Wild morning surprise

Sleepy, at 6:30 this morning, I went to raise the blinds in the living room.  As I reached for the pull-cord, I saw in the gap between the blind and the windowsill a most luxuriant tail, waving slowly back and forth. Wow! What a cat! I thought. I pulled the cord and raised the shade. Whoa. Not a cat.

skunk

Juvenile skunk

Less than a foot away, thankfully outside the window, was a skunk. It was jet black with two wide, snow-white stripes along its back, and man, that tail! Black with the white stripes until it reached the last four or five inches at the tip, where it fanned out in a wild party spray of black, white and gray.

The skunk startled a little at the movement of the shade but continued its leisurely stroll along the walk and around the corner of the house. It seemed quite unconcerned. No wonder, though. Armed as they are with that noxious stink-bomb, not much worries skunks.

scrub jay

Western scrub jay

I don’t often see much wildlife here at Mom’s house, what with the busy road close by and the suburban neighborhood all around. It’s not like at my own house up the mountain, where any given morning might start with a raccoon or possum, a skunk or a deer, or even a coyote sighting, and nearly all mornings begin with our local gang of rowdy Stellar’s jays yelling up the sunrise from their perches in the tall pines.

Birds are rare around Mom’s place, too. I’ve seen all of one robin this spring, and no sparrows or finches whatever. Even the ubiquitous scrub jays that make the foothill live-oak glens their home are scarce.

This little dawn skunk was a gift. I hope I get to see it again.

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7 responses to “Wild morning surprise

  1. What a surprise! It looks like a baby.

  2. We get lots of those little critters in my area. Always such a beautiful sight.

  3. Glad he didn’t spray your house at being startled by the blinds movement. My in-laws had one spray by their air conditioner last year and it pulled the odor in through the duct work in the house.

  4. Makes you wonder why nature gave it such a perfect defense mechanism. Aromatherapy in reverse!

  5. They’re cute but they can really ruin your day. We have begun to see them here and I am hoping my dogs never decide they might be good fun.

  6. My hubby years ago got sprayed by a skunk one late night on our back porch. Ewwwww! It was such a strong terrible smell he stripped off his clothes and left them in the yard. OK, not sure but we had him bath in tomatoe juice if I remember and then a regular shower. Glad this one didn’t spray you:-)

  7. I’ve never seen a skunk, except Pepe Le Pou, and I’d sort of like to. We just don’t have them here. Hope the tooth is feeling better.