Almost every evening for several days now we’ve been watching three tiny baby skunks as we work in the garden. Two are mostly white except for black markings on their faces, and the third baby has the more usual black-and-white skunk coloration. They are about the size of six-week-old kittens, and they’re just adorable! They’re also very playful and roll and crawl all over each other as they nose around looking for something interesting to eat.

The babies are still so young they aren’t afraid of us at all, but we always watch their antics from a respectful distance because we aren’t the only ones keeping an eye on their playtime. Skunk number four… a very large, almost entirely white mother skunk… is never very far away from her babies.

Skunks are gentle creatures, but like most animals they are very protective of their young. She watches them, and she watches us, and if her babies move too close to us, she doesn’t hesitate to stomp her feet or raise her tail… warning US to move away or she will spray.

And that’s a warning we take very seriously!