Visitors of All Stripes

stinky the skunk

You never know who is going to scamper across your front yard or dawdle and munch in your garden. I took this picture of Stinky, our resident skunk, skipping across our lawn yesterday evening.  I’m afraid Stinky is responsible for digging up a gladiola bulb in our new flower bed.

Skunks, however, aren’t the only varmints we contend with in northern Missouri.  Armed with a broom, I chase a rabbit every morning from my flowers. I bought a beautiful yellow hibiscus a couple of weeks ago and the deer have eaten half of it.  The raccoons wiped out all, except for one ear, of our sweet corn last summer.  A gopher ate all of our newly planted peanuts last year.  So what is a gardener to do?

I put fences and cages around as many vegetables as possible.  My husband built cages to surround our barrels of lettuce and broccoli.  He also created a few more portable cages to protect new seedlings of watermelon, zucchini, peppers, and eggplant.

caged lettuce


I’ve had mixed results with repellent sprays.  The ones I’ve used are a nasty smelling garlic mixture that are expensive and wash off after a rain.  Also, it seems that the deer get used to their smell after a while.  Fencing off the garden has been the most effective method in keeping the deer away from the vegetables. But not just any old fence will keep a raccoon out of a sweet corn patch.  An electric fence is the best “defense” against a raccoon.

But what am I going to do about the skunk?  Well, I know I won’t be chasing with a broom like I do with our rabbit!  I’ve resorted to using the smelly repellent. But would a bad odor repel a skunk????

skunk 2013



One thought on “Visitors of All Stripes

  1. Love your resident skunk’s name! It really is skipping in the last photo! I’m very impressed with the fence and cage picture. Just last summer I called my husband to warn him that a skunk was outside our house. I had been just a few yard away weeding in our glade. Yikes!

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