This past weekend, while on Martha’s Vineyard, I caught a few strong whiffs of skunk on the road from Vineyard Haven to Chilmak. I had forgotten how strong a sentimental reaction that smell evokes in me and realized its been a few years since I’ve smelled skunk in Cotuit. Skunk, old garbage in the heat, and urine-like smell of privet hedges are the key smells of summer in Cotuit for me.
My theory is the coyotes have thinned down the skunk population to next to nothing; sparing me the annual washing-of-the-dogs-with-tomato-juice. Still, it was a surprise to smell the fulgent aroma on the Vineyard (where there may be no coyote population yet), and recall the story about how they were introduced by Craig Kingsbury (the person Steven Spielberg emulated with Quint in Jaws, and who’s head — Ben Gardner’s head — popped out of the sunken boat) out of spite against his neighbors.