Good morning. Oh God help me---a skunk is trying to winter on my porch! How the hell do I get rid of a skunk without ending up skunked?! They aren't afraid of anything. They dont' have to be. Unless a car conveniently goes 1/4 miles off the road and runs over my porch while the skunk is there... Whic isn't an option I like... A skunk?! For the love of heaven, a SKUNK?! Yelling, btw, just inspires a skunk to look at you like, "I can make you miserable for a month".
Of all times to not have a gun in the house. Skunks are best dealt with at long long long range. Nowhere within 25 yards for preference.
Mind, this could be worse. Without the creek? People are having their bird baths drained by deer, skunks, raccoons, possums, anything that can reach it or knock it over. Drought plus having the creek taken? A creek that didn't run dry in the worst drought in a century in this area about a decade ago? Yeah. (BTW, I keep thinking karma will restor the creek somehow. Why did the schools destroy an ecosystem to save a few bucks and run the well dry anyway? You can't just drill like that and hope you don't mess up the way water works. I grew up on well water. I know what happens if you mess with the *source*. Argh.)
So other than waking up to a damn skunk on my porch...
BTW, the skunk is actually not considered the stinkiest animal on Earth. That honor for the mammals goes to the 3-toed sloth. It's a living habitat for other things. Moths will live off the things that hide in the sloth's fur... which turns green b/c it is host to *algae*. It's now hypothesized that 3-toed sloths can't do well in captivity b/c zoos don't allow them to grow algae on their fur. Oh, and beetles will live in the sloth's fur, too, and leave their beetle-poop behind. Apparently, while the skunk (btw, another appearance by x-ethyl y-sulfide in skunks' stinky secretions, I'm telling you, if you see anything-ethyl anything-sulfide, run...)... is smelly? The sloth is basically a slow-moving compost heap. Yeesh.
Ironically, the hoatzin bird of the Amazon is one of the smelliest creatures around --- but lives almost exclusively on *leaves*. Yet it smells like animal manure. Go figure, right? And you thought your post-workout stench was bad.
Hyenas, notoriously nasty-smelling critters, are smelly b/c of their "hyena butter". Anal glands secrete this waxy goop that is unique to each hyena, but each hyena *clan* is also unique amongst itself... So they can tell by smell who everyone is and which "clan" they belong to. (Why they're not called a pack, I don't know, I just report this stuff.) They rub each other to make sure the clan scent is reinforced and leave it on vegetation to mark territory. Interesting note: The "clan" scent is made up of the combined individuals' scents. THey rub up and make sure everyone smells a bi tlike everyone else. Conform or be buttered (?!)
Winner for most-smelly mammal, however, is ... homo sapiens. We secrete stink from several places, rather than just the usual anal glands and excrement exit. We produce more volatile organic compounds (VOCs) than other animals studied so far. Includign skunks. Bacteria live on us and they give off smell. HOrmones smell. Stuff smells in our sweat. We're stinky, in other words... ANd, yes, teenagers DO smell worse! Puberty brings oodles of bacterial change to the body, so yes, puberty means body odor. The bacteria we cohabitate with (OK, they live in our glands and stuff) go bonkers in puberty, so BO skyrockets. It's not just that your teenager isn't bathing. THey really do smell worse. It dies off when puberty does. But a super-sniffer human nose can detect sexual satisfaction (ahem) in males with a whiff, b/c of the degree of testosterone and similar chemical signatures that signal recent "happiness". Wish I was making that up, but the nasal sensitivity thing? My mom. I'm nowhere near a super-sniffer like she was (she lost all sense of smell to her brain tumor in a horrible horrible turn of events, b/c Mom and scents was like ... breathing for her).... Anyway.... Yeah, if my hubby ever cheats, I'll know. With a whiff. And it won't have to do with soap. He's aware, btw. I can tell if he's been hugged by anothe rwoman --- perfume traces and such are aesy, but ther'es sometimes just not the right "him-ness" and I know it's been a "her". I also know if he's been in a 7-Eleven, but then again, nobody gets out of those without reeking like their coffee, not to me, anyway.
Mom? In her day? OMG. I swear part of her brilliance in diagnosis as a registered nurse was that she could *smell* it coming, even if she didn't consciously know what or how she was idneitfying. Then again, she diagnosed a friend of mine accurately *over the phone* and it saved aforesaid friend's life. Literally. Go, Mom!
Big hugs, off to read up on skunks. What repels something that repels everything?!
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