A few weeks ago, Jaylin and I were going to put bales of hay in the hay stall in our barn. We have known that a skunk has been in there from time to time, so we were watching for him. But it was already getting dark by the time that we started, so I was hoping that the skunk had already started on his rounds for the night. After all, skunks are nocturnal, so they are more likely active at night rather than during the day.
But as we were moving around the last bales of hay that were already in the barn, Jaylin suddenly dropped one and pushed past me to get out of the barn, saying, “It’s the skunk!” Sure enough, the skunk was there, sitting under one of the wooden pallets that we use for stacking hay.
We have always heard that mothballs drive skunks away, and we have had some luck with that in the past as well. So I went and got a package of mothballs from the house and tossed it in the barn. It landed very near the skunk and broke open, so that some of the mothballs actually hit him. He jumped up, but then he didn’t move from where he was. So that didn’t work.
A quick check of my phone showed that skunks also don’t like light and noise. I went and got a bright work light to plug in, shining it directly on the skunk. By this time, he had moved to behind another pallet that was leaning up against the back wall, so that was some progress. We left the light shining on him and made lots of noise, hoping that we could eventually drive him away. Jaylin even got brave enough to occasionally toss a mothball at him, although I didn’t think that was a good idea. So I kept my distance, just in case the skunk wanted to let Jaylin know that he didn’t think it was a good idea, either.
Eventually, either the light, the noise, or just the pressure of being watched got to him, and he finally made his way out of the barn through the next stall and then on out the back. So Jaylin and I worked quickly to get the hay put up before he decided to come back. Success! Sort of. He has still been in there from time to time. Or maybe it is one of his friends, because Laura describes the skunk she has seen as being more black than the one that we saw, which was mostly white. Great, we have a whole family in there now.
Fortunately, the skunk(s) we have seen haven’t been that aggressive, and they haven’t thought we were aggressive, either, which means that we have all been coexisting without any foul odors being introduced. But still, we would prefer that they weren’t there.
Still, if you take some time to actually look at skunks, they are almost cute. Which is how I tried to draw the one above. If it weren’t for the olfactory threat, and the chance of rabies, they might make cute pets. But not for me.
About the artwork:
This drawing, as with several of the other recent drawings, was produced using Manga Studio 5 and a Wacom Intuos tablet. For this one, I used a pastel brush for the coloring, because I thought that would give the skunk more of a “fur” look than just flat color.