Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The End of the Road

I commute 55 miles every day in an area that is chock-full o’ wild life, so I it is not uncommon for me to encounter road kill. On my daily drive, I’ve seen: dogs, cats, porcupines, foxes, prairie dogs, squirrels, birds, deer, elk, raccoons; all in various states of damage on the side or smack dab in the middle of the road.

Today, I saw something that some might view as hitting the road kill lotto, a giant black cow. It was incredibly disturbing to see the amount of blood on the highway. People in India were probably weeping, not to mention the person who hit the giant animal and the farmer who owned it.

Random thought that popped into my head. How does one hit a cow? It’s not like they are a sprinting, leaping kind of animal. They’re slow. And careful. They chew their cud and rest in the shade. Perhaps I’m wrong about this. I mean there is a line in a nursery rhyme about a cow jumping over the moon. Maybe there is a secret life to cows that I’m not privy to. Anyway, someone hit a cow in open range country. Bummer. I wonder if they left a note on the cow?

Seeing road kill makes me sad. Hitting an animal with my car makes me even sadder. Thus far, it has only been a little chipmunk and a couple of birds, which always scares the hell out of me. They have wings. They should be able to get the hell out of the way in a quick manner.

So, what have you hit? Do you feel bad about it?


  1. Once, I hit a bird. Didn't even see it, as I was waiting at a traffic light and the bird must have been milling about my front tire on the passenger side. When the light changed I accelerated--gradually, as I was on a hill--and didn't see the flutter of wings in my peripheral view until it was too late. For a millisecond, I thought it would fly away to safety, but no, it *hovered,* and in the unfortunate vicinity of my bumper, which slammed into it. Horrifying. The terrible thing is that I don't think it died on impact, as I didn't see the body lying anywhere in the street. But when I got home to inspect the bumper, I saw blood. Ugh.

    Yes, these birds *should* be able to remove themselves from harm in a timely fashion, but our human reasoning doesn't always apply to nature. What birds have in terms of speed, they lack in intelligence and reasoning. (And vice-versa for us.)

  2. I've had a couple of birds hit my windshield, which totally freaks me out. I crouch out of the way in my car, as if the bird is going to smash through the glass. It's like having something hurled at you out of nowhere.

  3. I've hit a bunny (oh, so sad), a cat (fur flew, but the little guy took off running), and a few birds.

    There was a dead fawn on the side of 501 a month or so back. I was devastated, and can't imagine the horrid person who would hit such a cute creature. Of course, they may say the same thing about me hitting a bunny.

  4. Imagine hitting a cow! That person must feel horrible.

  5. I've hit two deer (these accidents were 2 decades apart) and a duck. All three hits happened as the animals ran into me. Ever see a male deer during rutting season? He had one thing on his mind, and was making a B line to that end.

    Needless to say, all three experiences left me horrified and shaken, and quite frankly a bit paranoid while driving for a period of time afterward.

  6. I've had quite a few near miss situations with the deer and elk of La Plata County. I practically have a heart attack when they dash out in front of me. I can't imagine what it's like to collide with one. What do you do? Do you stop? Who do you call? I should know these things.

  7. We moved to Durango from Los Angeles. I had braced myself for dicey Internet reception and shopping for clothes online, but I think the biggest shock I had was to learn that long-time mountain locals think it's normal to take fresh road-kill and grill it for dinner. Really. It's a clean kill, no buckshot in it, no bullets wasted. A freebie. Another surprise was that in Colorado they leave dead animals on the side of the road for days until the locals (human or animal) remove it.

  8. The deer I hit there on 501 happened on my way to the preschool. I really nice guy was behind me, and stopped and made sure that I was OK. We waited to make sure that the deer was indeed dead, before leaving. If he had not been - we were planning to call the sheriff. Some people call the DOW, and some folks take the deer as meat.... I kid you not. I have a client who has done that. That's something they arrange with the DOW.

    Of course this all happened 2 weeks prior to us buying a new car, and we were planning on trading in the car I was driving. The whole thing really crunched up the front end.

  9. I could never pick up a dead animal and grill it for dinner. I like my cows refrigerated and covered in plastic. Plus, I don't like deer or elk, even though elk is supposedly super lean, blah, blah, blah.


Comments are welcome and appreciated!