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Early last week saw a couple of skunks in the mid day, they are no longer with us. Then three days later an adult yote at 3:30 in the afternoon walking across the back through the trees. Could not get off the phone, talking to the dad-gum work scheduler for AC repair. Then on Thursday last, had two huge wild Muskogee ducks land on the upper pond. Never saw a wild Muskogee flying before, one grey with black speckles on the back and the other was beige like natural suede leather. They were each about the size of a full grown Tom turkey but flying like a duck. A big golden hawk flew down and landed on the bank, about 18" tall, the beige duck just paddled over to it and gave it the harry eyeball at about 3 ft distance. Hawk wanted no part of that big duck in the water and flew off.

It has been very hot, right up against 100 degrees at 90% humidity with no rain for 3-4 weeks. So we are seeing odd critters coming to the upper pond, behind the house. The upper pond has a liner and is fed by a 4 inch well. Our lower pond is getting pretty low, it is fed by rain.
 

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About two weeks ago, I saw a rather large skunk walk across our front lawn in the early morning. Pure white, and on a mission. Passed right by a rabbit chomping on grass and clover with neither being concerned. I've seen skunks on-and-off for a few years, but this pure white one and its reaction to the rabbit (none) was somewhat curious.

Have seen some strange occurrences in the 14+ years I've lived here, but that big ole pure-white skunk ambling along just past the rabbit was a first.

Have also seen a greater amount of quail (Bob-Whites) this year. In fact, until I researched them, I never realized Bob-Whites were a form of quail until this year - had heard them for years. Always loved their calls, as did my Mother, who loved to get them calling back to her. Took me 66 years to figure out Bob-Whites were quail...

And we (thankfully) have a bumper-crop of Mockingbirds this year. They always bring a smile to us, and start their antics at about 0200 hours (yes, I have a sleep problem - had been up since midnight).

My 14+ years living on this farm I have detected that certain things go in cycles. We have two rabbits that frequent our front yard; it had been years since we had seen more than one, if any...it had been almost a year since I had seen "notch" - a squirrel with his left ar sliced down to the base. It had lost an eye to something and had been scalped last year and I hadn't seen him since. But last week, he came up to me on my front porch for his peanut treats and we had a grand ole time, along with his "buddy". It was wonderful to see him alive and reasonably well - I really hadn't thought he would have survived the winter. Ate out of my hand (peanuts "shelled" and the "paper" removed, of course...).

Life is good; better than good, but seeing "Notch" again this year was a huge plus.
 

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I've had ***** come nosing around in daytime when I had my grill going but now there's one that comes by a good bit more. I go out back to scrape any remnants off pans/pots and I hardly get back inside it comes a running. it's been hot here too. blue ridge/smokies.
 

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Another spotting of the same skunk this AM, passing by under one of our apple trees and munching on tid-bits left over from the deer. More light, and closer by, for a better look. It was uuuge! Probably 15-20 pounds, with a very bushy tail that trailed straight behind, rather than curled. The bushy tail was the same diameter as the torso. I did see that its underside was black, but everything else a dirty white. Sure am glad my Fi never encountered a skunk!
 

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Rapier,

Interesting wildlife encounter. Interesting you should see those ducks wild, which I understand are not native to the US. One of the strangest wildlife encounters I ever had was out on a bike ride in the country, following an extremely strange night. There was this good size Red Tail hawk sitting in the middle of this field with a domestic cat about 10 feet away, watching it. Knowing a cat's appetite for interesting spectacles, I stopped and got off my bike. Shortly, the hawk picked up and flew off, carrying something like a large gopher, which was undulating. Then the cat and I just sort of looked at each other for a second.

RJF,

For a good bob white story, you should check out That Quail Robert. Neat birds. I used to raise those and other quail and game birds when I was a kid. I heard they used to have them in this part of TX I am in but have never seen them. Another interesting story (with a somewhat dark/serious aspect) featuring an ALL WHITE quail, is Steinbeck's The White Quail. Made a great impression on me as a kid, though it is more about people than about the bird.

Where I got my cat at this casino where I worked for a couple years (last remaining member of this little family I adopted), there were a fair number of skunks stirring up some trouble at one point. One of them reportedly attacked one of the security guards, who then shot it. Was glad I had (or shortly thereafter) made the cats a house that was like an impregnable fortress!
 
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