I took this picture of Madame La Pew (as my wife has named her) this morning as she headed back to the safety of her den, under our garden shed. She usually makes her appearances between dusk and dawn, thus our paths don't often cross. Today she was lingering well after sunrise and was eating everything in sight. The reason for her increased hunger is the presence, we think, of a half dozen or so new baby skunks in her den. We had watched her getting bigger and bigger or the last several weeks and suddenly one night, a week or so ago, around midnight, there was an unmistakable gas attack outside the open bedroom windows.
We shut the windows immediately and decided the moment had arrived and the smell was a by-product of giving birth. We've been through this in other years and in a month or so, mum will appear one evening with the whole clan, in tow, and lead the juveniles on a jaunt around the neighbourhood. She will give them all the slip along the way and come home alone. Her children will have been given the heave-ho and they will have to find their own way in the world, henceforth. Linda and I were thrilled to watch one of these departures, a few years ago, when seven skunks, in a tight pack undulated across the backyard like a black and white patchwork quilt. There was no sound ... just a rippling, mirage-like huddle of skunks floating across the grass, in dusk's half-light.
Please comment if you wish. BtheB