In the last few years, I've seen more and more creatures on the sides of roads that I rarely used to see at all.

I'm talking specifically about coyotes and foxes. I'm seeing more of them, and probably because metropolitan boundaries keep expanding, forcing animals to go SOMEWHERE.

They're on the move. That's for sure.

But now, we seem to be getting SKUNKS well inside the city limits. Saturday night at Wesleyan Park Plaza wasn't the first time I smelled skunk spray in the middle of town.

It happened not too long back near the library.

You know, I was visiting friends up in Cleveland about ten years ago. We were getting home late and as we were walking toward the front door, my friend Jeff stuck his arm out and stopped me and then told me not to move and to be quiet.

I'm glad he saw the skunk coming out from underneath his front porch. That could've made for an unscheduled and unwelcome midnight clothes-burning party.

What's more, he told me that wasn't the first time that had happened.

About five years ago, on another visit, I saw two deer just sitting in the front yard of someone's home, square up in the middle of the suburbs.

Like they didn't have a care in the world.

I guess my point is that animals are being forced to migrate as more and more homes and businesses are being constructed out beyond traditional city limits.

But I certainly didn't think that would drive them into town, where encounters with humans and vehicles--something I didn't think skunks and their scavenging brethren were particularly fond of--are far more likely to happen.

I know skunk smell travels well, but Saturday night it was very strong. So it couldn't have been that far away.

Anybody else having less-than-fragrant experiences in their own front yards?

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