An advocate of traditional living and natural spirit teachings. Topics address concerns to do with wellness and balance in life as well as environmental enrichment. A student of native teachings from Ojibwe Elders, Algonquin language based people, living throughout the Great Lakes Region of the US and Canada. The audiences for presentations vary from youth to elderly.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
It’s a Skunk!
OMG ~ It's a Skunk!
By: James B. Beard aka Noodin
A common resident of the New England woods is Skunk.
Monadnock State Park is no exception to this fact and has a well rounded
population. It is not uncommon to hear a noise rummaging through food supplies
or sniffing around a campsite and realizing that your visitor is Skunk. The
first time I encountered Skunk was while going up the mountain at night on a rescue
several years back. I saw two eyes looking at me from up the trail as my
headlight focused on Skunk. I stopped and waited for him to mosey off the trail
before proceeding up the mountain.
One evening as I was walking around the campground area in
the early evening to make sure everything was quiet. I looked over at a family
enjoying their meal at the table in a site. They sat at one end of the table
and were completely unaware that Skunk was at the other end of the table
enjoying his meal as well. I went in to the campsite and pointed to the Skunk
while telling the people to be very calm. The campers quietly got up and walked
to the edge of their site. It was funny to watch seven adults and children
standing there watching the Skunk consume everything he could find on the
While working at headquarters on a weekend Skunk came by
again. This time six college girls were camping in the old campground near headquarters
of the park. The campground was full of campers and it was in the fall time. I
heard a scream in the campground and two of the girls came running out of the
woods toward the toll booth where I was working. At that hour I was the only
ranger on duty and had to stay at the booth until all campers were checked in
for the night. The girls were out of breath and screeching as they tried to
tell me that they needed me to come to their camp. I asked them to tell me what
the problem was and one explained that a Skunk entered their camp and was in
one of their tents. Did you have any food in your tent, I asked. Just some
candy bars the girl replied. They explained that they tried to get him to leave
but he would not leave the tent and was rummaging through all of their things.
It’s not often that an old ranger can impress pretty young co-eds so I told
them I would help them out. I closed up the toll booth and went with them to
their camp. Sure enough, there was Skunk eating a candy bar in the door of the
tent. I took my flashlight and shinned it in his eyes. The Skunk began to move
out of the tent and walk away. Then he turned and walked toward one of the
girls. He looked at her for a moment and walked into the forest. At that point
he started going from campsite to campsite with me running around ahead of him
to warn campers that he was coming. It was a site to see and everyone had a
visit from Skunk. The park manager came up in the park truck. He asked me what
was going on. I told him about the Skunk but he didn’t seem moved by the event.
His only comment was; “You forgot to lock the wood shed!”.
Skunk regularly patrols the park and visits with campers
here and there. He doesn’t seem to have any fear of folks and mostly minds his
own business which is finding camper’s food.
Jim Beard aka Noodin
“To be centered is to
stand alone together”