After spending all day on my computer, I was starting to feel a little tweeked, and set off in my car to find a picture as the sun dipped to the horizon. I actually didn't think I would find anything to shoot on the backroads on which I like to ride my car, and bike, when it's warm. The sun was about done. I was a good ways in the country, on a section of road I don't think I've been on before, when I saw a spot in a field. I knew what it was...
I have never seen a skunk up close in the wild, before night. I've handled a pet skunk that had been de-glanded, or whatever they do, and I've looked upon skunk roadkill on my weekly bike ride and noted that even after 3 weeks, the buzzards hadn't touched the bloated carcass...but here was a little live black and white fellow burrowing around in a field. I walked out into said field with my 100-400mm zoom, and, still a 100 yards away, decided to snap a picture of the church on my left, because it could be a good photo, and could be my only shot from the day if my approach didn't go too well.
That done, I began approaching Pepé. Slowly, without being too sneaky, I kept getting closer, and kept grabbing frames. Cars were going by behind me, and I felt sort of stupid out there in the field with a massive lens and obvious idiotic intent. I'm surprised no one stopped to watch the dumbass photographer get sprayed.
Thankfully, there was no public spraying, or private for that matter. I got within about 50 ft (how far can they spray? I dunno. You go find out), and he still hadn't seemed to noticed me at all. So I began to call out, 'Hey! Skunk! Over here!' and...nothing. He kept digging and walking about. Deaf little bastard... I went in another 10 feet, and then I saw him looking at me, not moving. Okay, I think I'll stop now...I think he may have known I was there the whole time, but was relaxed because he's not really scared of being eaten...I'm not sure he's even in the food chain. Who the fuck wants to eat something that damn seasoned? I like gorgonzola as much as the next Frenchman, but we're talking about a pugentness that will haunt your olfactory nerves for a long, long time.
So that was good enough. Nat Geo isn't paying me to document the skunks of the Piedmont. We parted ways without any exchange of bodily fluid, the way it should be between new acquaintances.