FROM MERRIAM WEBSTER… SKUNK 1a: any of various common omnivorous black-and-white New World mammals (especially genus Mephitis) of the weasel family that have a pair of perineal glands from which a secretion of pungent and offensive odor is ejected.

I drove out to Argyle Winery today, using the back roads past Scholls Ferry Road, way out in the open country. I absolutely love it out there. Wide open fields, sprawling farms, mountains, valleys that spread out as far as the eye can see, apple and peach orchards, vineyards, etc. It’s one of the greatest collections of natural elements on a short stretch of 2-lane highway. Of course, the winding roads and high-banked turns are awesome, too.

While driving and taking in as much scenic wonder as I could, I drove by a spot which had clearly been the site of a small vehicular-animal tragedy. The warm summer air, bright with blackberries and hay, suddenly turned sour and pungent. Ahh, the smell of skunk. I know it is strange, but I actually find the smell of summer skunk to be pleasant. True, it’s sharp, piercing and certainly not something you’d want to smell on a pretty girl, but there’s a quality about it that acknowledges that you’re really in the country. It’s an anti-establishment, reactionary smell that can only be found in the most rural areas. I completely admire that. So… bow your heads and give a moment of silence to the little skunky fellow who fumigated a small section of Highway 210 today.

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