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!


Lori @ In Pursuit of Martha Points said...


No no no!

I've had my skunk close-encounter!

We were all excited because we got a decent picture of one of the stellar jays.

I don't want a close-up picture of a skunk!

Anonymous said...

OH! We don't have skunks here (thankfully) but Ewwwwww!!! Glad you don't smell! ☺

gina said...

Happily, your story doesn't involve a real encounter with the skunk! Jays can be annoying, but that one was trying to warn you. I love the sunflower pic.

La Vie Quotidienne said...

First of all...the sunflower picture is sensational! The kind of close-up that continues to evade me. I think you were fortunate to get any picture at all of your "fragrant friend". (-: I smell them around here, but I never actually see one. Now raccoons - horrible beasts; that's another story.

Kristin Dudish said...

Hee Hee... I bet you'll never leave the house without your glasses again!

Blue moon mama said...

Gorgeous sunflowers and what a funny story. You really had a close call! I've lived in the country a long time & have never encountered a live skunk, thank goodness. I guess it was your lucky day!

Thanks for following my blog!

soraya nulliah said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE this close up of the of my fave flowers:)

patty said...

Whoa - we have lots of skunks around here! My Muffin had her own close encounter in the middle of the night (she has a doggy door). After lots of internet research, I found out that tomato juice is no longer the recommended antidote - it's now something like baking soda and vinegar. You would think that she learned her lesson, but she still runs outside whenever she smells one.... Also, one ended up in one of our trash cans a while back and my husband had to transport it to a new home (well away from here!) Wish I had thought to snap a pic!
And, yes, the sunflowers are perfection. Lovely!

Anonymous said...

We have encountered a skunk before, probably this same one, and he did think that Roxy might pose a threat. So he held his ground in the middle of the street and stomped his paws on the asphalt repeatedly.
I ensured we fled the street quickly under Roxy's loud protest)to avoid the 5AM dog bath. I tend to pick my battles carefully! Hehe!
Glad you got away clean!
Roxy's Walker

seabluelee said...

Actually, I quite like the skunk photo. Blurry, yes, but it sharply captures the surprise and urgency of that close encounter - especially for one who can't see clearly without her glasses. I think it's a great shot!

The sunflowers are lovely too, of course!