I was taking a short walk right before dusk tonight, when suddenly I heard a- well, an odd sound. I looked off to my right. The weeds were rustling in two different locations, about two feet from each other and about six feet away from me off the side of the trail. Thinking that it was probably a woodchuck or some other harmless critter (for those of you learned in critter vocalizations, I am not, nor do I pretend to be), I began tossing small sticks, and anything else that I could find, towards the unknown animals in hopes of flushing them out so that I could see and identify them. But after a few minutes, I decided that they obviously weren't going to cooperate with me, so I continued my walk. However, I soon turned around and began walking back. Sure 'nough, the weeds were still rustling, and I heard the same strange grunts, if you will. I decided that if throwing sticks at the critters wouldn't flush them, then by golly, I would. I promptly plunged through the weeds towards the rustling weeds, and still the critters didn't bolt. Finally, three feet away (I still couldn't see them- the weeds are thick) I stand still and think for a moment (about time, huh?).
"These things obviously aren't afraid of me" I thought. "That could only mean one thing... Oh no..."
Reality finally sunk in, about the same time I caught a faint whif of skunk spray. Time to go. And surprisingly, I didn't run. I just turned and left (sometimes not being prone to thinking can be a blessing, I guess). When I got back to the house, I looked up sound recordings of skunks on Macaulay Library.org, and on that site my suspicions were verified (as if the scent hadn't been enough)... those were definately skunks that I had stumbled upon. And miraculously enough, there I was, 3 feet away from two skunks, tossings things at them and I didn't get prayed (and strangly, I find it cool). Whew...
For those of you who don't know what a skunk sounds like, I have embedded a recording for you.