Friday, July 27, 2007
Warning : Post is a Grumpy Enigma post....move on if you have to...
This post is about solving a Problem....So if there are any Skunk Experts out there pipe up..( Ironically we all should be Experts after surviving the Bush Regime and their Skunkery.....)
Okay ....so I have talked about THE Porch...and how I love sitting out there...and how...it is my Refuge. Well, Speaking of Refuge, I have had a number of Refugees come to the porch. My favorite is a little tiny raccoon that I have named Ricky, he comes between 2 and 5 am , he first goes to my neighbors trash, he has gotten very adept at opening The Rubbermaid Lock Top Cans, even doing so quietly. Then he sits on the green weave rug and snacks, he prefers granola bars, biscotti, and yogurt, and fruit, especially bananas. ( I have been struck by reviewing the wrappers that he likes his healthy carbs and maybe watching his weight). He also then waddles down to the Birdbath just below the porch, and likes to wash his paws in the Birdbath. I am stuck that he is very tidy. Now he has gained a little weight this summer, and occasionally I hear a thunk and a squeal as he knocks over the birdbath. After the late night Snack he curls up and naps on the little old battered wicker loveseat for a couple of hours.
There also has been many birds, chipmunks, squirrels, and wandering cats. BUT....
The Refugee Group that has caused the mosts problems are the Skunks. Now I personally don't mind them. There is a family of them, Two adults, a baby and an adolescent. I call them The Slipper Family Now occasionally they Do Stink up the Place, about one night a week. But it fades quickly. One night taking out the trash, Three of them decided to Salute me, the baby skunk the size of a softball hid behind a petunia pot, quietly blinking. I was standing in the middle of the stairs. ( I have 29 steps to my front door, it is quite a Hill). So They came out and circled my ankles, It was like watching Slippers gliding about to a graceful polka. ( I am sorry but watch them scurry about the block- they really do look like Slippers...)
The three of them waddled by on Lap 1 ( Inspection Phase). Lap 2 I was greeted with Tails up. Now I was standing there motionless watching them, thinking for sure I was about to be sprayed. But Instead, I realized I was just being greeted as a nieghbor. This Tails UP is Their Salute. I view them as a normal little family dealing with daily woes. They never spray on my side of the Side-by-Side. Now for some reason every Sunday night they do spray the Neighbors Side.
I should Explain about THE Neighbors, I share the Side-By-Side with them ( I live in the left). For the most part they do not speak to me. It is very much an odd strange relationship. They have a young baby who waves to me,and is always happy to see me, and I adore her. I am lucky to get a Hello form the Adults. I work odd hours, and I am a single mom with a teenage son. The young Wife I think does not respect me much, which is too bad, because I am not a bad neighbor at all.I do yard work and keep the porch clean. I think all of my flowers, windchimes, and beat up beach furniture for some reason bugs her.She walks by in her slingback heals,flings her head the other way and struts by in indignant disdain, even when I am sitting right on the porch. My Ex came to visit his son for several weeks and stayed with us and saw the whole show. They finally spoke to me at that point, after living here for many monthes. Ex pointed out "well, I think if you wore highheels, drank maragaritas and maybe went to Church, she would talk to you."
I don't mind that they are not "friends". I do mind that every 4-6 weeks they have put Weed-Be-Gone on MY Lilacs on my side, next to my porch. So my warm fuzzy Neighbor Feelings have Sharply dropped over time.
Now I will be honest , apparently the skunks don't like their side, so when they DO the STINK, they do it on their side, right by the trashcans.....by their porch.
So they called Fish and Wildlife Officials this week, and complained about the Skunk Family. And three nights ago The Trap arrived, rather small, and in the center, there is a small spot where the Dogfood is placed. I actually have had a chuckle- the crappyass cheap dogfood has inticed Nothing- not even ants...and funny thing , it well keeps ahem....disappearing. My son and I guard the "trap" ...making certain that No errant Visitors get caught in it....We divert them (water and throwing things).
Ironically only the juevanile ones would be trapped, it is too small for the Slipper Family Adults. So 6-6 and I discussed it, and that means that one of the "children" would be relocated, and that ain't Right....at all.
So I will keep diverting the Critters from the "Trap"....BUT if anyone has any Ideas to help my Slipper Family that would be great. And any ideas to thwart their Stinking that would help. ( On my side I have petunias, and wildflowers, and Lilacs, and Incense, and I don't have a problem.....and I did put mothballs under Their porch...and by their trashcans . )
I am still Committed to saving the Slipper Family......
August 3rd Update: Well, after much happenings, and "The trap" and the mysterious dissappearing food in the trap, and the assistance of the Local Chipmunks...and MUCH liberal use of Spices and Mothballs (reapplied after hard rains), and ALL holes blocked with rocks and potted petunias....and much silence from the "neighbors", esp when Enigma confronted them that the F&W folks could not Answer my relocation Question....My Friends, and neighbors, the Skunks lovingly called "The Slipper Family" Have moved on to another loation. I hope they live long and well.
August 18th update: this is such good news. The Skunk family has been sighted 4 doors down under an abandoned house and porch. It is a lush lovely new spot, they came out and saluted me while I was out walking the dog. They looked healthy and happy, and wellfed. And the youth is definently grown.
And as soon as they moved on, another nice developement was that my neighbors kind of decided that maybe my cluttered little porch and petunias were not so bad. They even contributed to the decorations....and spirit of it. It renewed my hope that neighbors are out there....around every corner.