I went out this morning to clear the snow from my driveway. All 100 yards of it. I noticed some of the usual animal tracks in the snow.
There were the deer, who cross the road here to get to Flint Creek. And , of course a number of squirrel prints . There was one I didn’t recognize. It was like a thick tunnel across the newly fallen snow. I thought it might belong to the weasel or mink we saw a few years ago.
As it happened my neighbor, I will call him Sparky, was driving his tractor/plow down the road. Now, Sparky is a good old boy who used to be a deer hunter. He no longer kills animals. I recall one year he took down a deer near our adjoining property with one shot from his back porch. So, he knows guns.
And Sparky will always come over during really heavy snowfalls and plow out my driveway. A couple times a year. He won’t take payment for it, so I usually leave a couple of six packs of brew on this front deck . Sparky knows animals.
So, I stopped him and asked him about the snow trail. Yep. He said it was skunk. They had seen skunks in their yard this morning and he was pretty sure they had ambled this way. Skunks it was.
There is a family of skunks that drops by in the fall, usually in the middle of the night. They dig up the yard looking for grubs, I presume. I have seen them and watched as they slowly make there way, unafraid.
A couple years ago I noticed something odd. I mentioned it to Sparky and he assured me that my eyes were not deceiving me, he had seen it ,too.
For those of you unfamiliar with skunks. They are an amazing deep black color. With an even more amazingly bright white stripe down the back. The black and the white are pure, bold and uncompromising. As black and white as it gets.
Except for this family. One of the skunks is the exact opposite of this color pattern. Where the others are black, he is white. A white skunk with a big bold black stripe down his back. An oddity. An aberration. A skunk like no other.
The other skunks don’t seem to mind. He is, after all, just a skunk of a different color.
Too bad humans aren’t more like skunks.