One day last week I was sitting on the porch enjoying my morning cup of tea when I noticed a mink making it’s way through the grass around our evergreen trees. It was too far away to get a photo but it was clearly a mink.
I didn’t think to much of it at the time as we live by a small river and have lots of critters make their way past our home. During the night I heard a commotion in my hen house and shined a flashlight out that way but did not see anything. It was not a huge commotion so I was not really concerned.
When I went to let the girls out the next morning I found two dead hens in my coop! Judging by their condition it was clearly the work of a mink. That afternoon when I went to collect eggs I opened the door and was startled to find the mink in a nesting box looking for eggs!
Needless to say I started hollering for my husband to come with a gun. He came and asked what was up…I promptly told him, but by then the mink had run off. I was informed that I had been screaming like a girl…..I did remind my husband that, that really did make sense as I was a girl!
Two nights later there was a commotion in the hen house again! My husband promptly launched out of bed, pulled on his boots and grabbed his gun. I listened but did not hear a shot. When he came back in I asked if the mink got away….he started to laugh and said it had not been a mink.
Turns out it was a skunk in the chicken run. My husband said that he “very carefully” opened the door to the chicken run and encouraged the skunk to exit. Thankfully it did.
I have a feeling that the skunk was a mama skunk because the last few days we have been having a very tiny visitor. We are not sure if this little critter got left behind when mama moved her children or if he just was a rebel and went his own way.
My husband has been getting very close to this little skunk and it does not seem to bother either of them! I have been telling him (my husband…not the skunk) that fortunately the nights have been warm lately…the warning is he might be spending his nights in the garage if he gets sprayed.
This year we seem to be surrounded by animals and baby animals. We have the little roaming skunk. There is a mom wood duck nesting in the wood duck box. Kestrels are in another nesting box and a rabbit has decided to raise a batch of bunnies in the middle of our back yard. (Yes, I did have my husband put a flag by the nest so I would not mow over it.)
I haven’t seen the mink since I screamed like a girl and I am good with that….my girls have kind of gone on an egg-laying strike since the mink and adult skunk came to visit. Living by a river is a wonderful place to be, but it does come with lots of surprises by way of wild animals.
I do have to admit there is something wonderful about all the new life that is springing up around us. I know that down the road I will not look so fondly on those bunnies…but for now they are a promise of life going on. I also know that when that baby skunk gets old enough to spray I will be rethinking his cuteness factor.
For now it is enough to just enjoy those baby animals. It is enough to grin and thank God for the beauty and diversity He has placed before us. It is a good lesson to remember that enjoying the here and now is important and to not worry so much about the problems that are sure to come.
Lions Rabbits and Tigers Skunks and Bears Minks, Oh My!
Wizard of Oz Rephrased
“Some people talk to animals.
Not many listen though.
That’s the problem.”
― A.A. Milne