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Well, it's been a while.

I ended up seeing Harry Potter on the day it opened, last Wednesday. I didn't go to the midnight showing, but went to the 7pm showing. I only got about 6 hours of sleep, but it was so worth it. :D I think I'll write a review on facebook.

Anyhow, last week was kind of rough. Somehow I pulled a muscle in my left leg, and each step, and every time I lifted the leg up, it hurt. It started on Monday, and on Tuesday, it was the worst, partly because we nest-searched a field that had TONS of thick, thick vegetation. I was so cranky and thinking, why did I sign up for this?!

But it got better later on Wednesday and Thursday, and today it doesn't hurt at all. :) Thanks for the prayers, Mom and Dad! The days seem especially long lately because we are done with the bird surveys, which had taken up to 4 hours or more from our daily schedule. This means that instead of starting nest searching at around 10, we started around 7:30. Gross.

So before I talk about what happened on Friday, let me preface it by some information. Erica has managed to find two skunks while in the field. She was lucky in that she ran the opposite direction and thus did not get sprayed. Cassandra ran into a skunk a few weeks ago as well.

She said she saw some rustling in the grass, and then saw a tail raised, and that was all she needed to see to start running in the opposite direction. She said to Erica that night, "I met your friend today. The skunk."

So a week or two ago Jen was driving and a skunk was crossing the road. She snapped a picture from the safety of the inside of the truck, and she set it as the desktop background of the computer we use here in the dining room. "Don't tell Erica," she told us. She wanted to surprise her.

So Erica saw the skunk on the desktop and she thought that was funny. Little did we know what was about to happen later....

So last Friday, Erica, Cassandra, and I went to check on our last nest of the morning before nest-searching in McBreen Old CP-2 field. Cassandra and I were a ways ahead of Erica, when we heard Erica say, "Oh shit!" Cassandra later said that after Erica said that, she saw Erica running in the opposite direction.

"What happened?" we asked her.

"A skunk," Erica said.

"Did you get sprayed?" we asked.

Erica nodded. So she called Jen, our boss, who came to pick her up. Jen later said that when she got out of the truck and Erica was standing there, and Jen was downwind of Erica, Jen got a huge whiff of the skunk and it was terrible.

So Cassandra and I checked the nest we were goign to check, and walked back to the Jeep carefully. We walked through the spot Erica had been sprayed, and it STUNK! Then Cassandra and I nest-searched while Erica and Jen went off.

Erica took off her rainpants and rain jacket and Jen and she drove to Wal-Mart in Spirit Lake, about 15 minutes away. I guess Jen had the windows down and Erica just about froze to death. At Wal-Mart, they had grabbed four big cans of tomato juice but then decided to check out the pet section. There they found a bottle of skunk deodorizer, and they also bought Febreze laundry odor detergent. I bet the checker was amused. :)

Cassandra and I came back to the house early to label plastic Ziploc bags for the nest Invertebrate survey we would be conducting that weekend. Erica was there at home.

She had showered twice, and was self-conscious: "Do I smell like skunk?" she asked us. We couldn't smell anything.

Later Erica said that she had heard a growl in the field, because (she had looked it up online) before they spray, the skunk bares its little teeth.

Then she saw some black fur, so matted that she said you could not have run a comb through it. She was practically standing on it. Then her nose started burning, and then her mind caught up with her and she realized what had happened.

Anyhow, that was all interesting. We sincerely hope that none of us will encounter a skunk again!!


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 23rd, 2009 04:32 am (UTC)
skunk spray
Hi Holly, I didn't know that people got sprayed by skunks- I thought it was just pets. Did Erica think that the skunk was sick (i.e. the matted hair)? And are skunks nocturnal? I don't think I want to do nest searching...mom
Jul. 25th, 2009 05:10 pm (UTC)
Haha, that's an awesome story. I kind-of like the smell of skunk, but I'm sure that experience would put me off of it for life.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )