cathyr19355: Stock photo of myself (Default)
posted by [personal profile] cathyr19355 at 01:13am on 17/03/2008 under
It's easy to tell that we have skunks in our area, because they too often end up as roadkill, and you can smell their last testament from a surprising distance away.

But I'd never seen a live skunk until last weekend, when [livejournal.com profile] esrblog and I were coming home from a movie (I may post about that later). It was in the back yard, within the range of my headlights as I pulled into the driveway.

I was surprised. It was really pretty. It had longish fur that looked as though it would be soft to touch, and its white stripe was almost the full width of its head. It stayed still as long as I left the headlights on, though I didn't try to approach it. (Aside from the skunk's reflex to use its chemical weapons when it feels threatened, they sometimes carry rabies, and I didn't want to create any risks for myself or it.)

Later, I learned from Wikipedia that skunks have very bad eyesight. It was probably completely blind from the lights; for all the poor skunk knew, we were space aliens. Wikipedia also claims that skunks only use their spray as a last resort, because they don't carry much of it in their bodies at a time (15 cc, if you must know) and it takes 10 days for their bodies to replenish the stock once they use it.

Wikipedia confirmed another detail I'd heard before about skunks, which is that if you have their chemical weaponry removed, they make decent pets. I can see the attraction of having a pet skunk, now.

An odd, interesting, and beautiful creature.
Mood:: 'pleased' pleased

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