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Senses of Spring

Soon you'll begin to see, hear and smell signs of the season

Kind News magazine, Feb/Mar 2016

  • A skunk in the neighborhood may be one of the first signs of spring. Photo by Michelle Gilders/Alamy

Spring doesn't officially arrive until March 20. But soon we'll begin to see, hear, and smell signs of the season.

We'll see migrating animals heading north. We'll hear birds chirping. And one of the first signs of spring in colder parts of the country is to smell a skunk in the neighborhood!

Skunks don't hibernate in cold climates. But they do spend time in dens during the chilliest parts of winter. Living mostly on body fat they stored up in the fall, they're ready to come out and look for a meal when the first warm weather arrives.  

Night Scents

Skunks are nocturnal animals. They're active mainly at night. So chances are that you'll smell one before you see one. But if you should cross paths with a skunk, there's no need for alarm. Skunks are easy-going animals, spraying only when they feel scared for their safety. And they'll give you a warning first! If a skunk stamps his feet and raises his tail, obey the warning. Move away slowly and quietly.

Sometimes a skunk mom decides that the space under your porch or deck is a safe spot for her babies. If possible, be patient and leave her alone until she moves on. Skunks don't usually stay in one spot for long.

If that isn't possible, find tips for humanely convincing a skunk to move along

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