Eastern Spotted Skunk

By William T. Hathaway
Eastern Spotted Skunk (Spilogale putorius)

There is a stone hut-like shelter built at the top of Sharp Top, one of the two mountains together known as the Twin Peaks of Otter. The little hut, which could provide refuge from an unexpected cold spell, has a little garbage can next to the hut. One of our hikers (see related article) was totally surprised when he discovered an unexpected visitor within the garbage can.

A feeling of caution drifted through the peeking members of the group. Would too-close-a-look result in that fearful circumstance of getting sprayed with one of the most dreaded fragrances known to North American mammals?

Whatever, I got a fair picture before the can was turned on its side. It was obvious that the skunk didn't want to waste its precious redolence on young “chaps.”

(Also see this photograph in larger format.)