Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Flash in the Dark

Call me nuts. I know you'll want to. I spent a few days this week following baby skunks around our yard, hoping to snap a picture. This is not as easy as it seems. For one thing, skunks are nocturnal, which presents certain difficulties with my less than professional, zero-night-vision camera. For another thing, skunks...skunk. Our cat has had first hand experience with the capabilities of the skunk.

But baby skunks are very cute. I desperately wanted to share my local wildlife with friends and family. My first attempts at photographing them was through a window. If you aim a not-so-great-for-night-shots camera through a window, you get a great picture of black. Then my batteries went dead. The next time we saw them Dusty was outside. We dragged her in and realized that she did not stink. Anymore than usual. I figured out that the baby skunks are very self-centered (what baby isn't?) and as long as I kept a certain distance between us, they would happily wander about and ignore me. So out I went with my camera and tried to take pictures from the doorway.

My batteries were dead. I thought I changed them? I whispered loudly through the door for more batteries. A second pair was passed to me. These were also dead. My subjects were wandering off. Doesn't anyone recharge these things? I tell Sierra to bring me a fresh pair of disposable batteries as the skunks wander off together to darker sections of the yard. By the time I fumble with the batteries, I realize I'm going to have to get closer and use the flash or else I won't have a picture worth showing. But the skunks wouldn't stay still and even with a flash I was shooting blind. My best shot that night was of the two skunks from their head to belly in a corner of one picture.

Tonight, luck was on my side. We had pizza. Sierra had taken hers outside and dropped the crust near the bird feeder. I don't know why she did that, but it worked in my favor. Apparently, skunks like pizza.

You'll notice that by the third photo the skunk was looking directly at me. I decided I should quit flashing him. Then Dusty came up the path. I figured I would get her in before we discovered the limits of the skunk's patience.


Bonni said...

Oh, I hope yo're in for resident skunks! They are such scavengers!

But, I do have to say, they are the cutest things ever and remain a dream pet of mine. We used to have a skunk farm that bred pet skunks nearby until the Ontario government decided that pet skunks were a no-no.

Looking forward to more pics. I'll send batteries if I have to!!

momof3feistykids said...

Awww ... how cute! You may be crazy, but we would've done the same thing. :-)

Keeley said...

This is further proof to me that ALL babies are insanely cute.

Except bug babies.

But even skunk babies are cute, for goodness sakes.

B&B said...

Love the pics!!!

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