Saturday, October 31, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Skippy the Skunk

Yes, cousin to Skippy the Squirrel. If you missed the Skippy the Squirrel episode...count yourself lucky!



A month or so ago, Rufus began chasing something around in the shop. We figured it was a mouse. Rufus likes to amuse himself in his off-time by chasing little rodents around the shop, barn, field, wherever. Soon we found Rufus rustling around behind some sheet metal and ply wood stacked up against the inside wall of the shop. Well, now it seemed maybe he was playing with one of the cats instead of a mouse. The cats like to hang out in the shop in cozy little out-of-the-way spots like that. And Rufus loves to follow the cats around.
We went on about our business, not paying much attention to what Rufus was doing except to laugh every now and then when he'd scamper backwards and his fuzzy nub would stick out from the pile.
It wasn't much time, though, 'til it became very apparent it wasn't just any 'ol cat Rufus was playing with in the shop. No sir-ee! Rufus seemed to have found himself one of those special cats, known around these parts as a pole-cat. Upon hearing Rufus give a yelp we all looked up to see the little corgi running from the shop shaking his head desperately and then drop on the grass and start frantically rubbing all over.
Then came the smell!
It was kind of like when you watch the 4th of July fireworks display--you see the pretty fire light up the sky and then a second or two later the big BOOM knocks you out of your chair.
At this point, all of us who were running forward to help Rufus, turned tail and ran the other direction as fast as we could. Poor Rufus, realizing he no longer had an audience, got up and decided to join the fun and give chase. It quickly became a game of "I've just gotta out-run you" between the kids and me, every man for himself!
I'm not sure which one of the kids got left behind to be Ruf-i-fied, I never looked back as I got through the front door and slammed and locked it.
Poor Rufus spent the rest of the day sitting alone on the front porch looking through the windows, wondering why none of us would pet him or play with him.
Now before you go feeling sorry for the little fella, you just remember he chose his friends that day. That's what he gets! That's how it is.
Well, the "scent" (we're gonna be polite here, aren't ya proud mom?!) in the shop dissipated over the next day and Rufus was back to smellin' like his ol' short self and all seemed well. No more sign of a skunk. Of course, if any of us had been brave enough to go move the sheet metal/ply wood pile we might have found differently, but since there was no more skunkiness in the air we figured we'd just leave well enough alone.
Throughout this past month our security has been growing that, indeed, Mr. Skippy had moved on his way and we were no longer sharing his lovely company. We were in and out of the shop like normal, grabbin' David's saddle and tack, bringing the four-wheeler in and out, driving Jason's mustang in and out, even brought the bailer in and put it up for the winter. No sign of Skippy! Wheeee!
Then one dark and stormy night this week, Jason was coming home late from his office and saw a shadow run across the yard in front of the shop. He pulled the car that direction and his head lights revealed something black with a white stripe running into our shop! Now, it could have been an oreo, there's lots of those around here, and you bet I'd be out there trying to catch it, but this one was a little too fuzzy to be a nice, harmless oreo.
Upon hearing the news, Seth and Joe were elated. They both ran for their .22s and were rearin' to go. I swear sometimes these boys are harder to deal with than that flighty horse we got out in the pasture! Dad made them put their spot light and weapons away. I could open a vineyard with all the whining I had around here! There was no time to deal with Skippy then and the soggy weather has kept us pretty much penned up in the house so I figured we had some time before we had to do battle with Skippy.
Of course the dogs would have other ideas. (they're as bad as the kids!)
I came home from the school this morning. The dogs met me out at the driveway and escorted the car up to the garage as they always do, tails wagging away. I pulled in the garage, turned off the car, opened my door and was met with the most unbelievable "scent" (hi mom!) imaginable. If you've never experienced wet-skunk-dog scent before you haven't lived! It is an entity all to its own, a physical force that just flies in and bowls you over. (Like when you watch the 4th of July fireworks...oh, right. sorry...)
There stood fierce Titus, proud as could be, ready for his dollop of praise and treats for doing something wonderful.
I wandered out to the shop and, sure enough, there was a dead Skippy the Skunk.
I must say, I do believe these dogs are studying to go to medical school. They did a fabulous dissection on this thing. There were parts all laid out around the area, all neat and nice. The little liver was laying there, maybe we'll hang on to that, you never know when David's gonna have one of his fits...
And there stood noble, strong Titus, surveying his handy work, and, tail wagging wildly, looking to me for lots of pats and rubs on his skunky head.
Being the good master I am, I ran for the house as fast as I could, slammed the door and locked it! Now Titus is sitting alone on the porch looking through the windows.
When my rearin'-to-go boys get home today, they can go out and de-skunk the dog, that'll give 'em something to do!

The Oreo Tree

Here deerie deerie deerie....

We hiked up to check out one of Jason's hunting spots the other evening to see if there are any signs of deer around...

Cedar Bug

A Shortcut to Mushrooms



Out back



The grass is always greener...


...on the other side of the fence.