I love nature. I love seeing it, hiking through it, camping in it and swimming in it. I love the sites and sounds. I love the smell of the ocean and wildflowers in the breeze. All of this made living next to a nature preserve sound incredible. I could take up nature photography and not have to go farther than a 10 minute walk to the preserve.

Hmmm I wonder why they fenced it off from the neighborhood? Surely it’s to keep the school children on their educational walks from the local schools safe after all that’s why they have those very educational plaques all along the trail right?

No, I’m now pretty sure it’s to attempt to keep nature out of the neighborhood. It did a pretty good job of keeping the coyotes and the mountain lion out but, it seems the rest of nature just finds it annoying.

That brings me to why my post is a day late. Well nature called…or rather screeched, snarled and thumped in my back yard on the side of my deck making a horrible noise a couple nights ago that we shut off our movie trying to tell what it was. Then the smell hit. It was awful. Similar to a skunk but with a hint of burnt rubber and so strong we were coughing and it was burning our eyes and we were inside the house with all the doors and windows closed. We left and went upstairs to attempt to get away from the stench. There was no escaping it.

While waiting for the smell to go away we started googling the animals in the preserve and listening to the sounds of them fighting on YouTube to see if we could figure it out. We have minks. Now I knew squat about minks except they are small and they make coats out of them before the stink incident. After 2 hours of online research about these foul animals I learned that their mating season starts in February, the males often fight over females and I really don’t want them living in my yard or ever returning to it because of the awful smell.

At about 2 AM I still couldn’t sleep with the nauseating stench and put jasmine scented parfumerie quite generously on my upper lip so when I inhaled if smell flowers and not mink stench. I have sensitive skin and while I’m thankful to have gotten 4 hours sleep the red, irritated welt on my face from doing so was less than flattering.

Now we almost have the house aired out. My husband will be calling the exterminator to make sure these foul creatures are not making a cozy home under our house or deck where our dog may startle them on her last trip out to potty before bed causing many more sleepless nights of horrendous smells. I will also be stocking up on the items needed to remove the smell if your dog gets sprayed (thank you google). I feel preparation is better than reaction. Besides, Murphy’s law if we are prepared it will never happen, now that we know of the problem if we don’t prepare we will have a stinky dog that will run in and rub the stink all over everything.

Minks. I had no idea they would have such an impact on my life.