Not Camping Here

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I think it was once a skunk.  It doesn’t smell like skunk, but then it is a bit aged.  I’m inclined to think it was a skunk; otherwise it would have been totally eaten by now.

I am impressed at the length of its spine.  And its feet are not prehensile, like those of a possum.  I have never seen a possum corpse just lying around.  They’re good eatin’, I hear.  Maybe that’s why you never see them: the carrion eaters clean-up crew get to them first.

In my youth I had a friend who had a family to feed, but no money.

He was a practical man.  Whenever he found a fresh road kill that wasn’t too mangled, he’d take it home, clean it, and put it in his enormous deep freeze.  They’d make possum stew, raccoon stew, and if lucky and careful of the law, deer stew.

Why did the chicken cross the road?

To show the possum that it could be done.

I was exhausted, so I did camp there for one night.  In the evening, when the air currents lie low, is the best time for scent tracking.  Atina’s eyes grow wolfish when she latches onto a scent–in this case, skunk perfume!  I followed along as she was tracking, and soon I caught whiffs of eau du striped kitty.  Uh-oh, I see their burrows!  Yikes, let’s get out of here!

Atina has her nose buried in one of the burrows-oh no! What will I do if she gets skunk sprayed?

I couldn’t let her in the van.  What could I do?  I don’t have a crate I could put outside.  And Little Miss has not spent a single night away from me since she bounced into my life last July.  Even if I had a crate, imagine her misery if I left her outside!

And then what?

How would I get her somewhere with water for washing?  I would have to take her to the vet, but that would mean stinking up the van…

Let me tell you, skunk spray is a complex stink bomb.  It’s made of a cocktail of volatile oils that penetrate absolutely everything. I wish my perfumes lasted that long!  I’m talking about the perfumes I make.  I could take a lesson from the skunks!

There’s no way to isolate it, and there is really no way to remove it, since the volatile oils penetrate skin and hair.  And wood, leather, fabrics….everything.

All the classic skunk stink remedies like bathing in tomato juice, lemon juice, etc, merely mask the eau de skunk with something else, making it more tolerable for a few hours.

I quickly decided that since skunk mitigation would be impossible, the better part of wisdom would be to scram.

We did.  First thing in the morning….and I am relieved to say, without skunk disasters.

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9 Comments

  1. I’m glad Atina didn’t get skunked. Wishing you safe travels

    Reply
    • Thank you! I just saw a very much alive Pepe le Pew hopping through the forest. Atina was busy playing with her toys, so I wasn’t worried. I also saw a cow elk while we were on a ramble through the woods. I had to distract Atina so she wouldn’t chase it!

      I do my best to travel safe, but as we shall see at the appropriate time, the road to hell is paved with good intentions….

      Reply
  2. Pheew, that could have been a disaster from hell. I’ve been in those shoes x2 a long time ago. It was not funny and I stayed mad at my son for letting his dog off leash to explore near where he was hunting deer at the time.

    Reply
  3. What the heck? I don’t blame you. I wouldn’t be camping there either. I’m more worried about what killed the skunk than the skunk…

    Reply
    • Probably a young male with a .22, but I wasn’t about to go rummaging around looking for a bullet! Skunks don’t have many natural predators, for obvious reasons 😜

      Buzzards don’t care much… just as long as it’s dead, they’ll eat anything.

      Reply
  4. Yeah, skunks plus interested dog does not a good combination make. Glad you were able to drive on smell-free!

    Reply

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