There's a peculiar odor in the evening wafting through Land Park, and I'll be the first to tell you that's it's trouble with a capital T -- that rhymes with P and stands for pot. Well, not really. But a friend of mine walked out on my back porch, sniffed and exclaimed loud enough for my neighbors to hear, "Who's smoking pot around here?" Not that I really have any first-hand evidence of that smell, mind you, but I have seen with my own two little eyes what is causing it.
Now, if I was Barbara Duncan in Searcy, Arkansas, I would have a real photograph to show you, but I see these critters only in the dark. Here is a photo to the right that I did not take but is a close enough resemblance.
We had episodes a few years ago when the skunk problem in Land Park was out of control. Unfortunately, the lovely lingering odor is back.
Every night around dusk and in the early morning hours, I spot those critters with the white stripes down their backs scurrying down my drive, heading for a hole under my back-yard deck. I have plugged up the hole, but those darn rats with a bushy tail keep digging it back out.
There is more than one because I've tracked their footprints across my back deck. Here is a photo I shot to the left. What does that look like to you? It looks like long claws attached to little skunk feet to me.
I am going to fight back. No, I'm not sending my husband into the yard with a BB gun. Although the thought did cross my mind, but we don't own a BB gun, and I'm not certain he's a good shot. He might hit a neighboring cat or his own car. Let's just say we're not hunters in this household.
There's only one sure way to get rid of the skunks in Land Park. Call Animal Control. For $20, they'll send out a representative with a skunk trap to capture the little critters. It's a humane trap, so it doesn't kill them. Of course, what they do with the skunk after they come to retrieve it, well, I don't really want to know.
If you have a problem with skunks in your yard, call the City of Sacramento at 3-1-1 or email: email@example.com
The Short Sale Savior, by Elizabeth Weintraub, coming June 2009.
Photos: Skunk prints, Elizabeth Weintraub; skunk, Big Stock Photo