Scarlet for Valentine’s

Once again the white fluffy stuff is coming down.  Luckily the accumulation has been manageable so far and not one to complain since it means our wells will benefit as it melts off in a month or so.  Unfortunately, not the best of timings as Linda and I had to renew our qualifications on the range this morning.  Last time it was also snowing, but 2 degrees (F) out making conditions completely miserable.  Still chilly today, but definitely better.  Now that the fingers are all warmed up, figured I’d bang out a quick post (bad pun).  Decided to wait on the previously planned post and continue with the Valentine’s theme.  This was mainly due to a few people asking for details on how our annual “Date Night with a Skunk” went.

Brian and Linda Dinner with a Skunk Wildlife Prairie Park February 2019

Quick background.  We are members of Wildlife Prairie Park, a now privately owned park focused on the wildlife historically common to the Midwest.   They have a number of captive animals and birds to enjoy and really nice grounds for walking, birding, mountain biking, trail running etc.  We happen to volunteer there helping them photographically chronicle their progress on a new bird related endeavor they embarked on last year (3+ years still to go on that).  This park used to be owned by the state, but since Illinois is essentially a fiscally failed state (scratch the “essentially” and just go with it IS a fiscally failed state), some private investors ended up taking it back and turning it around.  One of their annual fundraisers is an elaborate Valentine’s dinner complete with drinks, dancing (if you are into that), 5 course meal, door prizes and you guessed it… an evening with a local resident Skunk – a play on the love stricken Pepe Le Pew cartoon (not sure this cartoon fits in this day and age anymore).  For several years now, along with some friends we have been attending this event and yes, getting our pictures taken with an absolutely adorable Skunk.  Just in case you are wondering, de-scented and basically a domesticated version of their more common wild brethren that have a habit of causing neighborhood dogs to get tomato soup baths.  Our friend Sung took our pictures above before the night took on an unexpected elation moment only to result in a major disappointment.

Before I get to that, let’s shift to the real feature for today’s post.

tScarlet Tanager found on Georgia Birding Trip May 2015

Hit the jump to see a few more pictures of the featured bird and find out how the dinner party went.

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