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A member of the weasel family that grew to the size of a cat. They are usually found close to stream banks in wooded areas and eat small rodents, snakes, frogs, carrion, fruit, berries, mushrooms and bird eggs.
The skunk was hunted by the Native Americans and European settlers for its fur in the 19th century. It the skunk is in danger of being caught it will eject a foul smelling fluid that can hit a target up to 12 feet away. It was claimed by mountain men that no amount of washing could remove the stench from clothes that had been in contact with this liquid.
Facts About Skunks
Skunks are small, furry animals with black and white stripes. Some skunks are striped, and some are spotted or have swirl patterns on their fur. No matter the pattern, the black-and-white coloring is a warning sign to anyone who may harm this small creature. They pack a wallop of a defense mechanism — noxious odors produced from their well-developed scent glands.
Skunks are typically around the size of house cats. They grow to 8 to 19 inches (20 to 48 centimeters) long and weigh around 7 ounces to 14 lbs. (198 grams to 6 kilograms). Their tail adds another 5 to 15 inches (13 to 38 cm) to their length.
The Eastern hog-nosed skunk is the largest of all the skunk species, according to the Animal Diversity Web (ADW). It typically grows to 27.56 to 31.50 inches (70 to 80 cm) and weighs 4.41 to 9.91 lbs. (2 to 4.5 kg).
Skunk #1 Story
Skunk#1 was the result of a communal breeding effort by a small clique of breeders who worked the coastal hills surounding the Bay Area. The first "skunk" plant (C.Gold x AFG unstable) was not discovered by this group but, Jingles who cut the unstable line, but kept this one special plant for his personal garden. This was around '69 or so. anyway, the clone made its way round the club and soon this Bay Area group decided to adopt it as a project.
With the C.Gold mom used by Jingles as well as the Haze Bros they set about trying to create a stable version of Jingles "skunk". The result would be known as Skunk#1. Columbian Gold x Acapulco Gold/Afgani There are better people around here to tell you the exact details, not the least whom is Sam_Skunkman over @ TFD. Yes it's him.
My understanding of the SK#1 breeding group is that it started very small and grew as time went by. SkMan starting out as a Jr grower in the late 60's and rising to the level of chief breeder and seedmaker for the seed co.
in the late 70's/early 80's. It was supposed to have been very difficult to join this group and a prospect would first have to be sponsered by a member of the inner circle then be required to breed out a certain number of versions of Sk#1 from both clones provided by the club as well as genetics they provided themselves. This way they assured quality control and widened the gene pool at the same time. The original unstable "model skunk"plant was a direct cross of C.Gold x Afg. But the Bay Area people soon found out how difficult it was going to be to cross a C.Gold to anything. So it was found that it was easier to cross these difficult plants to a plant that was already hybribized. Hence the Introduction of A.Gold into the mix. This also apparently added two other favorable traits. In addition to making crosses easier, high GCA has been stated by Clark as one of the goals of the breeders, the A.Gold also marginaly reduced flower time but most importent was its addition to calyx/leaf ratio. If you turn to P 248 of Mels Dlx you will find a pic of four mexican colas. Notice the two shots on the bottom are taken against the backround of Sandy W's barn. I'm almost 100% sure the plant on the lower right is A.Gold and about 90% that it's the primary A.Gold mom in Sk#1. Notice the foxtail style buds and hi C/L. Now imagine this crossed to an afgani, starting to get the picture? By the way most but not all of the Afganis were from MLW.
As i said earlier most of the Sacred Seeds breeding groups suffered disasters of one sort or another in the early days and in the case of Sk#1 it was the dreaded botritis cinerea, grey mold. Introduced by some of the early afgani crosses it kicked of a massive afgan genetics hunt/torture test. And while the late great Maple Leaf Wilson provided most of the genes they scowered every nook and cranny for an Afgani 0. Many non Skunk#1 members of the Sacred Seeds who were also working on their own projects got involved.
I already spoke about Sandy W's involment and there were apparently others though the only one I am reasonably sure of was an East Bay biker/Vietnam Vet who went by the handle "Mendacino Joe", who as you can probably guess by his name he was supposed to have been one of the founders of the Trinity grow scene. Joe was working on a grape/pepper flavored mostly afgani hybrid not related to Sk#1, but he had a large collection of genetics and was a good grower and so he was included in the torture tests. The ultimate result of these tests was a special line called Skunk#18.2 (Sk#1 x Afg bx-1). It is a line that inparts incredible hardiness and pest/disease resistance on its offspring.
The Skunkman brought several kilos of these seeds with him along with his other stuff when he moved to holland in '82 in the wake of his release from prison.As far as I know he has only given these seeds to Nevil, Shanti, and Wernhard from Positronics. (ever wonder why Shiva Skunk
In the wake of the Sacred Seeds bust in '82, "Mendacino Joe" moved to the Vancouver islands and changing his handle to "Romulan" Joe bringing with him some early Sk#1s or deriviteves, a line of Central Ithsmus lowland Thai that may have been purchased from the Haze Bros and of course his grape/pepper flovored indica strain, Romulan. Soon to be a BC classic. It was these lines that Pr. Ziggy @ Federation seeds in BC was supposed to have purchased from old Joe shorly before his death, and are offered as Island Sweet Skunk, Golden Triangle Thai, and Romulan. Torture tests and "inoculations" were mostly done outdoors with special patches of extra clones in an isolated area, which were then diliberatly infected. Deseased and pest riddled local plants would be transplanted into these special gardens and then the plants were tested to destruction while the growers watched and made note of the strongest individauls. Sacred Seeds was all about division of labor.It's one of the ways they accomplished so much in so little time and they used natural selection to work in their favor. Skunk#1 first went on sale in '78 or '79. As far as I know it was the only strain that Sacred Seeds didn't give a discount on orders over 1k seeds. Seeds were 2$ a peice and people bitched about prices even back then. Especialy that no discount thing But like the Hazes (which could sellout a year ahead) SK#1 sold out every year. The seeds were sold as F1's made if I recall with a F ? fillial plant backcrossed to one of the original parents. Due to the communal nature of the project,there were many parents as each breeder included his own varietion, Skunk#1s bred from the same P1 stock but often getting to the goal a different way, for instance some variations used C.Gold on the male side. With tight control over the P1s the breeders could assure their stated goal of making true breeding stock but with the widest possible gene pool they could also be sure to achieve both high SCA and GCA. also stated goals of the project.
Now I can tell you from personal experience that exactly what constituted a "skunk" was a matter of just a little debate but they basically came down into camps which actually carried forward into the Dutch world. The "Sweet Skunk" camp, which including the SkMan, and the "Stinky Skunk" camp. In terms of modern Sk#1 the CC/TFD Skunkman bred "the Pure" is bred for more consistant plants and towards the SkMans ideal Sk#1. While the stinky side of the house would be best represented by the SeedBank/Mr Nice skunks which also have more variation in types like the earlier California skunks. I must state here that there is no right answer, its a matter of taste and a debate thats been going for on about 30 years. In '82 I came home one night and turned on the TV. Just as they went to commercial the news bimbo teased the story, "comin right up after this" police official say they got the source of the skunk. Yeah right I thought, we'd heard these claims before, always to be followed by shot of some deputies pulling three scragly plants from some poor sucker's patch. This time it was different, this time they were standing in front of a warehouse.
Sacred Seeds was busted in '82. The Skunkman was arrested and the cops were in possetion of the groups main seedmaking op. But this bunch was savey and had pre-paid bailbonds/lawyers on retainer and so SkMan was out in a matter of hours. And so began one of the greatest capers in Sacred Seeds history.
An event I will call "the great rootball rescue". Skunkman, out on bail and eager to find out the condition of his grow rooms stakes out the grow to make sure the cops aren't waiting there for him. After sitting for hours he finally gets over his paranoia and makes a cursery recon and can't believe what he finds, the cops in either there arrogance or ignorance have left the place secured with only police tape. checking the grow as well as the dumpster out back the found many plants cut well above the the first node and some that had been simply pulled from their containers and tossed whole. the dumpster was also full of seeds and it was obvious that the cops had broken many seed containers but because there were so many eventually just started throwing jars out whole. the cops had left all the stuff there until morning when they could properly catolog it, including all the grow equip. Skunkman sprang into action, called a number of the un-busted members of the club and the "great rootball rescue" was under way. His friends showed up and they litteraly stripped the place of every thing usefull. Lights were sold to pay legal fees, the rootballs, including the Haze mom SkMan has to this day were nursed back to health by the people who escaped prosicution and the police were left with a distinct lack of evidence. Causing some of the cases to collapse entirly and some, like SkMan to serve greatly reduced sentances. If they'de gotten him on everything they wanted him for he'd still be there. Instead, He served less than a year and on his release he collected up his strains from his friends, including Sk#18.2 rescued from the dumpster and made his way to amsterdam were he founded Cultivators Choice seed co, named after the top award at the annual Sacred Seeds harvest fests held in Nor Cal from 67-83. A year later Skunkmans new friend aqquire a second batch of Sacred Seeds Sk#1 seeds. When Cultivators Choice went out of biz a few year later Nevil bought most of their stock. While both worked from the same set of Sk#1 females each has there own males (breeders never give up a male) selected from the only two importations of authentic Sk#1 into Holland.
The Cultivators Choice variation is the one offered by TFD as "the Pure" The SeedBank version is @ Mr Nice, Shanti's Shit is his Sk#1/Afg variation with "Pure Shit" aka pure Sk#1 upcoming.
Skunk: origins and history
Skunk is unquestionably one of the world’s best-known and most cultivated cannabis varieties. The word ‘skunk’ is often used by ‘mainstream’ journalists to refer to high THC cannabis, but it actually refers to a plant that is a descendant of Skunk #1 made by breeder Sam The Skunkman and his Sacred Seeds team in the late 1970s in California.
Skunk #1 is the source of all the skunk strains growing today, and also of UK Cheese (an exceptional seed found in a packet of Skunk #1 seeds from Sensi Seeds). The plant is a blend of two sativa landraces, Acapulco Gold and Colombian Gold, and an Afghani Indica. At the time, Skunk #1 was selected in the outdoor with several thousand plants, 20,000 according to Sam. The Skunk #1 was able to inherit tremendous stability and powerful aromas.
Skunk plants are generally early flowering, well stabilized and with a good yield and power (between 14 and 16% THC). For these reasons Skunk #1 is often used as the basis for new hybrids such as Skunk Haze (20 – 22% THC) or Hawaiian Skunk (11 – 17% THC).
Skunk came to Europe via Amsterdam in the 80s. Sam the Skunkman sold his cannabis seeds there, including Skunk #1, under the brand Cutlivator’s Choice. A few years later, he filed for bankruptcy and sold (some say gave) the end of his stock to Neville Shoenmakers, then owner of The Seed Bank which later became Sensi Seeds.
Originally, there were two kinds of Skunk #1: the “Sweet Skunk” which is the one of Sam the Skunkman, with a sativa dominant with sweet aromas and a pleasant effect, and the “Road Kill Stunk” with more indica tendency and more intense aromas.
Today, the sweetest version of Skunk #1 is known as “The Pure” and is sold by Sensi Seeds who bought The Flying Dutchmen. Mr. Nice Seed Bank offers “Shit Skunk”, with a Skunk x Skunk lineage and more pronounced Afghani Indica origins. Mr Nice also offers other Skunk #1 hybrids such as Master Kush x Skunk #1 or G13 x Skunk #1.
Some legendary strains have been worked with Skunk #1: Shiva Skunk (Northern Lights #5 x Skunk #1), G13 or Haze. Skunk #1 won first place in the first annual High Times Cannabis Cup in 1988.
The Untold History of Skunk Weed
The history of the famous old-school skunk weed isn’t what you might expect. It pulls together American seeds, Vietnamese ghosts, and the Britain’s obsession with high potency strains. In today’s medical dispensaries the name skunk appears on half a dozen labels. And according to Leafly’s strain archives, there are at least 353 different skunk varieties. Yet skunk weed today means so much more than just the evolution of strain. It’s steeped in history, intrigue, and criminal activity better suited to a Hollywood blockbuster than a dispensary shelf.
In the beginnings, at least according to a report by Vice , skunk originated in the pockets of an American man named David Watson. Although, even this name may be misleading sources report it as Sam Selezny or Sam the Skunkman. In 1985, Watson (or Selezny or Skunkman), arrived in Amsterdam carrying a precious cargo of California weed seeds. The Dutch market had been saturated with high-potency hash, but after the arrival of Watson, that would change.
The Skunk Lineage and the Cannabis Cup in 1988
By this point, it could be nothing more than cannabis lore, but supposedly Skunk #1 is a unique blend of Afghan Indica, Mexican Sativa, and Colombian Gold Sativa. The “skunk” label grew from its skunky smell, which easily overpowered any competing strains at the time. The allure of skunk weed in the late 1980s eventually lead to its win of the Cannabis Cup in 1988. This win essentially cemented its place in cannabis history. Soon everyone in Amsterdam was growing Skunk #1, and selling the seeds.
When skunk weed arrived in 1985, Dutch cultivators had already started a new way of growing cannabis – indoor hydroponics. With specialized fertilizers, intense indoor lighting, and eventually hydroponic systems – they were producing some of the best cannabis in the world. In the late 1980s and early 1990s the combination of a great product and growing tolerance by authorities made Amsterdam the epicenter the cannabis world.
The Eventual Migration of Skunk to the UK
Hoards of young Brits continue to travel to Amsterdam to indulge in their passion for the plant. Back in the 1990s the pattern was even stronger. With the lack of quality domestic production, it was inevitable that organized crime would bring skunk weed across the onto UK soil.
In the UK, cannabis cultivators and the police have played out a never ending battle over the plant. At the time, when skunk entered into the UK, it was replacing poor quality and low potency brick weed. Originally, skunk weed measured around seven percent THC. While today seven percent THC is on the lower end of the potency spectrum, at the time this was extraordinary. People were gobbling it up, and that meant that skunk weed became a lucrative commodity on the black market. Criminal gangs leapt at the opportunity and were quickly making money hand over fist.
Notoriety – Modern Day Slavery
Eventually, skunk weed became notorious for green house slave labor. Gangs imported slave laborers, Vietnamese teens in particular, and force them to grow skunk weed by the houseful. These enslaved youth became known as Vietnamese ghosts because they operated totally under the radar in the UK. Many were unable to speak the language, and because of their illegal status, unable to really escape.
While organized crime was reaping the economic benefits of a more potent and powerful line of cannabis at the cost of innocent youth, the media was reporting increased issues related to skunk weed consumption. According to some reports, skunk weed triggered psychosis . Today, the relationship between cannabis and psychosis is still poorly understood. Recent reports indicate that despite cannabis consumption being on the rise, psychosis is not . Nevertheless, this misinterpreted correlation led to an increase in the demonization of skunk weed across the UK news outlets, and, to an extent, around the world.
Where Skunk Weed Stands Today
The term skunk weed has evolved since the s. It’s far from its humble beginnings in the pockets of a Californian seed smuggler. Today skunk weed indicates potency, not a specific strain. The potency has also evolved in the UK, with most skunk weed registering at 10 to 20 percent THC. This is far heavier than the early days of seven percent.
Although Britain recently approved medical cannabis (… it has yet to issue a prescription through its NHS), the police are still fighting a never-ending battle against the grow houses in the country. Each time the police make inroads into the underground industry, the criminal gangs adapt. For example, instead of growing rurally, they now often grow in urban areas. They also leave the front of the houses as operational, with living room furniture and televisions as a decoy.
Vietnamese ghosts and other marginalized groups are also still trapped in a cycle of slave labor. Other gangs are copying the successful techniques of the Vietnamese organizations, making the job of the UK police that much harder. Vice also reports that even elderly women have hopped on to the illegal cannabis cultivation bandwagon. Apparently, in some areas, “granny growers” produce high potency skunk weed knowing they will likely avoid the detection of police.
An Unfortunate History of a Beloved Strain
Skunk Haze, Lime Skunk, Pineapple Skunk, and Purple Skunk may line the shelves of your local dispensary, but its history isn’t as bright as the names suggest. Skunk weed is a potent reminder of how the war on drugs can have extremely detrimental repercussions across society. Although skunk weed may have boomed in the tolerant atmosphere of Amsterdam, it quickly moved into organized crime across the UK. Even two decades later, it’s still responsible for slave labor and gang activity across the country.
It’s worth noting in the markets of Amsterdam and West Coast of the US, there is little-to-no room for black market cannabis any more. Skunk weed has returned to its place of glory and is no longer demonized as a potent threat to society.
The story of Skunk Works
In 1943, Lockheed Aircraft Corporation was hired by the US War Department to secretly build a high-speed fighter aircraft that would counter the rapidly growing German threat.
For many reasons, the assignment seemed very much like mission impossible:
- The jet needed to be ready in 180 days
- It was expected to fly at 600 miles per hour – which was 200 miles per hour faster than the current Lockheed P-38 propeller plane
- There was no floor space left for the project, as all the facilities were accommodating Lockheed’s 24/7 production of current planes
- The team had to work on a shoestring budget.
Lockheed trusted its talented Chief Engineer Clarence “Kelly” Johnson to handle the project as long as it did not compromise his main responsibilities. Enthusiastic 33-year-old Kelly agreed to this new mission, but decided to do it his way. Eventually, this project marked the birth of what would become the Skunk Works – a dedicated engineering lab for top-secret and innovative programs at Lockheed Martin.
“We are not defined by the technologies that we create, but by the process in which we create them.”
Lockheed Chief Engineer, Clarence “Kelly” Johnson
Because of the secrecy around the project and the space constraint, Kelly broke away from the company’s main operations together with 23 handpicked designers and engineers and 30 mechanics. The secret team relocated on the site of a rented circus close to a plastics factory that smelled quite bad. The setup reminded people of a somewhat similar location called “Skonk Works” which appeared in a comic strip that was very popular at the time.
The reference soon became the nickname of the project and later on the official alias of the Lockheed Advanced Development Programs. Because of copyright conflicts with the comic strip publisher, in 1960 Lockheed decided to change it to Skunk Works and registered both the name and the cartoon Skunk logo as trademark.
Today you can find the term “skunk works” in any dictionary, mainly defined as “a small laboratory or department of a large company used for doing new scientific research or developing new products.”
THE LEGENDS OF SKUNK HOLLOW.
ALPINE USING a borrowed $100, Jack Earnest bought his freedom from slavery from a farmer in Bergen County. Then, by hard work, he earned $87.50 to acquire five acres and 30 square rods of woodlot in what was then Harrington Township atop the Palisades.
The crown of the Palisades was no less rugged and boulder-strewn in 1806 than it is today. Mr. Earnest's land was unsuitable for largescale farming, and its economic value as a source of timber was largely spent by previous owners.
However, he and his wife, Susan, endured the hard economic conditions and supported a subsistence farm with income as day laborers. Soon other locally freed slaves joined this refuge.
Mr. Earnest, Benjamin Charlton and James Oliver were the earliest settlers of what came to be called Skunk Hollow, a colony of freed blacks that existed for 100 years. Its population peaked at 75 in 1880, when the community included a church.
But soon after - and for some unknown reason - Skunk Hollow slowly ceased to exist, its last inhabitants having left around 1910. However, its inadvertent inclusion in Palisades Interstate Park has prevented it from being totally overrun by modern development.
Skunk Hollow can be located only by a trained eye. The depression of a well-trodden dirt road winds past the remains of the church and around low-lying stone walls leading to the ruins of Mr. Earnest's home.
The area's quiet appearance today belies its history. But it is here that a Columbia University doctoral graduate has found a site on which a small community, one with its own economic and social structures, existed for more than a century. It is a place that is now surrounded by some of the most exclusive and costly real-estate values in the Northeast.
As Joan Geismar, a New York City resident who received her doctorate from Columbia University last spring, describes it: ''It was economically marginal land that was sold to socially marginal people.'' Dr. Geismar spent five years raking among the ruins and researching the historical record of Skunk Hollow. It evolved on poor land, she believes, because the freed men wanted to keep a low profile.
''Jack Earnest very likely bought such poor land because it was available to him,'' she said. The closest community to Skunk Hollow is now the hamlet of Palisade s, N.Y., and the largest village near it in Bergen County is Closter, four miles away.
Dr. Geismar has been nominated for the Bancroft Dissertation Award, which Columbia presents each year for the outstanding doctoral study in the humanities. It is given in conjunction with the prestigious Bancroft Prize, awarded for the outstanding book on American history. The winners will be announced in March.
Dr. Geismar also has received a contract to publish her work in a series on historical archeology issued by the Academic Press. She supervised a crew from Columbia that uncovered 12,864 artifacts from about 28 acres. At its peak, Skunk Hollow may have embraced 100 acres.
Dr. Geismar knows this because of the historical framework given Skunk Hollow by census manuscripts, tax records, deeds, oral histories and, most telling, the unpublished diary of Nicholas Gesner, an early resident of Palisades. Leaflets of the diary, kept between 1830 and 1850, are available in the Palisades Free Library.
It was in the house of Mr. Gesner's father that Mr. Earnest was born a slave around 1770. In 1792, Mr. Gesner sold Jack to a relative, Jacob Concklin, who had promised the slave he would set him free after seven years of service.
When the period ended, the diary notes, Mr. Concklin reneged. Mr. Earnest eventually borrowed $100 to buy his freedom, paying off the loan by cutting cord wood.
But on Nov. 19, 1841, at the age of 71, Mr. Earnest died when a spark from his hearth set his clothes ablaze as he dozed. He ran from his cabin, but was fatally burned before he could be helped.
Th at same d ay, according to a deed that Dr. Geismar found in the County Clerk' s office in Hackensack, Mr. Earnest, while on his deathbed, sol d his land to William Thompson. This marked the emergence of the man who would be the binding force of Skunk Hollow for three dec ades.
Mr. Thompson was listed as a day laborer in the 1850 census. He apparently became a minister in 1856, when he deeded a piece of Skunk Hollow land to ''the trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church of ɼoulored' People in the Township of Harrington.''
His presence, and that of the church, raised the status of Skunk Hollow from a segregated enclave to a community. As Dr. Geismar put it:
''The existence of a church implies social interaction, and the presence of a spiritual leader indicates a community hierarchy.'' But when Mr. Thompson died in 1886, Skunk Hollow was already fading, Dr. Geismar said, adding that, with his death, both the community and its spiritual unity also began to expire. In addition, she noted that her study supported the thesis that ceramic artifacts found at the minister's homesite indicated relative wealth and elevated status in comparison to the community's other residents.
To support themselves, the people of Skunk Hollow worked as field laborers, receiving in return for a day of digging potatoes, say, perhaps a share of slaughtered livestock.
There is also evidence that a cottage shoemaking industry thrived, since a substantial amount of shoe leather was found at the site. At that time, there was a shoe industry in nearby Nyack, N.Y., which was known to engage farmers in piecework at home.
'ɿrom the scanty tax records available, the people of Skunk Hollow, as poor as they were, were wealthier than other free blacks,'' Dr. Geismar said.
The settlers intermarried, with the Oliver and Cisco families adding several homesteads. The people were industrious and peaceful, their lives governed primarily by the seasons, and for three generations they passed on the legacy of freedom.
In 1880, 13 families lived in the community in 1885, there were only six. Between these years, Dr. Geismar said, Mr. Thompson was ailing.
One question troubles Dr. Geismar: Who was the last resident of Skunk Hollow? ''In 1905, the state census shows Nick Oliver and Albert Oliver living there,'' she said. 'ɺ 1907 tax record is the last one indicating that Albert was still there, but Nick continued to use the Palisades Post Office until 1911.''
There is no telling what Mr. Earnest foresaw in purchasing his land. The only evidence suggests that he was a man with a purpose.
In the early 1880s, lumbermen C.R. Johnson, Calvin Stewart, and James Hunter joined together to expand timber operations in Mendocino County. By 1885 the Fort Bragg Railroad was formed to make transporting lumber easier. This would form the foundation of what would eventually become the California Western Railroad, more commonly known as The Skunk.
The train played a vital role during this time in transporting families and workers who set up the various logging camps along the route and in doing so, became an entirely different type of line. It played an important part not only in the area's industrial life, but also in its social and cultural activities. No other logging railroad in America has made the deep impression on American life that was created by the line from Fort Bragg – first by the natural beauty of its route and later, by the distinctiveness of its equipment.
Skunk - History
The story of the legendary Skunk bud is one that many people have not heard and are not familiar with. Some people will know right away what Skunk bud is because they’ve had the pleasure of smoking some of this back in the eighties and nineties. The legendary Skunk bud today is not what it used to be in its glory during the seventies and eighties. The Skunk bud you find today is often referred to as Skunk # 1. The actual Skunk bud from back in the day when it can be found is called Roadkill Skunk.
To understand the Skunk plant a little bit better it requires a brief history lesson. Skunk bud is a parent for many of the hybrids and phenotypes we enjoy on the market today. In fact, without the Skunk line of genetics cannabis would not be what it is. During the 1960s and 70s, Skunk bud was being worked on buy some legendary cannabis geneticists and breeders. Mendocino Joe AKA Romulan Joe, Sam the Skunkman, and Maple Leaf Wilson an old hashish trade route hippie, were some of the names who worked on this legendary strain of cannabis genetics known as Skunk.
The 1980s Skunk seeds were being sold by the masses and could not be kept or stopped. Sacred Seeds in California was the name of the company that had these incredible genetics. During the early 1980s Sacred Seeds was the center of an investigation which inevitably led up to a police raid and the shutdown of their business. During this police raid Sam the Skunk Man was incarcerated. The police went in and destroyed the facility. Throwing grow lights and equipment along with clones and seeds in a nearby dumpster. This would be the biggest mistake they made or perhaps the most intricately orchestrated plan ever.
Sam the Skunk Man was not in jail very long. In fact, he was out in no time at all and went back to the factory for a stakeout. Just like the police followed them and watched their movements in action Sam thought that he’d do the same. Upon realizing that nothing was guarded and there was nothing more than police tape watching the scene he decided to go in and get what he could. This turned out to be one hell of a decision. Sam the Skunk Man ended up with thousands of cannabis seeds, dozens of clones, and 5 rare legendary strains of cannabis that helped to populate herb as we know it today.
Northern Lights, Early Girl, Early Pearl, and, Skunk were the strains that Sam The Skunkman ended up taking from the west coast of California all the way to the shores of Holland. Upon his arrival in Holland, Sam ended up meeting up with the legendary geneticists and breeders Neville Schoenmaker and Shantibaba. This is where some of the genetics that he had brought with him were exchanged and were worked on. Skunk Bud was a hit in Holland and everybody loved it, just as they did back in the states. The only problem was people were getting busted for growing it because you could smell it on the entire block where a house was growing it.
For this reason the genetics needed to be worked on to help take out some of that potent smell. Over the years many different varieties of Skunk were born. Lemon Skunk, Shiva Skunk, Blueberry Skunk, and the list goes on. None of these however are the Original Skunk aka Roadkill Skunk. The closest strain on the market today that pays true homage too original Roadkill Skunk is called BC Roadkill. It’s a combination of Skunk #1 and the legendary BC God Bud. It is said though there are still packs of the original Skunk floating around that came from Sacred Seeds in the 1980s and that there are still people growing this phenomenal plant today. If you’re lucky enough to ever place your lips and lungs on some true Skunk bud you will know what I’m talking about.
Skunks Are Surprisingly Important in Chicago’s History
In September of 1833, bands of Potawatomi, Ojibwe, Odawa, and other Anishinaabe and Algonquin peoples gathered in a small fur-trapping town called Chicago, where a shimmering prairie met a vast inland sea. After weeks of coercion, they signed the Treaty of Chicago, transferring to the US government 15 million acres of territory they had inhabited since time immemorial. Though the treaty forced them west, their names for that river—and the town it ran through—stuck.
According to some histories of Chicago, early French explorers derived “Chicago” from a sloppy transliteration of “shikaakwa,” the Miami-Illinois word for smelly wild onions, or “Zhigaagong,” an Ojibwe word meaning “on the skunk.” (Chemically, skunk spray and onions contain oily, sulfurous compounds called thiols, which make them both extremely pungent and difficult to wash away.) Telling the story of the 1833 treaty, Nelson Sheppo, an elder of the Prairie Band of Potawatomi, calls the place his ancestors gathered “skunk town.”
“The whole area of Chicago is named after that animal,” says Edith Leoso, tribal historic preservation officer for the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe, whose reservation is in northern Wisconsin. She recalls stories of her Anishinaabe ancestors traveling from their homes on southwestern Lake Superior to the mouth of that smelly river each fall, right as young skunks were setting out in search of new territory. Leoso says that her people often trapped the furry omnivores for their sacs of highly concentrated musk, which Ojibwe medicine people use as a treatment for pneumonia.
The words for skunk and the area’s similarly smelling wild allium plant are inextricably linked in Algonquian languages Margaret Noodin, an Anishinaabe language teacher, says some Ojibwe people call the plant “skunk cabbage” because of its stench. According to Kyle Malott, a language specialist with the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi, the morpheme “zhegak” refers to the way a skunk’s tail stands straight up when threatened, just as the onion grows straight out of the ground. Given these linguistic connections, the plant- and animal-based theories behind the name “Chicago” may both be true.
One thing is certain: Skunks have been part of Chicago’s history since before it was “Chicago,” and 200 years later, they continue to thrive in its urban landscape. Rebecca Fyffe, the director of research for ABC Human Wildlife Control and Prevention, has been sprayed 31 times—six of which were direct hits to the face. Her company removed 832 skunks in 2015 and nearly three times that—2,491—in 2019.
“Skunks are somewhat of a plague of affluence,” Fyffe says. Most of her removal calls come from well-to-do residents with large, lush lawns. In spring and summer, the black and white critters emerge from their cold weather dens and hunt for grubs, digging cone-shaped holes in grassy areas from Northbrook to South Shore. Normally, diseases such as rabies and canine distemper keep skunk populations in check—in the s, skunks were the state’s top carriers of rabies—but falling rates of infection seem to have caused a population explosion.
The boom is part of a natural cycle, says Stan McTaggert, who manages the Wildlife Diversity Program at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. His agency says that, in 2010, private companies with wildlife-removal permits removed around 6,700 skunks from the Chicago area. In 2017, they removed more than 14,000. (Eventually, skunk diseases will probably pick up again, and those numbers will fall.)
Pestilence isn’t the only skunk-limiting factor—Chicago’s notorious winters also claim their fair share of skunks each year. The urban heat-island effect has drawn skunks deeper into the city in search of warmth: They’ve been seen crossing streets in Lincoln Park, foraging next to Metra tracks in Ravenswood, and burrowing in Graceland Cemetery. Liza Lehrer, assistant director of the Urban Wildlife Institute at the Lincoln Park Zoo, says that the region has historically been a haven for mammals drawn to its mix of prairie and woodland ecosystems.
Today, the Chicago River acts like a wildlife expressway, allowing skunks to travel from the suburbs closer to downtown. Climate change has also softened winters, which spares more skunk parents and results in more litters of up to a dozen baby skunks. “It doesn’t take very long for just a few more skunks in the spring to result in many more skunks occurring in the subsequent fall,” says Stan Gehrt, professor of wildlife ecology at Ohio State University.
Skunks are “bona fide New World animals,” writes Alyce L. Miller in her book Skunk. They were likely some of the first mammals that early European trappers encountered when they reached the Chicago River in the 17th century. They helped the city ride the fur trade to prosperity. By 1920, warm and durable skunk pelts had become the second most valuable fur export in the Americas after muskrat. Skunks still had a stinky connotation, so sellers marketed their pelts with refined names such as “Alaskan sable” and “black marten.” But following World War II, the US Congress passed the Fur Products Labeling Act, requiring sellers to accurately label fur products, and skunks soon fell out of fashion.
Adam Ferguson, manager of the Negaunee Collection of Mammals at the Field Museum, cares for drawers full of taxidermy skunks. Their skins have been stuffed to give their pelts some semblance of a body shape, and their claws, still intact, are ghostly to touch. But their fur is as soft and luxurious as if they were still living.
On a chilly morning in January, while the city’s skunks rest in their winter dens, Ferguson lifts a Mephitis mephitis, or striped skunk, specimen from one of the drawers, its fluffy tail dangling in the absence of any supporting vertebrae. (Taxonomically, the species is aptly named after Mephitis, the Roman minor goddess of poisonous gases and bad smells.) His guess is that the mammals must have been pushed out to the fringes of Chicago as the city grew, but because they’re so adaptable to urban landscapes, they’ve managed to return.
For Leoso, the Ojibwe tribal historic preservation officer, the rich local history of skunks should be celebrated. Perhaps their historical importance, and their modern-day omnipresence, should lead us to treat them as neighbors, not nuisances. “They’re just coming back,” Leoso says. “Just let them go on their merry way.”
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