Many of you who actually read this drivel I send out have read about my wars with our animal and birdÂ friends in the past. You also know that I haven’t been very successful in my personal wars, especiallyÂ with moles. At the cottage, without me being there, they have taken right over. I’ll be getting the cottage back from the renters by spring, so the feud with the molesÂ will continue and I’ll probably still not win, but maybe keep them somewhat in check.
So my latest battle has been with skunks. I’ll be 62 in December, and in all those years, I’ve never had issues with skunks. Never been sprayed…never had them cause problems…until now! Sure, they stink, but we may stink to them, so maybe it’s even. Anyway, yesterday I was walking around the front yard and noticed that the turf is peeled right back all over and it looks like someone buzzed through with a rototiller. The neighbor had mentioned something about skunks the evening before, and I really hadn’t paid much attention to it, but it made sense that skunks were having a party in the front yardÂ of the condo.
So last night, around 8:30 or so, I looked out into the front yard. Jean had left the front light on and there was a skunk having a blast in the turf. I walked out on the porch and he didn’t even look up. I walked to the edge of the driveway, and he looked right at me as if to say, “Thanks for leaving the light on so we can see these tasty morsels”. Boldly, or foolishly, take your pick, I took a couple of steps toward him. He looked up again and took about two steps, stopping at a better place to eat, andÂ started digging. I clapped my handsÂ several times and he finallyÂ took off for the back yard.
The back yard doesn’t have the topsoil that the front yard has, so it takes a jack-hammer to penetrate the clay. Hence, no grubs…hence, no skunks. I went back inside for a few minutes and was mesmerized by the President’s solution to all big business’ financial problems at your and my expense, but I digress. I went back out a few minutes later and our buddy was back. Again I went out to the driveway and, this time, he didn’t even look up. I threw a small stone at him, got him in the tail, and he raised it as if it were at attention. I clapped and he ran away again, probably to come back in a few minutes. So I went down to the basement, where the guns are stashed, and got one of the kids’ confiscated BB guns. Either the one used to shoot the neighbor’s cat or dog…I can’t remember…Â or the one that was used to shoot the windows out of the garden house. You kids know what I’m talking about.
At that instant, I rethought my strategy and could see a couple of flaws. First of all, I hadn’t gotten on the internet to see how far a skunk could spray. With my luck, as I stood 20 feet away, I would find out the hard way that they spray 21 feet (I still haven’t looked so don’t hold me to that number). Second, even if the spray wouldn’t go that far, it would make the entire neighborhood reek for days and I may be drummed out of the homeowners’ association (maybe that’s a good thing). Third, if by some stroke of luck, good or bad, I hit the skunk in the head and killed it, I would haveÂ a dead skunk in the yard and now what?? I checked a couple of more times but the skunk hadn’t returned.
This morning, I started looking at the internet, where we all know you can find out real solutions to all your problems. I went down the Google page, and most of them said something like, “The skunks are after the grubs, so if you kill the grubs, they won’t be back”. That’s fine, but it takes quite a while to kill grubs and, in the meantime, our lawn would turn into a plowed field. I was looking for some quicker action. One of the web sites said that skunks are repelled by the urine of their predators. I read farther into the blog and a woman said that her husband just went out and peed in the yard, “marking his territory”, and it kept the skunks away. In Michigan now, if you are caught urinating in public, that’s a fourth degree criminal sexual conduct charge, and you would end up on the public web pageÂ as a convicted pervert. Â I can see the Banner headlines now. PENNOCK HOSPITAL BOARD MEMBER ARRESTED IN SEXUAL DEVIANT STING. The story would read:Â Jack Walker was quoted as saying, “I was just peeing in my yard, in front of everyone, to keep the skunks away”. If nothing else has derailed the building of a new hospital on the Ferris property, that might tip the scales.
So I went to the garden store today and bought some fox urine. All the way home I was thinking of the guy that had to run around chasing foxes, holding a cup for them at just the right time. That’s a good candidate for one of those DIRTY JOBS for Mike Rowe that I watch on the Discovery Channel all the time. Around that same time, Jean figured that I wouldn’t have enough time to get anything with my meetings and all, so she got a canister of “Pest Away” granules. I put drops of the fox urine on cotton balls pegged into the ground with roofing nails at regular intervals. I also sprinkled the granules around the perimeter of the yard, so we’ll see how that works. I thought when you moved into a condo, you had “people” to do all that stuff for you. Now, $30.00 or so later,Â I’m beginning to wonder.
Just (If You Can’t Smell Me Coming I Was Successful) Jack Â
P.S. I already thought of peeing in a jar while inside, then sprinkling it around the yard from a watering can, but Jean won’t hold the jar.