02 July 2011

Close Enough

When we think about positive encounters with nature, skunks probably aren't the first animals that come to mind. Still, in the last two days, I have had close, non-smelly interactions with skunks.

Two days ago, while I was walking, I came across three skunks, and yesterday, I saw another. What amazed me about the experiences was how unconcerned the animals were. The one in the picture allowed me to get quite close to it. In fact, I don't know if I have ever gotten closer to a healthy wild animal that was aware of my presence. I didn't try to push the animal past the limits of its comfort, but I was able to get within about 12 feet.

It was very exciting to cross paths with these animals--such an unexpectedly cool experience. I think it shows that even some of nature's more notorious elements can give us a lift.

I apologize that the picture isn't perfect. I was holding a dog leash in one hand and the camera in the other, and despite its apparent calmness, I didn't feel like asking the skunk to pose for me. I just let it go about its business, and it tolerated me.

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