Thursday, January 13, 2011


We must be coming into skunk season around here. When I walked to the truck yesterday morning, I noticed a strong smell of skunk. Then twenty minutes later, as I approached the cattle guard near the top of the paved grade, one of the stripey numbers made me wait while he or she wended his or her way across the guard and finnalllyyy down off the side of the road. One doesn't want to alarm them with a honk or pee-yoo smelly truck. Patience is the best strategy. Also, I've been seeing smushed skunks on the road the last few days coming to work, so making the assumption that mating season is approaching if not already here. Nature note: California striped skunks are the species Mephitis mephitis and are a member of the weasel family.

Furthermore, I have no idea what's going on with that particular cattle guard but three days in a row critters stopped me right there. Monday, it was cattle. I've never seen them go up that far, but there they were staring at me stupidly. Window roll down - "move it ladies!" (Sorry, not a cow fan, although I know some folks love them.) Yesterday, a buck, a muscly good looking lad - I didn't have to encourage him to head off the road.

A certain friendly reader has requested regular river updates - herewith a photo of the Chowchilla, still running at a brisk pace, although greatly reduced from its mightiness of a couple of weeks ago.  This shot is of the river just upstream from the ford our neighbor uses.

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