There I was, strolling along on a late winter’s evening. The wind from the south-southwest carried the usual suburban evening scents of dryer sheets, people immolating, er, grilling meat, a smoker, two fireplaces . . .the usual. With sunset and low humidity, the temperature dropped rather nicely, down to the upper 50s, enough for a jacket but also cool enough I wasn’t perspiring much. Strolling along at a brisk pace, watching traffic and thinking about not too much at all, besides the occasional loose dog. La de da, la di lee, ho hum . . .
PhEEEEWWWWWW!! Mephitis mephitis in the neighborhood! Run up wind as fast as you can!
I walked as briskly as dignity and shin-splints would allow until I passed the scene of the olfactory attack. I knew we had the foxes (seen three weeks ago not far from Redquarters), possums, the occasional coyote passing through, but not skunks. Well, at least one is in the district, and he was pretty ticked off at someone or something.
About one a month seems to be set off, or flattened, in the quarter or so of Amarillo that I frequent. Usually it is a faint whiff, a wrinkled nose, and “eww. Skonk.” One morning someone triggered a skunk directly up wind of the school, probably while driving the pasture, and it came in through the A/C, occasioning much moaning and wincing, and puzzled looks from students who had not been exposed to Eau de Skonk before. This was probably less than two blocks from my location. Eyewateringly close, bitter, everything you do not want to have on your clothes or car. Or dog. And challenging to get rid of.*
It rained the next day and I didn’t smell the critter again, although I suspect I might. Especially if it was a female, and there is a male around, and we get . . .
There’s some urban wildlife I can do without.
*The funniest episode that I can remember of the TV series “Evening Shade” was when the main character and his wife were trying to go on a romantic cabin stay, just the two of them, and he found a skunk. And they didn’t have any tomato juice.