Community gardeners get skunked – and deered and squirreled and coyoted and … |

Community gardeners get skunked – and deered and squirreled and coyoted and …

While the quail family we wrote about recently suffered a sad fate, such was not the case with a skunk accidentally trapped at the Carson City Community Garden on Beverly Drive, across from the new senior-housing development.

Monday and Tuesday, messages flew between those involved at the garden. First off was from Barbara Culbert, who e-mailed this:

“Attention all community gardeners!

“Unfortunately, in my efforts to trap the squirrel which I thought was dining on the string beans, a skunk was trapped. It’s presently in the trap by the east side of the shed. I’ve spoken to JoAnne (Skelly, Cooperative Extension educator, University of Nevada, Reno), Dave at the cemetery, and a person with skunk experience who still needs to return my call.

“It did not spray when I was there, and I didn’t detect any of its perfume. I’ll continue to work on the problem. Any suggestions to who else maybe able to help – let me know.

“When speaking with Dave, he said there had also been deer, and neighbors walking by last evening had also seen them.”

Then, Patti Cooper-Smith wrote:

“I’m sorry, but I have to use upper case on this one: PLEASE DO NOT LET THAT SKUNK DIE IN THE HEAT!!!!!Get that skunk out of there now – why take time to write an e-mail?!

“I guess I have to ask, why are we bothering with little critters like squirrels, anyway? Isn’t this supposed to be a natural, organic-type garden. I’ve seen lots of quail lately nibbling on my low-growing tomatoes, but I don’t want to eradicate the quail.”

Peter Smith decided to act. He put on old clothes and, with the help of a Master Gardener named Barbara, opened the trap and, with a stick, encouraged the skunk to exit. The skunk ambled away, unperturbed.

Skelly chipped in with:

“Thanks to our volunteer Barbara and with Peter Smith’s great ideas and help, the skunk is free! You two are amazing! There will be no more trapping this year in the garden!!!!”

Peter Smith added:

“And the guy from the cemetery reports that deer jump over our fence and that he has seen their tracks inside the garden, so I think we can ignore little creatures for the foreseeable future.”

While the community garden is practically in the middle of Carson City, it is directly under high-tension power lines and next to the open cemetery, which create a swath of open land. It is home to all manner of local wildlife, from deer to rabbits to coyotes, quail and, obviously, skunk.

The skunk by now must have a better home for it – and for the gardeners.