Monday, June 23, 2014

What's That Smell?

There is an unpleasant smell at Hummingbird Farm. 

Things have smelled that way for a while, and I'm not sure it's going away anytime soon. 

As we all know, Ghon likes to hunt. Although I'm not a huge fan of hunting,  I am glad he actually uses what he harvests, and while trophies are nice, he hunts for the meat.

Of course, the rules change when it comes to killing predators on our farm. Those suckers get shot no questions asked.  Being equal opportunity annihilaters, we will trap those suckers too. 

A few years ago, Ghon shot a coyote at the farm.  Rather than have it mounted, he opted for a hide. It usually drapes over the large deer he has mounted.  

Last summer, he trapped a fox, and it's been in the freezer at the farm since, waiting to have it's hide tanned.

He claims when we move into the farmhouse,  he's going to hang these hides on the log wall off to the side of the fireplace. 

I'm not sold on the idea.

We have a refrigerator at the farmhouse that I use to store drinks all summer as well as condiments for all the grilling... ketchup, mustard,  ranch dressing.  I try to keep some snacks too, like cheese sticks,  applesauce and sometimes lunchables.  The freezer is usually stocked with freeze pops. Freeze pops buried under a dead fox in a trash bag. 

This spring Ghon bagged, in more ways than one, a new critter and added it to the freezer.  

I can't eat anything from the refrigerator.  

I can't drink anything that is in the refrigerator. 

We are not having freeze pops. 

I have a skunk in my kitchen freezer.

There is a dead skunk in my freezer.  It's been there about seven weeks now.

The house, which smelled like old house and old dog and cat for so long, then smelled like nothing,  smells like skunk.

If I open the fridge, I get an instant headache.  It smells so bad. 

I first realized how bad the stench permeated everything in the fridge when I attempted to drink a Gatorade, that Ghon brought me.  I stomached a few sips, but after the first sip, couldn't put my lips near the bottle. It was like taking a shot. Deep breath in, don't breathe, pour and swallow.  It was disgusting.  It's even changed the taste of the bottle beer,  hence the skunk beer. I haven't drank a thing from the fridge since. 

I've obviously refrained from writing this post for quite some time now. 

I've had a dead skunk. In my freezer.  For seven weeks.

Seven weeks a dead smelly creature has been in my freezer.  

I've been long over the dead fox. He doesn't stink.

The smell of a skunk doesn't change after it's dead. In fact, I think it's worse.

Let me rewind a bit. Seven weeks ago, I casually mentioned that Ghon found a skunk walking off with on of our chickens. This act started the hunt.

Ghon headed to the farm one night to make sure all the chickens were in bed (their coop) and to close them up. They were still a little young and stupid and didn't always go into the coop.

When Ghon arrived, he spotted a few chickens out of the coop and one or two out of the enclosure.  We have two types of hens, ones that are brown and the other are white. He spotted a white hen in the yard between the garden and the chicken run, but closer to the chickens,  and approached it. 

Once he got the flashlight on it however, he realized that the white hen was not a hen, but the stripe on a skunk.

Now, picture this: it's dark out. Ghon is still wearing his work uniform. He drove my car. He is now 15 feet from the skunk. Ghon stops his advance, pauses just long enough to see the skunk rear onto it's front legs as he turns to run into the house.   

The skunk sprays and pursues.

Ghon comes back out of the house with a 22 magnum. The skunk is waiting for him just off the front porch. Skunks must understand what guns are. It sees Ghon,  with the 22, and runs.

Ghon chases the skunk. 

I almost wish I was there to see this. Why couldn't Ghon have worn his GoPro that night? 

Not too far away, Ghon shoots and the skunk dies. The chickens are put to bed. And my whack job husband picks up the body, puts it in a trash bag, and places it in the kitchen freezer. 

A freshly killed the freezer. 

Now it's not quite clear if Ghon got hit by the spray or if walked through it, but he most definitely had an odor about him when he came home. His shoes, his work shoes, especially.  He set them out on the back deck, and I unloaded half a can of Febreeze on them. They sat outside for about a week, and may have even had a spring shower.

And oh my truck. My poor truck. Those stinky feet rode for six minutes, resting on the carpet in my truck to get home. The next morning, the stench was so bad. It was a Saturday, and normally Ghon would take my truck to work. Instead, I took it into town with the kids and had it washed and cleaned inside. It was deodorized with baby powder scent.  It helped a little. Keeping the windows down as much as possible helped, but it still took over a week, closer to two, before the smell was gone.

As for the farm, as in the outside area, I could smell that sucker for a good month. I still catch little whiffs near it's final resting place. I'm slightly concerned that perhaps there are more skunks living under the chicken coop. We know there is a family of groundhogs under there. 

It's taken me 7 weeks to calm down enough about the skunk in my freezer to write this post. Oh, who am I kidding, it still infuriates me! I don't know if any amount of fresh air, open doors and baking soda will get rid of the smell from the fridge. It makes me so sad, to have been given this refrigerator and have it wrecked. By a skunk.  I hope he finds a taxidermist that will take it and do something with it. That of course is another concern - who actually wants to skin the darn thing? And when it takes it's final ride, it better be in the back of the pick up.

I'm considering all options for cleaning up the fridge. Including burning it. Any ideas?

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