Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Random Ramblings #15

A few days ago I was enjoying a peaceful afternoon of aloneness, sitting on my patio reading a good book. I heard a rustling in my bushes and assumed it was one of the neighborhood cats who seem to like our yard better than their own. I looked up just in time to see a mommy skunk and her half grown baby waddling across my grass toward the fence. I sat VERY still, kind of holding my breath as they squeezed under the fence into our neighbor's back yard.

The next morning I saw the mama sauntering across our the grass again, and I wondered where the baby was. That afternoon I learned from the neighbor to our right that their dog had killed the baby during the night. I felt bad for the mommy, but not bad enough to want them for neighbors.

The next night, a little family showed up on Kristen's front steps. And the next afternoon, Feisty was sitting on my kitchen table playing a game with Care Bear when she looked outside and said, "Skunk, Grandma!" I couldn't believe my eyes - tiny little baby skunks were having the time of their lives back by our bushes and flowers, along the fence. They were batting each other like little kittens, cute, but again not my desired neighbors.

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I talked to the neighbor behind us today and told him our suspicions that they were living under his storage shed, which he confirmed later in the day. Now the dilemma is what to do about it. Animal Control isn't a bit concerned about it, telling me that there's a repellant recipe on their web side. I want to repel them, but not into someone else's yard. The lady I talked to told me that the skunks aren't "spray happy", but will spray when they're upset about something. Well, they must have been upset about something for the last two nights, because we've been rudely awakened by horrendously odiferous olfactory attacks! Open windows, attic fans, and upset skunks make for very bad sleep and terrific headaches.

Moving along to a more pleasant topic, we took my folks up to the mountains Friday evening after work for a cook-out. It was so relaxing and pleasant, and cool. In fact, it got downright chilly before we finished, and a fire felt really good. I got some great shots, but it was pretty dark by the time I got the last two. If you click and enlarge them, I think you'll be able to see the subject fairly well. The bird is a Stellar's Jay. I wish you could see the crown on his head - or his head at all! The deer is slicking up some water on the picnic table from the rain shower that happened just before we got there.

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My mom got a kick out of watching the thermometer in my van go down 19 degrees as we headed back to town. It seemed to go down a degree every couple of miles.

Remember a couple of weeks ago when my SIL, Morning Glory, was telling about her collection of little basket brooches that had gotten huge? In fact, she was now selling them back on E-bay. I commented that I wouldn't mind having one. A few days later, in my mailbox instead of only bills, credit card company come-ons, catalogs (I seem to be on everybody's list), and insurance companies bidding for my soon-to-be-retired husband's business, I had a nice little package.

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I was so pleasantly surprised and promptly wore it to church the next Sunday. The little flowers bobble. Thanks MG!

Well, we're off to the park for the fireworks - we live close enough to walk so we don't have to spend an hour trying to drive back home. Our town has the reputation of one of the very best fireworks displays in the region. People come down from the big college town north of us to see ours. They shoot them on the beach of our little lake and it is glorious. We'll sit on the sloping lawn at the amphitheater and listen to a patriotic concert until dark. This will be our second trip to the park today - at noon we went for our annual greasy, yummy hamburger prepared by the guys in the Lions Club. They've been doing this for 30 years, but we haven't been going quite that long - only about the last 10-15. Great times in our town.


18 comments:

Jungle Mom said...

What lovely visitors! By the way, All of the Nazarene missionaries are being pulled out of Venezuela. Our friends are headed to Ecuador, The politics are not allowing for much safety for Americans.

Diane J. said...

Love the pictures, Dawn, even the skunks. But I agree, they are nice to look at but don't make good neighbors. Pee yew!!

That bird in that picture looks like an indigo bunting...is that what it is???

How sweet of MG to send you one of her brooches, and a lovely one it is, too.

I watched the fireworks on my computer. Our local ABC affiliate in Jonesboro sponsored a fireworks show at the fairgrounds and broadcast the live streaming video on their website. No heat and no mosquitoes and I got to watch it from the comfort of my computer chair. Works for me!!

Have a great rest of the week, Dawn. :-)

Love and hugs,

Diane

Midlife Mom said...

Oh your little neighbors are so cute! Too bad them smell so bad as they are fun to watch, they are much like kittens. We used to feed them but decided that wasn't a good idea so stopped a number of years ago. I too don't like to be shocked out of a deep sleep by that odor! Love your pictures. Was that deer going up on a deck or something? What was the blue bird? Glad you had such a great day!!

Midlife Mom said...

Whoops, I meant to say too bad THEY smell so bad!

Kristen said...

I think that the neighbor's idea about what to do about the un-desired animal neighbors is a real bad one and should be re-thought. Not only could another animal get into it, but what if a kid did?! Not to mention it's just downright cruel. I think there should be a way to get them with a dart gun and just put them to sleep for awhile to get them out of the neighborhood and back into the mountains.

Animal protection is pretty useless. They never even called me back about the bunny in the Blondie's yard a few weeks ago.

Linds said...

I love your ramblings, Dawn, and the photos are beautiful. I am not sure I would want skunks as neighbours though! And yes, it is STILL raining! Wimbeldon has been a nightmare of scheduling. Rain has stopped play yet again.

Morning Glory said...

Fun stuff to read. The brooch looks perfect on your yellow suit. I wish I could wear yellow, but it turns my skin sort of yellow. It's such a cheery color.

I'm afraid I wouldn't feel too charitable about disposing of the skunks in a politically correct way. I'd just want to get rid of them any way that I could!

Jada's Gigi said...

How sweet of your SIL to send you a brooch! sounds like you had a fun all American kind of 4th. We did too. the skunks are adorable...but what a smell!! I grew up in a rural kind of town so I'm very familiar with that smell..my children however have not been so fortunate..:) my daughter and grand daughter traveled back to that town in AL with us last year and were assailed by the scent while driving along the highway..they had no idea and couldn't believe a cute little skunk could REALLY smell SO bad!! LOL

Barb said...

I know they're not the best visitor to have in your yard, but those baby skunks ARE cute. Unfortunately, they're scent is as powerful as the grown up skunks.

You cookout with your folks sounds wonderful to me. And I love your photos.

Mandy and Aaron are home. Not sure when they're planning to go over the mountains to your place, but it will be soon. They're very anxious to see their apartment on campus.

I believe today they're shopping for new cell phones. Apparently Aaron's cell phone took a dive from the sixth floor balcony of their honeymoon condo and is absolutely useless now. :-) Really, when you meet them, you should ask him about shaking his beach towel out over the balcony.

Maine Mom said...

Good luck getting rid of your new "friends". I wouldn't recommend shooting them...you'll be breathing in their odor for weeks!

How nice that you can walk to the fireworks. That would be nice!

Lala's world said...

oh I am not sure if I would be happy to have skunks living in my yard either!! the wildlife around here is enough!!!

the brooch is lovely!!

Nikkie said...

Oh skunks, I remember those. Growing up we lived behind a field, not too far off from a forested park. Skunks and their families used to be in our yard and neighbors yard all summer long. I do recall waking up to that unforgettable stink. Animal control couldn't do anything about it. They'd catch them, then stupidly release them back onto the park, where they'd find their way back again!

Hope you guys can come up with a good solution!

Lori said...

I think I would have a heart attack if a shunk come anywhere near were I was sitting. I do love all the great pictures.

Sharon Lynne said...

Enjoyed your ramblings!

PEA said...

Years ago our neighbour had a dead skunk under his shed and I can't even describe the smell it emitted...he had to dig a trench to get to it and shovel it into a bag to dispose of it. To this day I don't know how he did it, without passing out from the smell!! I don't blame you for wanting this kind of family to move in! Such a wonderful brooch that MG sent you...don't you just love those kind of surprises:-) xoxo

Kathleen Marie said...

What gorgeous pictures. Love the brooch. But the skunks! Oh my! They are adorable. I think of "Flower" in Bambi but oh my, the little stinkers!

It is weird but here in the Black Hills I can honestly say I haven't seen a skunk. How strange!? I have to investigate this.

I pray all is going well with you!

Linda said...

I love these "chats" Dawn. Yikes - all those little skunks running around. My neighbor has a little cage he's been catching them in. He then puts the cage very carefully into his truck and takes them to a wooded area where they can live happily ever after - without making people in their beds upset.
I kept thinking about our trip to Colorado when I was reading about you cook-out and looking at those great pictures. We got the biggest kick out of being able to drive to cooler weather in the mountains. There's no escaping the heat here unless you go inside where the a.c. is running!
Your Fourth of July sounds nice. We ate big burgers and hot dogs too!! Absolutley delicious!

MugwumpMom said...

Very pretty brooch. Not so pretty skunks! I accidently hit one once just after it had been hit by the car in front of me - the smell was horrendous in the my car for days!