One of the early signs of the coming spring is here, and it stinks.


While Rhonda Backus was working inside Alley’s General Store last weekend she noticed a crowd gathering outside.

“It was a vibe of when the president drives by,” she said.

But instead of watching a motorcade, the crowd had gathered to see a procession of black and white baby skunks.


The Vineyard is getting skunked! They are in high abundance this fall, ruling the night and leaving telltale tracks to be discovered during the day.

“They’ve come out in very unusually large numbers this year,” said Walter Wlodyka of Chilmark, who is particularly busy this fall, trapping skunks for clients all over the Island.

“It is not because of any unnatural reason. It is not because of people. It is due to weather, the abundance of food,” he said.


It's the dinner hour on Tuesday night, and Luanne Johnson is tromping through poison ivy and switch grass on the duney hills of Aquinnah's north shore, holding a fold-out antenna in one hand, a receiver in the other and hoping she will find her quarry: a skunk named Pua.