Saturday, February 18, 2012

Worse Than a Bee Sting

Jerome has a skunk problem.  The critters are as common as rats and if you have one there's a neighbor with a live-trap to help correct the problem.  But stories are unique in details of people who have trapped one then walked up to the trap and gotten sprayed...y'gotta have some perspective dealing with them.
I "possessed" a de-scented skunk years ago in an old college dorm. One night I let it out of it's cage for a 2 AM saunter through some of the halls and a drunk coming in after the bars closed stood in front of it as it cobbled an awkward walk along the baseboards.  The skunk (not the late-night drunk) sunk its canines through the top and bottom of the drunk's big toe (sandals y'know) and kept cobbling without a pause.  When the drunk had first spotted the thing he exclaimed, "What a cute Kitty."  It obviously took offense at being so grossly misidentified.
It's a long, long way in miles and years from that college dorm but you always have to be precise in identifying a threat.  If you go wrong ID'ing such a distinct black/white critter the result may be worse than a bite.  
While certain insects and reptiles are  recognized by remarkable colors...not your common raccoons and opossums...part of the perspective depends on you...beware of Jerome...or beware of something that lives there.    

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Sunday, February 12, 2012

A Town too Tough to Die

We ended up in Tombstone, Arizona, by default.  We had set out to follow the route described in Richard Shelton's delightful picaresque novel, Going Back to Bisbee.  South of Tuscon we somehow lost the narrative and stopped in Tombstone at the Larian Motel where we had stayed before.  Nothin' special, just a nice, clean, eat-cheap place.
Winter is the wrong time to visit Arizona.  The color is wrong.  Certain tree species are green but smaller species are a uniform buff without leaves.  The grass is uniform yellow...endless hills of buff without the juniper green.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
The fauna is there, nonetheless.  A female Harrier cruises by looking for lunch.
Tombstone spreads out unimpressivly.  Buildings refaced for the tourists.

A Third...
A fourth and friend.
And a big fella who brings you back to where you're coming from.  Farms, ranches, and range lands.

Labels: ,