Yes he/she is that close! Like a little pet!!! Three days ago I was feeding the wee ones and something caught my eye. I looked up and a woman and her small son started down this path from the bike trail. I said "If you don't mind, I'm trying to feed feral kitties and you'll scare them if you come in." She said they were volunteers picking up trash in the park. I knew that and told her I keep the area very tidy and not to worry. She said "It's so beautiful back here and started to walk towards me, I know to shake my hand. I said "Honey, I wouldn't do that if I were you, there's a skunk about a foot away from you." She looked down and said "AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH." Yup, that skunk, eating that food. I'd just taken his/her photo. She said "They eat cat food?" They certainly do. She was lovely and had her son take a peak. It was so darling. I can't believe how many beautiful people I've met feeding feral kitties. I think both were absolutely amazed by how close they were to a skunk! And I was amazed how precious they were for taking time to pick up other people's trash. About every month a huge contingent of voluteers descends on the park to do what others should. It always amazes me. For some reason she reminded me of our dear friend Karen with a young child. Someone who makes and effort. Who makes a difference. Who teaches a child to do the right thing. I know there are so many parents who do that and I'm so grateful for them. Honestly, I am. And I'm so happy my little skunk stayed put and amused them because I know that little boy was so happy being that close to the wee one. If I didn't feed ferals, I would never have seen a little boy and a skunk together. It was pretty terrific. So much joy.
I'll tell you something about skunks. I don't think they see too well! I'm serious. I'll walk into the woods and wee one is right there because I call for Emma and the skunk thinks he/she's Emma. I have to tell him/her to scram so I can get in. It's the funniest damn thing. I can be about a foot in front of it and have to say "Baby, knock it off, move along." Seriously. It's never sprayed me, but it turns it's butt around and appears as though it might. I tell it to "knock it off." Apparently it can hear!
The park has been a gift. Honestly. I walked in the other day to a huge deer looking at me. Obviously a buck. I told him he had to move so I could get past to feed the ferals. He wouldn't. I said "No, I'm serious, you just can't stand there." And so it goes. Me and a buck a few feet apart. This morning I saw three deer run out of the forest just feet in front of me, leap across the bike path, stop, look at me for a long, long time, run across the field and to the river. It was beautiful. The place is magical. Our old friend "Hunter" waits long hours for these moments to shoot them. For me, they just come. I'm a very lucky woman. Perhaps because I ask for absolutely nothing.