SunSpecial: Stars and Striped Skunks   Leave a comment

Skunks (family Mephitidae) don’t get their due. Recognized mostly for their harsh smell (so distinct, animals that have never even seen a skunk know the scent); and for their cartoon counterparts (which, for some reason, usually have a french accent even though none are native to Europe); skunks are most often portrayed in comedy settings; are thought badly of; or not thought of at all (behind every great comedian is sadness, they say). Yet skunks are one of the most significant insect predators, every night consuming up to a half pound of beetles, worms, grubs and other six-legged pests from gardens and fields.

Usually seen only at night – a nocturnal species – skunks join raccoons; coyotes; possum; bobcats and even foxes who have learned in the world of humans, it’s often safer in the darkness than in the daylight when most people are out and about and likely to chase you or yell at you or even to be hit by a car.

“Just the standard nighttime patrol here, nothing to see, go about your business.”

“Just the standard nighttime patrol here, nothing to see, go about your business.”

Because the nighttime is unfamiliar to most people (those fairy tales about creatures in the night didn’t just come from someones imagination), we also don’t often think about night-time animals and the lives they live while we are asleep. So on this Fourth of July weekend, when parties and campfires and, to animals the most strange, noisy, and frightening of all, fireworks light the sky, we should remind ourselves of those that aren’t outside just a few nights, but every night. As we celebrate our Fourth (which is about freedom from persecution – not freedom to do whatever we want anytime we want) remember the freedoms and lives of wildlife aren’t based upon an historical and annually celebrated event; but on their ability to survive in a changing world.

Michonne Says: It’s best just to stay underground at night. There’s all sorts of dangerous things out there and who knows what they’re doing. I don’t want to know.

Posted July 3, 2016 by ECOVIA eco-adventure® in SunSpecial

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