Friday, July 2, 2010


When you climb in your car you are king of the jungle. You are the hunter who is not hunted. Armed with firestones and windshield beware all who cross your path. You are mowin' 'em down.

In our cars we barely notice the carnage but on a bike one gets a more intimate view that is hard to ignore. A steep incline with a known deer carcass is to be avoided if possible. When sighted up ahead one tries to time the pass to a long exhale. The stench is enough to make you cheer on the carrion eaters. C'mon buzzards! Let's go crows! Make haste maggots! Get this thing outta here!

The numbers, though unsubstantiated, are big. In the US one million vertabrates a day. They correlate to rodent and animal populations gone unchecked by natural predators. No more are wolves and big cats and eagles who would cut down on the traffic.

And then there is our pets.  Estimates of 26 million cats and 6 million dogs annually. You could fill a tanker with the tears from all that heartbreak. 

a turtle, a cardinal, a red fox puppy

Apart from pets the ones I find most distressing for some reason are turtles. Maybe it's the imagined crunch of the shell.  Or the fact that it seems it could have been avoided. It isn't like they darted out in front, or ran willy-nilly back and forth like a chipmunk. Maybe it happens at night. Maybe I've hit one and thought it was a stone.

Louden Wainwright lll knows about roadkill. Tell us about the Dead Skunk Louden.


cstanley said...

Oh, the little red fox kit makes me cry!

rtuts said...

is that fox pup from around here!???!! that's so sad, i never see foxes alive, only smushed on the road!

Stephen said...

Yes. On Tadpole road a month ago. In all the years we've been here I've seen a live red fox maybe two or three times.