Thursday, September 17, 2009
Different Color Same Smell
Death is not usually a subject featured here. Occasionally something so special is seen that it must be included even though the animal is dead. We had nothing to do with this animal meeting its ultimate fate. When we happened on it the deed had been done. John Burroughs wrote of killing the birds that he studied. In his later years he grew to regret that action and observed as best he could from a living distance.
References to brown skunks speak only of their existence but feature no picture. This is the first brown skunk that we have ever seen. The unusual color is not the result of the accident nor does it appear to be a stain. None of the reddish brown color is on the black fur. It looks like natural color.
We encountered a car stopped in the road its occupants examining the skunk. Our arrival seemed to embarrass them and they left. We felt no such shame. Becky watched for oncoming traffic while I stood in the middle of the road taking pictures. An approaching school bus from the district where I formerly taught moved me to the shoulder of the road. After a wave to the driver it was back to work. We felt fortunate to see this animal. I was certain that it would have been removed to the collection of some naturalist before we could photograph it. Luck was with us.