Funny-Looking Raccoon

Last Friday I was hiking the Skyline Wilderness trail before work, when I rounded a bend and came across this guy.

What a funny looking raccoon! I thought, before quickly realizing that:

A) It was not a raccoon, and
B) There was nothing funny about the situation.

In retrospect, sure. But we both stopped dead in our tracks when we spotted each other at the same time. And then the lil’ stinker actually took a step toward me, erasing any illusions I had about man’s dominance over nature. Naturally, this caused me to take a step back.

I swear I saw a grin on his face once I began my retreat.

Fortunately, he decided not to toy with me any longer and took off into the grass. But I was still super wary and kind of nervous about continuing along the trail, fearing I’d be sprayed at any moment. The path is narrow, located on a hill, and surrounded by tall grass, so I didn’t have very many options other than turning around, retracing my steps, and finding an alternate trail, but that would have taken too much time. In the end, I made it home without further incident. First time I’ve ever seen a skunk around here. Normally they’re nocturnal anyway, so spotting one after sunrise was an even bigger surprise.

Never a dull moment around here.

I don’t know if y’all are dealing with smoke from all the wildfires out west, but it’s been real bad around here lately. Started a few days ago and hasn’t let up since. At least it makes for some interesting skies.

Adding insult to injury, our heatwave continues. It was 99.7º this afternoon, so I decided to…

…go hiking.

Yeah. I don’t know what I was thinking. I was back up at Skyline again; fortunately, there were no skunks this time—or any other sign of life the entire two hours I was there. Apparently every other living creature has more sense than I do.

But it wasn’t so bad. I explored some new trails and worked off brunch. Earlier, Tara and I went to Belle Joli Winery—the place we stopped by when my parents were visiting a few weeks ago. We were so impressed then, we signed up for their wine club. One of the perks of membership is $5 off brunch, which happens every Sunday. For the low, low price of $20, you get two Mimosas each; your choice of Eggs Benedict or a rotating option (today’s was cinnamon French toast); hash browns; fresh fruit; and a little dessert pastry. Even without a wine club membership, that’s a pretty good deal! Everything was delicious. I have a feeling we’ll be regulars. Not every weekend regulars, but definitely once every couple of months.

After my hike, I downed a gallon of water and took a cool shower. Then, much to our surprise, it started raining. A line of thunderstorms developed and brought some much-needed precipitation (and, this being South Dakota, a little hail, too). It’s supposed to be near 100º again early this week, but will finally start cooling off toward the weekend, with chances for more thunderstorms.

Just in time for our camping trip. I already have reservations because it’s a group outing (not my thing) and our last camping trip left much to be desired. But we bought a new air mattress, so at least this experience shouldn’t be too deflating.

26 thoughts on “Funny-Looking Raccoon

  1. OMG Mark, that is so funny because when I read “raccoon” but then looked at the photo, I thought, “That’s not a raccoon, that’s a SKUNK!” And I’m happy to hear that he/she retreated or that could have turned into a “stinky” situation. HA! 🙂

    Your photos of the sky are stunning! That first one looks so beautifully ethereal! And that sunset…WOW!

    I can’t get over the heat you’re experiencing. Almost 100 degrees! Yikes! I bet you can wait for the cold and snow, hu?

    Eggs Benedict, god, I haven’t had that in ages. I bet it was delicious. And all $20!?!? That’s unbelievable.

    Except for the heat, it sounds like you had a great weekend, my friend. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m used to seeing deer around here. Rabbits. The occasional fox. The skunk was a first! (Actually, raccoons are pretty rare too, come to think of it.)

      The stunning skies are the one decent trade-off for all the smoke in the atmosphere. Luckily, it’s high-based, so breathing isn’t an issue. They’re predicting a possible cool-off next week and I cannot wait!


  2. You went hiking in 90+ degrees? OMG, it was only 80 something here (but with 80% humidity) and I shaved a few tenths of a miles off my morning walk. Even the dog was dragging.

    We have a ton of skunks around here. They apparently like areas on the edge of two different biomes. They also like cat food. I watched one (from across the street) literally stroll up the walkway to a front porch, help himself to an outdoor cat dish, stroll back down the walkway, make a right on the sidewalk, make a right at the next walkway, and help himself to more cat food at the next house.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Those are some smart and determined skunks! Less smart (but still determined) was my decision to take that hike. I just wanted to explore some new trails, and really, I’ve gotten used to the heat now. A few years ago, I never would have attempted such a feat.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. We used to have a HUGE skunk in our neighborhood, but some new neighbors removed the skunk’s suspected abode (an old doghouse) from the property and now we dunno where she is, but we’re okay with her displacement.
    Hiking in 97 degrees? Madness, sheer madness.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It’s rare to see a skunk (or black and white stinky raccoon) during the day here. We have a family who show up nightly to feed under our bird feeders. This does not always end well for the fresh air content.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Well isn’t that just the wrong critter to meet on the trail? I’m glad no one was *hurt* in the process of you walk. Your photos of the sky and the wine are beautiful– in different ways, of course.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “Deflating.” Wha-wha-whaaaaaa…
    We get skunks around here all the time. I don’t ever see them, except as occasional road kill (good riddance), but the smell wafts into our house sometimes (read: too often) in the evenings, probably thanks to the preponderance of neighborhood dogs. :/ Glad you got away unscathed.
    That restaurant sounds like a great find!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I get freaked out by skunks and raccoons in daylight. My first thought is rabies!

    My husband has been trying to relocate a rabbit that’s been eating our plants but he’s worried about trapping a skunk by accident so we’ve had zero luck.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Good thing the skunk encounter was without incident!

    I checked the smoke map, and apparently the fires here in CA are sending smoke all the way out to Ohio. Unless there’s a big fire that started up in SD? 😦

    Liked by 2 people

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