Phew! Skunk! I woke up to the smell of skunk and thought one got in through the dog door.
Instead, staring me in the eye and licking my face was my skunk-loving golden retriever, Katie, sitting next to me, proud of her new perfume.
Skunks have been active lately in my neighborhood. Maybe it was the full moon. I've also smelled them along the Greenbelt.
Our friendly skunk, which has been eating the sunflower seeds that fall from the bird feeder, became unfriendly when Katie charged it.
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Skunk smell is second only to dogs rolling in, well, you know what. There's nothing like dealing with skunk smell before coffee.
The last thing I wanted to do was get out the tomato juice. It works, but I used it once and now associate skunk odor with every glass.
Readers have sent me a lot of remedies over the years for skunk deodorizer, everything from giving the dog a mud pack in foul-smelling Snake River mud to tomato juice and a stiff swig of vodka (for me, not the dog).
The best thing I've found is Nature's Miracle Skunk Odor Remover. I saw it at Zamzows for $10.99 for a quart. Readers advised me to keep one jug in the car for camping trips and one in the house.
It takes a few heavy applications, but it's the easiest way to get rid of the smell. Pour it on and rub it in. You'll gag but the odor will fade over time.
The Greenbelt can be a circus in the summer. Boise's beloved pathway is many things — a pleasant stroll, a cyclist's commuting route, a fun place to run, a family walk with the pooch.
With so many different kinds of users on the path, everyone has to use common sense. In the last week I've seen:
People walking four abreast and blocking both lanes.
This is not good for passing bicyclists, and it's dangerous if a bicyclist can't stop in time. Walk two abreast, to the right in one lane.
Two cyclists riding abreast in one lane.
That is a recipe for a head-on collision with cyclists coming in the opposite direction.
It's too close, especially with one of the cyclists straddling the centerline. It is especially dangerous in the narrow tunnels. Ride two abreast but back off into single file if you see oncoming traffic or when you're entering tunnels.
A person walking on the centerline.
Keep to the right.
A man and dog walking down the centerline with the dog on a long leash running back and forth across both lanes.
This is the perfect setup for a perfect collision. Keep your pooch close and under control.
Cyclists not yielding as they get on the main pathway from side routes.
Bicyclists parked on the path and blocking one lane.
And by the way, the squirrels don't look before they leap, either. They often dart out in front of bicyclists and runners, so keep an eye out for them.
Imagine hiking in one of Idaho's wilderness areas ... the screech of a hawk ... the sound of a river tumbling over rocks. Wildflowers are everywhere, and look there's some poison bait.
Wait. Back up. Seriously, a federal plan for killing animals that prey on cattle and sheep in wilderness areas could mean there will poison bait laying around.
I remember the horror stories in the 1970s of hunting dogs getting killed by baited ejector devices loaded with sodium cyanide capsules.
The device is baited and when a canine pulls on it with its teeth, the sodium cyanide powder is ejected into the dogs mouth.
I don't know if that's what would be used now, but poison baits and recreation don't mix.
According to The Associated Press story, the proposal before the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Wildlife Services Division (the agency that kills predators) would revise a previous agreement between the two agencies.
It would update Forest Service policy to allow as "last resorts" poison baiting and sharpshooters from helicopters and on ATVs to kill predators in the wilderness.
Doesn't sound much like a wilderness experience to me.