Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Skunks, Fog and Coyotes

I’m supposed to be working on a newsletter right now but when I went to get my breakfast, I looked out my kitchen window and my writing faded into the fog I saw outside at the edge of the yard. Now you have to understand that although most people see fog as this dense impenetrable mist, I see it as another photographic opportunity. So, I grabbed my camera, slid my bare feet into my boots, my arms into my ‘walking coat’, and my hands into my gloves.

A smile was already on my face as I clasped the door knob and twisted. Just before I pulled it open, I glanced at the clock. Did I have time before the bus came? It wouldn’t do to be caught outside in my navy, pink and white striped velour jammies because well... you know... kids talk. And the bus driver ‘s our male neighbor. But, the school bus wouldn’t be rumbling up the driveway for another half hour. Good. I stepped outside and stopped smiling.

Now I can’t tell you the exact sequence of events, but I realized two things immediately. The fog had left. And the unmistakable odor of a skunk.

Although the fog had receded into the distance, it still hovered in the east below the rising sun. Like a horse drawn to the barn after a long trail ride, I walked towards the sun, aware of the snow cracking below my feet. Cracking? Usually it crunched. A look at my van revealed it covered in shiny ice. Ah.

And as I cracked along, a dog barked in the east. The nearest farm in that direction is 2 miles away. I could hear the dog because the wind was non-existent. We get maybe 3 days a year without wind and this was one of them. I started clicking pics of the sunrise, the fog, the snow. I even took one of the old shack across the field because it looks like the one we use for our group blog, Prairie Chicks Write Romance.

The temp was only -6C/19F but after awhile, the cold seeped through my skin. I pulled the mitt portion of my gloves over my exposed fingers and went inside the house. The kids were getting ready for school so our little porch was crowded but a few mins later, I stood in my kitchen window and stared.

The fog was back at the end of the yard! I told my kids about it and my 13 yo son said, ‘Maybe the window’s fogged up, Mom.’
Smart kid.
But it wasn’t.

As I got dressed again, my breathing came faster. What if I missed it again? Almost bowling the kids over, I dressed in record time and scooted outside, careful not to slip on the icy steps. There... the prairie disappeared beyond our yard. Again, I clicked. I took shot after shot from every angle, close and far as the sun slowly rose. Breathtaking.

When the sun seemed to stand still and there was nothing new to take, I started walking back to the house, mindful of the bus on its way. But halfway back, Anna, our dog, snapped upright, looked to the south and barked. A lot. I stopped to listen. Coyotes. In the fog-enshrouded hills that covered our fields, half a dozen voices yipped together. I closed my eyes. Cold brushed my cheeks. Skunk odor filled my nose. And coyotes sang in the hills.

It was as if God had reached down and personally touched me. What a beautiful day.

When you walk outside first thing in the morning, what little treasures puts a smile on your face? And I've lived in 3 cities so you can't tell me God's wonders are only in the country.


  1. Anita, those pictures are absolutely beautiful.

  2. beautiful pix Anita!

    question: even ode de skunk is good? i had to smile at that inclusion.


  3. Gorgeous!

    Beauty moment. Last Sunday and "the big snow" here in Tullahoma the trees were thick with it. Branches bent low, dressed in bridal finery. The whole world was silent and then the sun came out at touched it all with glitter. Ahhhhhh! Thank you God.

  4. Karen, thank you!

    Deb - yup. Just because I might not like it, doesn't mean it isn't good. LOL

    When we had our commercial greenhouse, I grew a gorgeous plant that stunk when it blossomed. Positively reeked! I put it way down at the end of the longest greenhouse so the smell wouldn't bother us near the till or scare away the customers.

    Then one day, I was working and heard a woman exclaim, "I love that smell! Wherever are you hiding it?"

    'To each his own'. I guess. :)

  5. Kel, I love the way you write. So descriptive, I can just see it.

    So, you're down in Tennessee and you had a 'big snow', eh. I'm glad you used ' and '. LOL


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