Saturday, May 21, 2011

Skunk!


When it was all over, I was astonished by the lightening speed of my thought.

I had an encounter with a skunk today, and it was a short one. Forgive me for not stopping for photos of the critter.



I was on a pleasant patch of gravel, and it came 'round the corner on the edge of the road opposite me. It was traveling south, I was traveling north. In one pedal revolution, I evaluated my options.



(1) I could stop and hope that it would wonder OFF the road, but he was coming toward me with purpose. I've heard that seeing a skunk, normally a nighttime critter, in the daytime is a possible sign of rabies. (2) I could keep going along my edge of the road and hope for the best, but unfortunately I was going downwind. Bummer. (3) I could turn around, but I was getting hungry. Besides, I've encountered skunks before sitting in my tent watching them sniff around inches from me. I was rock still in that tent, but never got the fragrant treatment.



I chose option (2), hugging my side of the road, and surging with slight acceleration. Not too abruptly, mind you. When we got even with one another, I glanced left and saw the tail shoot straight up in the air. Oh no...



At that point, I was becoming a perfect downwind target.



But it wobbled on down the edge of the road with it's tail straight up, and I pedaled north with my heart rate up. It was all for show this time.

So that one pedal revolution process of alternative identification, evaluation, and decision-making, worked out okay...this time.

15 comments:

  1. Skunks: Mother Nature's can of Mace! I am glad you managed to avoid the spray treatment!

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  2. The skunks around here don't seem to be too scared of people. I'm glad he didn't try to bite you. I wonder how fast a skunk can run?

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  3. Daytime skunks = bad news! Glad it worked out OK, otherwise you would have to sleep outside for a couple of weeks...

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  4. Under the best of circumstances, a skunk makes for a heart-rate raising experience!

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  5. You might think of your encounter as additional cardio workout to your bike ride. I'm glad you didn't get sprayed.

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  6. extremely short moment of intrigue. Will he or won't he? Funny.

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  7. That skunk had a change of heart when he thought of the possible consquences of you arriving home and Mrs. Pondera finding what he had done... very wise skunk to bluff his way out of trouble... very wise...

    The Grouch

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  8. Apparently the skunk and The Grouch know Mrs. Pondero pretty well.

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  9. I get kids on motocross bikes and you get skunks. I suppose we both have to deal with wildlife of one kind or another.

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  10. Chris-lucky! True story:

    I was sitting on a hillside at dawn once. I heard a rustling downhill from me. When I looked down there was a skunk coming right at me. Closer, closer, closer...I didn't want to alarm it but it seemed it was going to run into me. I lightly rustled the leaves. It looked up at me for what felt like a few days and then pop! It went into ti's burrow right at my feet!

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  11. Bill Boyd from NCMay 25, 2011 at 8:19 AM

    On two separate occasions I hit a skunk on my commute to work. Got me both times! Just rain out in fromt of me in the early darkness. Two days of being sent home early.

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  12. Close call! I'm glad you got away clean. I have had close calls with skunks before, but I haven't been sprayed -- yet -- haha.

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  13. I had a similar encounter Wednesday. But it was at night and the critter turned out to be a possum. I figured out why you see so many dead possums: As I approached, he zigged left, then darted back right, then jumped left again just as I passed.

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  14. Agh! My dog still smells like skunk when she gets wet, and it's been more than a year since she got nailed twice in one week!

    The first time was protecting our chickens (the smell woke up our son), and the second time was riding through an orchard at night. I saw the skunk, pulled off to the right, my light went out (E6, no standlight), and the dog ran right over the skunk. POW!

    Good for you avoiding the disaster. Tomato juice really does seem to work - for the most part.

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