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What's that smell?

Nature's PBS program "Is That Skunk?" was pretty cool. Here is a fairly common animal that we know so little about. What did I learn? 1)Skunks are not part of the weasel family, they have their own branch. 2) Tomato juice is not a good remedy for skunk spray--hydrogen peroxide, baking soda(?), and laundry detergent are. 3) Skunk babies are photogenic and are born hairless with black and white skin markings.

My own skunk story--My friend J and I had finished a trip either in Pictured Rocks or the Porcupine Mountains and didn't feel like rushing home so we stayed at the Jellystone KOA (not the best place, BTW) in St. Ignace. After a decent night's sleep I woke to something scratching around the trash in our fire pit. It must have been around 6:30 AM because the gauzy dawn light was brightening. I kicked at the tent door to scare it away to no avail. After a few tries and some hissing on my part I finally sat up, crawled to the door, unzipped the tent, and said "Get" in a loud stage whisper only to stare at the rear of a skunk about five feet away from my face. I promptly zipped up the tent and let the little opportunist have at the trash.


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