Monday, August 9, 2010

It stinks....

....or at least it stank.

OK, so Mr. Downeastdoingstuff goes off for a few days. This is something that has been in the works for many months and marked on his calendar. This event was not sprung upon him at the eleventh hour rendering him a frenetic valise packing fool. Oh no. He knew about it.

I had to get up at the ungodly hour of 7 A.M. to transport him to the other people that also had this occasion marked on their calendars.....for months. I didn't mind (too much)....I love him....and I know that he would get up at any time, day or night to transport me to anywhere in the world that I wanted to go. 

So while I'm still bleary-eyed and semi-unconscious in bed at 6:45 A.M. he announces to me that there is a skunk in his havahart trap.

"A what?" Blink. Blink.

"A skunk. And I don't have time to do anything about it, so you are going to have to handle it."

Sensing a nervous breakdown approaching, I have a nervous breakdown.
(why, oh, why didn't he de-activate the trap the day before KNOWING he was leaving????)
sob. sob.


"Yeah, but you know what to do."

(I know what to do. ) Blink. Blink.

ONLY because he has had to do it before, several times. And I've 'heard' him 'talk' about what he does. BUT, and this is a big BUT, I've never seen him do it, and I've never even operated the friggin Havahart trap. (Just the word 'trap' doesn't sit well with me. Things can go awry rapidly.)

So that's it. Off I go, good wife that I am, taking him to his destination designated in ADVANCE. Did I mention he knew he was leaving?

I drop him off, come back home armed with good intentions of taking control of the situation, and.........go back to bed.

Can't sleep. Toss. Turn. Thinking about something I shouldn't be thinking about. What are my options?
1. Do nothing. (I presume the creature will eventually go to skunk heaven, what in this heat and all....) (Heaven is supposed to be good, isn't it?) (But visions of the skunk named 'Flowers' from the movie BAMBI enter my head and this does not become an option.)

2. Have my grown son still living with us take care of it, which is the same as option #1.

3. Do 'it' myself.

So, after grumbling and pacing, I go up into the garden area to assess the situation.

Here is what I see.

It IS a little 'Flower'. Just a baby, all black and white and fluffy and pretty. 


I KNOW first thing I have to do is to quietly cover the dang trap with a cloth of some sort. This apparently confuses the skunk and she thinks everything is ok. (Not too bright, are they?)

So I go grab an old sheet in the garage and like a professional stealthy burglar on cat paws, I slowly, carefully cover the cage and like hell.

OK. Step One. Check.

Step two. Text husband. Check.

"Now what?", I type on my cell phone.

"Open the trap with a stick pushing the front lever.", is the response.

"&$(__&@$*&@^", I mumble. 

OK, I find a stick, expose the lever, and push it.


Push harder.


Text him again. "Try harder", he instructs. (YOU try harder is what I wanted to say.)

Now I knew I had to take matters into my own hands. So I did what any intelligent person would do. GOOGLE it!!!

After 45 minutes of watching videos about different types of traps and how not to get too close because these animals have TEETH, and how you don't want to get rabies and stuff, checking out the latest recipes on , I come to the realization  that I can open the lock to the door if I have some sort of a hook apparatus. So I made one with some metal strapping, some pvc pipe and masking tape. See?

Now, if you look closely you can see a wire that's up in the air in the front of the trap. I did that. With my hook.
(key smug look).

Then I took the stick and pressed down on the front lever. The door opened! And I didn't smell anything! Flower was a good girl thus far.

Yeah!!!!! I took the stick off of the lever. 

The door slammed shut.

"*&^%$#^*" and "grrrrrrrrrr".

I had to think fast. How much of this ruckus was Flower going to take?

Aha. I did make a hook, didn't I?? So I opened the door again with the stick on the lever routine, took my nifty hook and latched it over the edge of the open door, laid the hook and pvc pipe handle on the top of the trap, placed a shovel over it as a counterweight and backed away.
(If you want to take notes, you can biggify the pic by clicking on it.)

Voila!!!!! Door open...... and I didn't get bitten or sprayed and it only took  from 7 A.M. to  4 P.M. for the  completion of the job. 9 hours. 

What was I going to do with myself  the rest of the day?  ;-/


Birdman said...

Sheeeesh... it's i minute's work really. Quite a lot of drama here.

Unknown said...

So I'm confused. You trap skunks and then let them go? Like fishermen who catch fish and throw them back? What kind of a game is that?

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

oh i am so proud of you! and as any good blogger would do, you took photos during the extreme crisis! nothing that exciting ever happens to me. there just aren't any good skunks in condos. really.

smiles, bee

Elenka said...

Oh, Eva, good question. We have the trap for woodchucks cause they eat our garden. The skunks don't bother us. (unless we trap them. Then they bother us.)

Unknown said...

Thanks for clearing that up! lol What do you do with the woodchucks when you catch them?

Unknown said...

Phew! For a minute there when you said where you bring them, I thought you meant you were dropping them off at my house! (I live in Saco--but nowhere near the Saco River! lol)

Pink Feather Paradise said...

I assume flower returned to her skunk home and just imagine the tales she'll be telling all her friends.... lol

well done for fashioning hte correct tools for the job...

x Alex

brattcat said...

If it's 1 minute of work, Birdman, why didn't you take care of it before you went off on your adventure? E., you handled it brilliantly. I tip my hat to you for your creative and successful completion of the task. You came out smelling fresh as a rose.

Balisha said...

You are somethin' else my friend. hang on to that girl.

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

Catch and release skunks? Who knew? Is that an east coast thing? I seriously doubt that I've heard of it out here on the west coast. LOL

Glad it came out ok - what a day, and I bet it would have taken me a lot longer because I would have been running around crying a lot.

Birdman said...

Ok, yes one minute work, however I was going to Philly for coasters, waterrides and then Seaside Heights in 2 minutes AND if sprayed ME no get on bus! Do the math! hahahaha

Elenka said...

Yeah, good excuse, Birdman. Aren't you supposed to be on a roller coaster or something?

annie'smom said...

I agree with Brattcat, Birdman. Why didn't you just take care of it? I've been on that Philly trip and I've never seen you on a rollercoaster or water ride. Nope, I've just seen you with your camera, taking pictures, for your brother.

Traveling Bells said...

What to do with your time? Think of ways to either a) kill your hubby or b) get him inside that trap! I'm not sure, but we may be married to the same guy.

Glad you documented all this!

And as for the zip lining, my dear, I am over 60 and I did it with nothing broken, so go for it! You don't want any regrets in life, right?

Have fun...

Traveling Bells said...

Zip lines in NH? Where??? We'll be there in New London around 9/9!

Anonymous said...

Elenka, you're a brave woman... Very brave... Glad you came out unscathed.

Dawn said...

Oh my, what a good wife you are to do the man's work! I would of been petrified! I'll bet Flower thought of being friend (insert big ole' skunk eyes here) after you rescued her.

Jo Castillo said...

Ah, what we do for love! Great post. Glad you came out OK and smelling like a rose.

Sarah Laurence said...

A skunk? That stinks. Did you hear that one got caught in a lobster trap on Munjoy Hill? You did right to cover it. 9 hours and not sprayed isn’t bad.

Debbie said...

Glad you didn't get skunked Elenka! I see you can function quite nicely without Mr. DEDS Birdman around now can't you? You got the job done, created a new tool to use on the next excursion, all the while saving flowers life, you also saved your cleanest dirty sheet from going into the garbage, and were clever enough to take pictures throughout the whole thing! Come to think of it, no wonder it took you 9 hours! Oh and EVA!!...what the? must NOT be a TRUE MAINER if you DON"T know that those traps near the garden are for Woodchucks!! Well yah! Are you from away Eva?? ~..~

Jim said...

Excellent work returning "Flower" to her woodland home, without any release of toxic gas. Several years ago, during Thanksgiving dinner, my parents' Newfoundland was sprayed by a skunk that he found. A panic ensued, the dog was almost let inside, and I could smell the stench on my clothes when we got home, days later . . . clothes that had been inside my suitcase, upstairs, during the whole bizarre episode :-)


Lili said...

Brave woman, Elenka. You are a very brave woman. And resourceful, very very resourceful. Birdman owes you BIG. The little stinka! ~Lili

Sharon Creech said...

Oy, I know that scene, and your telling of it was terrific and funny (well, not funny at the time, but funny in hearing your take on it)!

Audrey at Barking Mad! said...

You are a far braver woman than I will ever be.

We had a horrible skunk problem when we were living down in Cape Elizabeth right near Kettle Cove. We had an entire family of them living under the front porch. We had someone come and trap them for us because the spraying was getting out of hand.

Then groundhogs moved into the vacant skunk den and the babies promptly fell in love with Gaby, who was only 18 months old at the time and would stand at the front door of the house (I have a blog post with picture of her standing there, and groundhog pups standing on the steps looking up at her) and wail, "Want my porch puppies....want porch puppies!!!" And to this day, whenever she sees a groundhog, to her, it's a porch puppy!

Thank goodness the skunks didn't take a liking to her!