Friday, September 2, 2011

Week of August 15 2011 : Skunk Works

Here is a photo of our elusive skunk. It's all grainy and inconclusive just like an "authentic" Sasquatch or Loch Ness Monster photo. I know I am not alone when I work the farm after dark. As I pan my headlamp across the orchard I always see eyes glaring back at me. But our skunk is different. When I am out snapping ears, he is working the fields with to me.

Unlike raccoons, skunks cannot climb corn stalks very well and are not smart enough to bend the stalks until they can reach the ear. Our skunk sometimes works an older stand to scavenge ears as stalks break naturally. Other times he is much bolder as he will work the same stand I am working.

He follows my movements and waits for me to drop an ear. The first time I went back to retrieve a dropped ear and it was not there, I called it a mental mistake and attributed it to fatigue. The second time it happened, though, I stopped and listened. Just a few rows away, masked by night and fog, our skunk was shucking husks and nibbling kernels.

Thankfully our skunk is well mannered and observes proper sweet corn stand etiquette. There have been no spray downs.

So far the only evidence the skunk exists are nibbled ears and a grainy photo.

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