Well, we had a skunk encounter yesterday. It was seen running into our garage in late afternoon. We waited for it to come out, and finally put the truck undercover leaving the door open. Later, I saw the skunk outside messing with a pile of buoys I had collected nearby. It pulled a green and black one by its connected rope into the garage opening. The buoy got caught and there was a tug of war as I laughed and tried for a picture! Later, it managed to free the buoy and pull it into the garage. Why, you might say? I figure it was after the mussels still clinging to the rope. I had carried the buoy home since I liked the color (!) and had not yet cleaned off the mussels. So, maybe mussels are an appealing part of a skunk's diet. What do you think?

How mush of risk did I take in getting close to this mammal known for its ability to ward off attackers with pungent odors? It is my understanding that these animals are not running around looking for excuses to let go of that scent. Usually they stamp their feet and lift their tail before shooting! This one was quite calm and intent on the business at hand. Skunks eat primarily insect grubs, but berries and mice are also consumed. I was particularly interested in their hunger for potato beetles since they were so numerous in my garden. Where was he when I needed him? But now, I should add mussels to his culinary interests. What a lovely animal with the thin white stripe down its nose and the beautiful white V shaped marking on its back. Technically, this is a Striped Skunk. It made my day!

Last week produced some windy weather. The seas were kicking up a storm, and tents were given a test, both provided beauty and concern for the safety of boaters and campers. We are beginning to see some definite change in the color of foliage. Right up there for striking beauty is the Poison Ivy, whose leaves turn a bright red as if to advertise their presence. No doubt you will recognize this view from Joe's Head looking across Sanddune Beach at high tide. And yes, the wind blew down a few tents and canopies as you see here. Has this ever happened to you? I started looking for migrating Monarch butterflies that have been so numerous. We had had heavy rain and now wind. Where do they hide and wait out these conditions or do they just seek coves and quiet hideouts? I did see two visiting the Goldenrod, but the next day they were back in their flight patterns in good numbers. My last chrysalis produced a butterfly, which I labeled and sent on its way.

Still no frost up here, but I have a feeling it is on our doorstep. I'm still picking tomatoes, squash and beans and enjoying the thriving zinnia blooms. What's a little skunk aroma amid all of this? 10/4/06 Not so stinky Ronnie.