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Native Californian, biologist, wildlife conservation consultant, retired Smithsonian scientist, father of two daughters, grandfather of 4 small primates. INTJ. Believes nature is infinitely more interesting than shopping malls. Born 100 years too late.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A memory of jitterbug perfume

A saw my first live spotted skunk in the middle of highway 45 in Chihuahua, Mexico in August,1965.

Highway 45 was a two lane road at the time, and for all I know it may still be.

It was a strange vision on a lonely road in the middle of the night.

In the headlights of our WW2 Dodge Power Wagon it looked like a powder puff doing the jitterbug.

As we slowed down we saw that a very animated spotted skunk was trying to catch a large moth on the asphalt.

It was an enchanting sight I never forgot.

I still find these spunky little guys to be real charmers, so here are a couple shots from a recent camera trap set in Butte Creek Canyon.


JK said...

Great looking skunk. Are their patterns variable enough to tell individuals apart?

Mr. Smiley said...

A real cuties. Remember Grenadine? She was the striped Skunk, I think.

Camera Trap Codger said...

I posted the dorsal view to show how the stripes are broken -- yes, I think they can be ID'd by pattern. So can a lot of stripers.

Yes, Grenadine was a fine if overweight skunk.

Alyssa Johnson said...

This species is almost...cute? I'm not really a fan of striped skunks, but the bushy tail and spots are cute on this guy!

john said...

Great photos. My one and only Spotted Skunk was running around under the tables of an outdoor restaurant in Liberia, Costa Rica. I was surprized by how nimble it was compared to a Striped Skunk.

Camera Trap Codger said...

John, that would be southern spotted skunk, Spilogale angustifrons. Would love to see it myself some day.

Trailblazer said...

Those spotties are cute!

I love skunks. We've been getting alot of striped out and active over the last few weeks (which makes sense).

Wish we had more spotties, though. They are rare in our fine state (and may even be considered extirpated....).

Filho Manfredini said...