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And that's when I saw it - a small black object, with a white stripe down its back, stamping its front feet, and with its tail raised up over its back. A skunk - with the business end pointed right in my direction. I performed a rough imitation of my brother's previous manuver and took off pell-mell the opposite way down the road. When I got a little ways off, I turned back and saw the skunk waddle off the road, through the weeds, and into a cornfield.
It turns out that the skunk had suddenly walked out from behind some roadside weeds, right into the shoulder of the road where we were riding, only about 20 ft in front of my brother. At the speed we were going, that's not much space to react and stop safely, and by the time he got stopped, Jonathan was only about 4 feet away from the skunk, which had already gotten startled, lifted his tail, and turned his back in our direction. By the time Jonathan got out of the way and I got stopped, I was within about 6 feet of the skunk, which as I've said, was stomping his front feet and shaking his body in a rather threatening manner.
I'm guessing we both had a close call with sleeping in the garage for a few weeks, but just how close was it? I mean, do skunks normally spray right away, or do they usually give fair warning? Let me tell you, we sure weren't going to mess with this guy if we could help it - it sure looked like he meant business!
I never saw Jonathan stop his bike so fast. I thought for sure he was going over the handlebars. He's an experienced rider, but this obviously caught us both off-guard. It sure would have been a mess if he'd have fallen and landed right on the skunk!
I was biking in the woods, and there was a very sharp, blind, curve in the trail, that also went downhill. You could see absolutely nothing, so bad, you're sure to wreck if you don't already know where it goes.
Went around the curve, and once I could see something, it was a skunk. Instant spray. My friends thought is was pretty funny. I guess it was, but it would have been funnier if someone else were skunked. ;)
I don't think I had a "wet spot" anywhere, so I'm not even sure if it gave me a direct hit, or know if that happens when you're hit directly.
I did a little reading on it, and they do typically give plenty of warning, but this all happened really fast, and maybe I scared the crap out of it enough to make it miss a little.
Also had my parked car nailed at point-blank range once. Waited a couple days to clean it and the slime was stuck good. Like road tar. Definitely NOT water soluable.
Don't usually see skunks during the day though. Right time of the year for rabies too. As for the warning, anytime I see a bushy black and white tail, it means reverse. I don't plan on hanging around to see if I get the courtesy of a warning or not.
I have lots of them in the daylight. Certainly more at night when they are looking for food. They usually hide during the day under something like a building or a stump unless disturbed.
It is suprising when you walk around a corner and ... woo .... walk slowly backwards, very quiet. It is almost always a dog that sets them off.
A guy who works with my husband (we will call him bob)took his friend to his parents house one evening. Bob's parents lived back in the woods and were remodeling part of there house. Parts of the house did not have subfloors just the wood beams leading down into the crawspace. However there were boards layed over them so you could walk accross them. Bob and his friend were sitting in the living room when the black and white thing crawled out from under the floor boards. At first he though it was a cat and then realised it was a skunk. The two men just froze not wanting to move and startle it. The skunk waddled into the living room right to the guy and started to sniff his pants leg. It then climbed onto the couch next to him and contiuned to sniff him. By this time the guy is realy starting to sweat and bob is just siting there in stuned silence not being much of a help. Bob's mom walks in and the friend wispers "what do I do." She takes one look and says "Well pet him."
At this bob just breaks out in laughter. Bob's parents had a pet skunk(desented of course) and Bob loves to bring new people over to see their reaction. I guess they actual make realy good pets, like cats only not so arugant. Although they do have very sharp claws.