Sadly, I’m still feeling sick… but, it was definitely necessary for me to get outside for a little while today. My husband (who’s also been a bit sick) was kind enough to join me on a mellow walk down to the creek and back. We checked up on the newts… listened to the birds calling… I occasionally stopped from time to time to peer at some small beetle or spider. Then, I saw a flash of movement in the creek bed, several feet below the height of the road we were walking on. A somewhat alarmed looking skunk hurried up the embankment on the opposite side of the creek and crashed into the dense foliage. We watched it until it went out of view and then I babbled on about what a wonderful sighting we’d just had. You see, though we’ve lived here in the canyon for seven years and have had a few skunk sightings here and there, mostly we are aware of their regular presence solely by the lingering odor that often wafts through the air. The few times that we have seen them, it’s always been while driving on the road (usually at night) and then we only a get a few seconds to observe them before they slink off out of sight. This was by far the best opportunity we’d had to really watch one of these lovely creatures! We were about to move on, but out of the corner of my eye, I saw another one emerge from the foliage a little distance behind where the last one had disappeared. Perhaps because we had not startled this one, it was more nonchalant and we quietly watched it forage and dig around for a much longer time before it too finally disappeared from view. It was near sundown and far too dark and shady by the creek for there to be much hope of good photographs, but I did take several video clips and I thought I’d share a few still images from that footage, just so that you all can share in the experience… even if it’s just a bit of blurry black & white. (*grin*)

striped skunk
Striped Skunk (Mephitis mephitis)

I think the fact that we live on such a large and undeveloped tract of land actually prohibits how much we get to see these guys… But, I know that skunks are often common visitors in many people’s backyards. Skunk stories, anyone??

Harsi / May 21, 2011 / mammals


  1. ro - May 22, 2011 @ 6:38 pm

    Okay I like the smell of skunk as long as it’s not too fresh or too much, it smells like strong coffee to me. Banjo got sprayed once while I had the flu and I had to wash her while I had a fever late at night, it was horrible. I too have smelled them much more often than I’ve seen them, interesting though they are.

  2. Harsi - May 22, 2011 @ 7:59 pm

    Yeesh! Ro, I cringed as I read your story about Banjo… that must have been a truly awful, awful, night. 🙁 Nevertheless, such horror-stories aside, I am with you — I too like the smell of skunk! It is very intriguing and earthy… There’s one spot on the property (right next to the pool shed) that has smelled strongly of skunk for several months now. I can’t figure out if that’s because there is a skunk living somewhere very near by or if it just sprayed something in the area and the smell is lingering?!! How long do you think something could smell intensely of skunk after being sprayed??


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