
After he leaves on his nocturnal prowl tonight, I'll pile a mountain of bricks or cement the space.

Odd Things #13

My sister sent me this picture of something odd. It's actually a mural, but why would you want it there? Maybe the owner also owns a book store, or maybe it's the parallel to those antique photos with stern-faced ancestors proudly holding possessions, the most popular of which are books. At any rate, I'd rather advertise my love for books I've read than for a sports team I've never played for.