Wildlife at Home

SkunkWe just returned from working on the new house.  Again.  With yet another project where we didn’t quite know what we were doing and didn’t quite have all the right equipment.  So by the end of the evening we were both hot, sweaty, tired, and more than a little snippy.  Will wanted to check to make sure our internet connection had been activated before we took off so I wandered around the house trying to generate a bit of breeze.  I happened to glance out the back window and discovered we had a visitor.

No, it wasn’t the dogs from next door, nor was it any sort of adorable baby animal like the ones that seem to grace bugsandbrooms.  Actually, it was pretty cute but somehow skunks never quite fall into the cuddly category.  We were going to take a picture but were afraid that the flash might set off a spray reaction.  So we just watched him (her?) waddle around and drink out of the plant saucer that had collected rainwater.

I think skunks are a pretty perfect example of my feelings about wildlife in general.  They’re very cute and very interesting but I’m nervous about having them too close to my personal space, for fear they might infringe on my comfort zone.  I feel a bit ashamed to admit it but it’s the truth.  Should we be protecting bears and bobcats?  Absolutely!  Do I want one living in my backyard?  Uh, no, not really.  Yet another dilemma in the life of an environmentalist.  Still, I’m pretty psyched to have a skunk in my backyard and if the day comes that I get a stinky spray of nastiness for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, at least it will make an excellent story.

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3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Bugs and Brooms said,

    August 4, 2008 @ 11:12 am

    That is too funny! No – no skunks here (at least not yet)! But I sympathize with the environmentalist dilemma. We had a horrible tick infestation this spring and early summer! I tried all of the non-chemical approaches that I could (except for getting a guinea hen which I did look for but couldn’t find one for sale). After I had 2 ticks attached to my head and DD had 3 attached to hers, plus constantly finding them on my laundry that I brought in from off of the line, and on all of our pets… I threw in the green towel and called in the ‘bad’ people! It wasn’t an immediate fix but things GREATLY improved. But the guilt of using chemicals in our yard was pretty overwhelming. I worried about our birds and other wildlife plus our own health! I finally let it go and decided that balance is the key – I don’t want the damaging affects of chemicals but I also don’t want my daughter to contract a horrible disease. Tough choices but at least our concern for the environment makes us think long and hard before we act.

    Hope your little friend sticks around but doesn’t stink up the place!

  2. 2

    Maggie said,

    August 4, 2008 @ 8:52 pm

    Ticks are gross but I’ve pretty much accepted them as a way of life. They’re really bad here in April and early May but then the numbers seem to drop a lot. I would definitely treat pets for ticks but I didn’t know you even could treat your entire yard. Still, Lyme’s disease is pretty scary.

    I had friends who had guineas and didn’t recommend them. Apparently they are quite noisy and because they like to roost in the same spot, their droppings accumulate a lot. My friends said the guineas also destroyed part of their garden, which they’re not supposed to do but I guess these guineas figured out that if you pull up a tiny seedling, there’s usually still a yummy seed on the end to eat. But perhaps you would have better luck.

    I’ll let you know how life with skunks goes. Something has dug a little den under our deck and we’re not sure if it’s the skunk or yet another critter. But it keeps life interesting!

  3. 3

    Everything’s amazing, nobody’s happy | GreenCouple.com said,

    February 25, 2009 @ 6:21 pm

    […] yard as I went to bed. It’s pretty crazy that we can live so close to downtown and still have wildlife […]

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