Dear Tom, Remember that skunk?

Well, she apparently lives under our deck and she has a litter. I can’t fence her out of the yard away from her babies. I just can’t do it. So we’re learning to live with the situation. At least there is no odor. When they babies grow up and everyone leaves, we will figure out a way to close the gaps along the sides of the deck.

In the meantime, we are in the midst… wait, let me clarify. I am in the midst of rebuilding our broken fence (the rotting areas of the back fence and side fence the skunk uses to get in and out of the yard)– so I’ll have to cut a couple holes in a couple old boards. I’ll replace the boards later. I’d rather cut holes than have her rip down the new boards or dig beneath them.

I say ‘I‘ because Oscar is out of town and has been for two weeks. Which allows me to get stuff done. No offense, Tom, but husbands, aside from you, say they’ll complete a project yet somehow never get around to starting it. At least that’s been my experience. Of course in this case it’s just as well. As my plumber once said – “Do I diagnose your husband’s patients??? Well tell him to keep his hands off my toilets!!!”

I got new carpet installed in his home office. (OMG that carpet was soooo awful!) I’m fixing a broken coffee table- yeah, me, as in I’m doing it myself- so I can move it (can’t move it with a broken claw foot, it’s too heavy and I don’t want to break it worse) along with all the other furniture in the family room in order to replace the big threadbare throw rug. And then I’m tackling the hardwood floors. I’ve been studying up on how to refinish worn areas.

Yep. Jake and I are going to town. Speaking of Jake…

His robins are back, in the same nest. Mama robin has laid at least four eggs. I’m so busy feeding her worms I have no time to write. Boy, does she have it good. Since robins have a relatively short lifespan, I figure giving her and her babies a leg up is the least I can do. She sits on the nest, flutters down to the worm feeder for an occasional bite. Gets a drink out of the bird bath, maybe takes a plunge or two, and then heads back to the nest. She never has to leave the yard. Sweet. She’s even willing to share the feeder with the towhees, who have babies of their own, and two pairs of mourning doves. She’s pretty nasty to the blue jays though. Can’t say I blame her but I do miss their squawking.

What does this have to do with Jake? He hangs out in the yard with the birds. They love him. He keeps the predators at bay. None of the songbirds fear the dog. They hop all around him, preening, feeding, bathing, drinking. He likes birds. Now the squirrels… they are another matter altogether. And that skunk… Jake has grown wary.Β  He won’t go outside at night unless I turn on all the floodlights first. And even then he sniffs the air before he sets one foot on the deck.

He’s been a great companion in Oscar’s absence. Not hyper. Rather, he’s showing a lot of self-control. I think it’s because I’m pretty chill while Oscar is pretty loud and sporty, (kinda like Sporty Spice) and he gets him revved up.

Yesterday Jake and I had to wait on the side of a trail for thirty minutes. We happened to hit a bend in the river trail the same time as a kids’ 5-K. He and I needed to cross right at their turnaround point. There were so many participants, and the trail is so narrow, we were forced to wait until the end of the race. But you know, he just lay there like an angel and every single kid was cooing and fawning over him. Fortunately he likes kids. But if you’re an old lady in a floppy hat, beware. Jake hates nothing more than a floppy hat. Fortunately we didn’t see any floppy hats yesterday, although today we did see an old lady wearing an enormous floppy straw hat and, of course, even though she was across the road Jake had to bark at her.

Well, I’ve talked long enough. Will chat again soon. Love, Julia XOXO!

Advertisements

17 thoughts on “Dear Tom, Remember that skunk?

  1. Diana Stevan

    What I like about your posts, Julia, is how much you share your observations of what’s around you. The fact that you take note of Jake’s relationship with the birds and the squirrels and pass it on is so lovely. Life is so hurried in the city, it’s great to sit back and read about a different lifestyle. And look how talented and resourceful you are. Taking care of things that I would leave to my husband, no matter how long he took to get to them. Good luck with your renos. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. juliabarrett Post author

      Thank you, Diana. I just do it myself – it’s easier when he’s gone because if he’s here he says he’ll do it. Then doesn’t! πŸ™‚ I grew up in the country watching wildlife. As my mom says, I like animals better than I like people. She is correct.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  2. Jaye

    Busy lady. And no wonder the robins dislike the jays–jays will raid nests. We have major wars every year in my yard between the blues and the stellar’s, and oh the noise is scrub jays show up.

    One good thing about the skunks, they’ll keep the mice away. Heh. Get that fence fixed.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. juliabarrett Post author

      Yes, true, Jaye. The fence will be fixed by tomorrow or the next day, but in the meantime we will put up with Mrs. Skunk and her babies.

      Like

      Reply
  3. Roberta

    Love to hear what is new in you and Jake’s life. I bet Tom does too. When I die I hope I have a good friend who writes to me about life on this earth. You are a good friend, Julia. I am lucky and blessed to call you friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  4. Marylin Warner

    We had a momma skunk and her babies under our deck, and I’ll tell you from our experience that fencing her away from them is something you don’t want to even try! First, the smell penalty; second, no temporary fencing will keep them separated.
    I can picture Jake waiting for the kids’ 5-K race to pass by. Now THAT is a cute picture, Julia.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. juliabarrett Post author

      Okay, Marylin, so just wait for the babies to grow up and everybody goes away, right? Please tell me that’s what I should do. I don’t see another option. Fortunately none of the kids were wearing big floppy hats…

      Like

      Reply
  5. Marylin Warner

    Actually, Julia, when we called the animal control officer, the response was that a momma skunk would fight (and spray) to get access to her babies. A better response was to be patient, remove food and water sources, and stand back. Once the babies were a week old, they and their mother would leave; and you know, that’s what happened.
    After they left, we were told to dump bags of kitty litter under the deck and around all the openings and sprinkle either moth ball crystals or ammonia around, too.
    That was three years ago, and we’ve never been visited again. Our neighbor across the park gets them every year, but we don’t.
    Good luck.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. juliabarrett Post author

      Yes, that’s what I was thinking. Just wait until they leave and then put a metal screen all around the deck. We can be patient. πŸ™‚

      Like

      Reply
  6. fangswandsfairy(alt)

    ooh – where did you see about how to refinish just some areas of hardwood floors?
    I have heard that sometimes skunks are rabid so it sounds like Jake is smart!
    Don spent the weekend working on projects for me. I worked in projects for him. We’re a “project” couple.
    Ta!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. juliabarrett Post author

      I’m glad to hear you’re a project couple, Steph! That’s great! Yeah, I know skunks carry rabies, but she seems healthy so I’m keeping my fingers crossed. How to refinish worn areas? Studied at least 20 youtube videos. Then talked to my local hardware guy. Yeah, I have a guy… πŸ˜‰

      Like

      Reply
      1. fangswandsfairy(alt)

        Cool – I eventually want to tile my kitchen/breakfast area but for the moment if I could do something with the sink area I would be content.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. juliabarrett Post author

        Involves a lot of sanding by hand. For worn spots, that is. And the big thing is not sealing in animal hair.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s