A Surfeit of Skunks

There are skunks in my neighborhood. I have smelled them. I have seen them. I tend to leave them alone. But I did have to go to battle with them one time when they tried to set up house under my deck. And I won. How? In effect I outskunked them. I came up with the smelliest concoction of garlic, onions, and hot peppers. Then I marked my territory by spraying it around the deck for a couple days. The skunks skidaddled on their way and never came back.

I have also found where skunks were digging in my lawn for grubs. I was not concerned about the holes they left. I was just happy they were removing a lawn pest for me. But how does a skunk find a grub? Does it hear them munching on grass roots? Most experts believe skunks can actually smell grubs in a lawn. Considering a skunk odor, it is a little hard to imagine them being able to smell anything.

Besides their foul-smelling spray, which will even scare a bear away, skunks have some interesting characteristics. They are not effected by the venom of poison snakes in their environment, which puts those snakes on the skunk’s menu. Skunks have also been observed attacking beehives to eat bees. It seems their thick fur helps to protect them from stings. You have to admire them. The only thing I was not happy to learn about skunks is that a group of them are called a “surfeit”. Fish come in schools. But skunks come in surfeits. Most people need to use their dictionary to find out what “surfeit” means. Couldn’t they have come up with a better word…… like a “spunk” of skunks ….. or even a “stink” of skunks.skunk

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