Saturday, June 26, 2010

Striped Skunk

The striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis) is found throughout the contiguous 48 states and large parts of Canada. It is about the size of a cat, has a black body, a narrow white stripe up the middle of its forehead, and a broad white area on the nape which divides into a V at about the shoulders and produces two white lines which continue to the base of the bushy tail, which may or may not have a white tip. There is great variation in the width and length of the white side stripes. It is a nocturnal hunter. We have seen many of them near our home and around Redlands. The photo was taken of a skunk in our garage, an event that has happened on a number of occasions.
We also had one living under our house for awhile, under the bathtub. Andrew could hear it scratching at night behind the wall where his bed was located. We ultimately were able to block of its entrance to beneath our home while it was out and prevent it from coming back. My grandfather, Horace Sorensen, gave us a descented skunk when I was three or four years old and living on 9th Avenue in Salt Lake. It had a pink collar and was named flower. It got loose and there was a joking newspaper article about it. My brother, Mike, served a mission in the Eastern States (Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia) and came home with a fox and a skunk hat. I was really jealous of them. A number of years ago, I purchased a skunk hat on the internet
which I have worn on a number of occasions,
including one youth conference where we were responsible for the food preparation. It makes for a quirky clothing add-on.  

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