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…of skunks and such…

If you’ve hung around this blog for any length of time, you’re probably aware that every summer I have my dad, sister, nieces, nephew, great nieces & nephews up for a long weekend.  It’s a great time to kick back, swim, fish, treasure hunts, cooks some ribs and brisket, just have a good time together at the lake.  There’s 7 kids from 3 to 15, plus adults and a couple of dogs tossed in the mix.

As you might imagine, there’s a LOT of planning and prepping that goes into a weekend to accomodate 18-19 extra people at your house.  There’s groceries, housekeeping and of course the yard, boats, etc.  Well, this weekend is the big weekend and until last nite, I’ve been in a literally state of panic.

About a week and a half ago, my wife and I were kicking back when my wife says, my god, there go two skunks past the sliding patio door.  I grabbed the rifle and watched them crawl under our deck and I commenced waiting, gun in hand for the next half hour.  When they finally came out, I followed them around the house and when they were a good distance away, I took one out with the 22.  It was dark enough that the second one headed off into the tall grass and safety.

Anyway, I’m feeling confident the problem was solved until two nites later.  About 9:00 PM a skunk pulls the same routine and heads under the deck.  I stood on the upstairs deck ready to take out the second skunk for almost an hour.  No skunk came out. 

Next morning, the aroma of skunk was overwhelming at the back door, around the deck and I knew drastic measures had to be taken.  I ran water all over the deck hoping to flush out any critter that might be taking refuge and finally got a flashlight and did a thorough scan.  No skunk.  I then re moved the lattice work and spent the rest of the morning putting chicken wire up, reinstalling the lattice work assured that nothing bigger than a chipmunk could get through.

For days, we continued to smell the skunk and I’d sit on the deck with my coffee, stogie and rifle hoping to waylay the stinky critter.  No skunk, but the stench persisted.  We’re down to just a few more days till company arrives and we can’t open the back door.  Panic time!

Yesterday, we had a stiff NW breeze and the smell was intensifying and I didn’t have a clue what was going on.  I kept noticing the smell was strong close to a small bird bath on the deck we put out for the birds and squirrels. I’d assumed the skunk was coming to the bowl and leaving a little calling card.  Realizing I’d been in denial for over a week, I decided that desperate times called for desperate measures and I started removing deck boards….and found the source of the smell.

At some point, the skunk had gotten under the deck prior to my ‘fencing’ it in and had expired.  Now I’ve got a really strong constitution and have dealt with some pretty disgusting things and odors, but let me tell you….never, ever had I encountered anything so nasty in my life.   The warm weather helped accelerate the decomposition process and the only recognizable part of the skunk was a big fluffy tail.  The rest was a pile of mush. 

But the problem is solved!!!  After flushing the area with a couple hundred gallons of water, things don’t smell (hardly) and we’re ready for company!!  In the meantime, I’ve eaten 4 bags of mints and chain smoked cigars for the last 24 hours in an effort to get the smell out of the head.  By Friday nite, I think I’ll be okay.

Just glad I could share that with you!!!!

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