Saturday, September 11, 2010
Just Escaped a Close Encounter
Saturday morning. It was still quiet, the house asleep.
The sun had just sent his first rays over the hill. I was still in my nighties, looking outside. I thought how beautiful the sunflowers looked in this early morning sunlight. I grabbed my camera, stepped outside and began to take pictures.
An incredible screaming distracted me. A scrub jay had landed on the fence and nagged like mad, hopping around restlessly and staring down to the ground, my flowerbed.
Did I mention that I wasn't wearing my glasses? No problem inside the house, but I can't really see well in the distance without them. I saw some movement among the flowers, heard the even louder screaming scrub jay and thought "maybe a young scrub jay is hurt down there and needs help".
So - out went the good Samaritan. Without her glasses.
I stepped into the flowerbed after having checked that no snake is curling up there (I'm terrified of snakes), just waiting for me, the innocent victim. I searched for a little bird and didn't see anything. No injured scrub jay. The big jay meanwhile had hopped onto the cherry tree (to my right) and was still nagging and screaming. So I decided to step to my right and look there.
And saw the bushy tail of a - skunk! A few feet away from my very own feet!
"I'm out of here" was my only thought before I jumped out of that flowerbed (not a graceful retreat). The skunk looked at me quizzically, he definitely didn't feel threatened by me. I'm pretty sure that he actually laughed about me! But he still decided to better leave the yard of this crazy woman who hops in and out of her flowerbeds.
So he made for the little hole at the bottom of the fence. I had the presence to grab my camera and tried to take a couple of pictures of the little guy, but all the settings were wrong - "morning sunny sunflower" settings just don't work for skunks in the shade of trees. The pictures turned out completely blurry - however, here is one because I just want to share this moment with you.
Only afterwards did I realize how close I was to a smelly encounter. Next time I'll make sure to reach out for my glasses BEFORE I go looking for any kind of wildlife in my backyard!