Be a Skunk

Here in New England, it has snowed for the last four weekends.  We had a blizzard, a snowstorm, and a Sunday storm.  On Saturday night, we got a coating of thick, heavy flakes.  The winter weather has caused much groaning and gnashing of teeth from people who should know better.  As Bill Belichick might say “it is what it is.”

As I was packing up The Jeep early Saturday morning, on my way home to Lisbon Falls, I smelled the sulfur-like smell of a skunk.  I haven’t smelled “skunk” since fall and I wondered if there was a particular skunk behavior which was a harbinger of spring.

The skunk is a nocturnal animal and while the use of their odorous spray is a weapon against predators, it’s also a way that a skunk marks territory and attracts a mate.  Doing some internet research and basic gestational math, I determined that male skunks could be out looking for mates about now and I thought it was as good a sign of spring as any.  Embracing the odor and the miniscule piles of remaining Seacoast snow, I headed north with visions of rhubarb popping through the dirt in the garden I share with Uncle Bob.

It was overcast and grey all the way home and a flake or two would occasionally hit the windshield.  When I drove by Uncle Bob’s, I was skunk out of luck; the garden looked the same as it looked a few months ago.

I took a walk around town, looking for skunk signs.

There were no signs of any tulips tips in the Redemption Garden.

It was a big rock candy snow mountain at my Surprise Garden.

There were no signs of anything skunky to be found.

It’s easy to be anxious in March in New England.  January and February are actually one long month which could be called “Fanuary” or “Jenebruary.”  Flipping the calendar to March isn’t a magic talisman, though.  It’s still early for most things and I estimate that it will be another 21 days before I can get outside and start cleaning up winter’s debris.  Folks are tapping maples and there are a few inside things yet to do before planting peas.

I’m going to have to be more upbeat and positive with the groaners and the teeth gnashers.  I know the Pollyanna routine will smell like a skunk to them, but I’m going to do it anyway because I did find one little hopeful sign of spring as I was leaving my parent’s house on Sunday.

Be a harbinger of spring today; be a skunk.

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5 Responses to Be a Skunk

  1. loosehead prop says: Shoulda looked left, shoulda looked right…

  2. loosehead prop says:

    I suppose I could send you pictures of all the flower in bloom in my yard. Or of my tall evening drink, made from grapefruit from my own tree (one of which, picked by daughter, was a long way from ripe–yowza, that’s sour!). The geckos on the wall, the frogs by the tree, the ponies in the paddy behind the house, the cardinals, the beautiful kite that floated over the house at midday.

    Pretty bad when you’re looking for a skunk to be a portent of good news.

  3. loosey goosey says:

    No, you make lemonade with lemons, with grapefruit you make something else. I’m getting some Mason jars today (I have a pile of Kerr jars and lids, the EXACT same thing, just the UK license, coming with the household goods) to make some grapefruit-cello–limoncello without the limone. We’ll see how that turns out.

    • The grapefruit line was a subtle play on words which apparently fell short of its target. Your idea sounds wonderful nonetheless. Please report back to us on your success. Merci!

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