Monday, April 20, 2009

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.



Leah said...

My mother-in-law has an actually quite endearing trait of feeding whatever wildlife is around her home, so when we visit Texas, Hedgie gets to help feed the deer and foxes and the beautiful skunks and their children, who come to the porch for cat food. The skunks' markings are all different, something I never knew before; and they're so delicate when they eat!

Karen ^..^ said...

That skunk is so cute... I always kind of wanted one...

The woman was so adorable, teaching her son how to be a caring person of mother nature. If only... Well it is encouraging when you hear of at least one person doing it. K2 and I plan to walk the causeway again next week, and will take several garbage bags with us. People are pigs. Disrespectful pigs. Throwing things out of their cars without a second thought.

But we will help clean it up and then we'll do it all again in a month. Because they don't ever stop.

I remember living in Staten Island and watching a sanitation worker walk around carrying a stick with a short spear on the end, for spearing trash and putting it in his bag. I wanted one of those. I watched him, fascinated. it looked like such fun work to me. He cleaned up a very messy area in a matter of minutes. That man impressed me greatly. Such instant gratification in a job like that.

And I'll never forget that public service announcement, with the Indian man with the tear in his eye. I always cried when I saw that, he looked so sad.

Anyway, I ran off the track on that one...
sorry. Great post as always, my sweet.

Suzanne said...


See, your MIL is a good woman!!!! Do you see that sweetie? You don't have to get along. Honestly, you don't. But appreciating the other matters. Anyone who does what she does matters. Trust me. It takes effort to make an effort. Despite her faults, I like her! I also love that Hedgie gets to feed so many special furry ones. To me, that's just so precious. Memories like that will remain with her forever. That makes me happy!

Skunks' markings are all different. Isn't that funny? They can't see for the life of them and they argue over food. Two show up and the next thing I know food is everywhere!!! No joke! I love them. Oh, and baby skunks. Please. Don't even get me started. They're just too adorable. Little mini-mees! I often say to them "How did you come out so cute?"

I love you darling and think "delicate" eating should be the norm. Unfortunately I see it only in the woods!


Megan said...

I bet that boy was totally thrilled to actually see a skunk. Neat!

Suzanne said...


Hi honey. They're adorable, aren't they? I don't only have them at the park, I have them at the house. Right at the back slider in fact. I'll turn on the light and there she is!!! An inch away! For some reason it always cracks me up. But they have nothing on racoons. Racoons are absolutely hilarious. And in our neck of the woods, HUGE!!!

You know it's funny because when she walked into the woods, I saw you. I know that sounds odd, but it's absolutely true. Often life is just like that. And you know what I love most about you babe, you say it like it is. I often don't. People are pigs. Now see, I wouldn't have said that a few hours ago even though it's exactly what I think. They are and I deal with it every day at the park. I often wonder how people can disrespect this planet as easily as they do. So to read your words matters. And to see that young mom and her son venture into the woods to look for trash mattered so very, very much. She was bold. She had balls. I loved that about her. Her son's in good hands. Do you know what I mean? He'll grow up to be a great kid. I adore women like that.

You know, it's funny. I take on the park every single day. I never relent. I see things other people never will, and yet I move forward. It is a remarkable experience to meet homeless, to rescue, to never, ever, ever give up. To have hope. I believe I was destined for this. I do. It's more difficult than I can explain, but for some reason, it matters. When I saw three deer step out of the woods in front on me this morning I nearly cried. It was that beautiful. I swallowed really, really hard. I often think about how fortunate I am. And I am.

hnter1018 said... you understand one of thejoys about spending alot of time in the woods. You get to see things that others rarely have the pleasure of enjoying. Just imagine sitting there for hours perfectly still and having the tweety birds land on your head. Crawl down your face mask, this autumn I saw four otters playing in front of me. Those are rare treats to see. I get to see the resident red squirrels and know each of the paths they take since they seem to go the same way everytime bring nuts back to the nest. and so on and so forth

Leah said...

It's interesting about my MIL, because she's not really a good woman; good to animals, but not to people. The real trick is to be good to animals and people! But you know that, because you're a good person.

anyway, you know what I mean!

I miss being around wildlife other than our little birds outside our window. Can't wait to get upstate!

Skeeter said...

Glad you didn't get a spray for just being near! I thinkyou're right about skunks eyesight. They don't seem to have much depth perception either. Really strange animals.

Best wishes,


Mr. Shife said...

Hey you. Sorry I have been off the grid for awhile but fatherhood has kept me busy. Glad to see you are still being awesome, and I am glad that skunk is glad he or she found you.

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