I woke up early. So, I decided to explore parts of Kiawah Island despite the chilly ocean breeze and passing showers. I was dressed for the moment... wearing my raincoat over my wet suit. I sought shelter from the rain inside a gazebo that was just erected for a wedding later in the day. From our hotel room, I brought a backpack with a towel, my thermos with hot chocolate, a bagel with lox, capers & cream cheese, bottled water & my phone.
Soon after I unwrapped my bagel sandwich, a skunk arrived and circled the gazebo numerous times before stepping in with me. He was drenched wet with rain water. I stood frozen stiff, contemplating whether or not to make a run for it. However, after shaking himself to dry up, he showed interest in my bagel sandwich. As an animal lover, I decided to pick off little pieces of my bagel and toss them to him just outside the gazebo. Quickly, he'd pick 'em up and re-enter the gazebo. The rain stopped but, at this point, I completely missed my chance to capture the sunrise with my phone because this critter "stole the show" this morning.
I later realized that I had gotten down to sit on the floor and share the rest of my food with him. He particularly liked the capers and the cream cheese. He showed a bit of interest in my hot chocolate but didn't care to drink what I offered. We were actually together for nearly an hour. My fear of him disappeared. I'm still afraid of skunks but not of this guy. In fact, I didn't reach out to touch him.
As soon as the resort staff started combing the beach, he looked at me as if to say "thanks" & "goodbye" with his face & hands. But, before he left, he shook his entire body again to dry up. That did scare me again a bit since I saw his tail up.
Tonight, I was approached by a resort employee who told me precious stories about a male skunk they call 'Sharp' who surprisingly survives solo in the island. Unfortunately, the resort management is infuriated by Sharp's existence but, at least, Animal Conservationists here are geared towards protecting Sharp and, hopefully, finding him a suitable new environment. That gives us few Sharp "fans" some peace of mind. I even quipped that I'm crazy enough to adopt him if they'll let me.