Friday, October 10, 2008

Two Near Fatalities

September 30: I vaguely saw something in the head lights as I drove slowly up the rutted drive to our house. It looked like a small branch from a tree lying across the left tire rut. I was towing a trailer full of water, talking with Julie and the image registered slowly in my consciousness so I didn't hit the brakes. As I passed the spot I wondered where the branch would have come from since it hadn't been windy that day. Could it have been a snake?

I stopped and walked back to find the rut empty. It must have been a snake. I was concerned that the snake was injured so I began looking underneath the closest Juniper. In the dark I couldn't see anything but I heard a distinctive rattle. That was encouraging. I drove to the house, got a flashlight and walked back to the tree. The snake began rattling again and didn't have a sign of an injury.

How did I miss him? Rather how did he avoid me? I've never seen a rattlesnake move fast enough to avoid the tires given my speed. Regardless, I'm glad he wasn't injured. He's only the third snake that I've seen this year.

October 8: We were driving home after staying late in town for a meeting of the Men's Group. I was driving and, once again, Julie and I were talking. The road was dark; there were neither head lights nor tail lights as far as I could see. I was doing the speed limit of 50 when I saw a shape crossing the center line into my lane. A porcupine! There wasn't time to stop so I let off the gas and pulled left into the westbound lane.

I knew it was going to be close but then I heard a noise. Damn! I didn't quite make it and must have caught his tail. We stopped, turned around and went back to the spot. Nothing! I checked the side of the road. Nothing.

Hopefully I caught just the end of his hind most quills and didn't injure him seriously.


Blogger Tim Hodgens said...

I know what you mean. When I am driving a little after dawn on winding country roads the little critters, squirrels and chipmunks, have a way of either freezing or running under the car.

It's actually been a good thing since I have taken it as a way to slow down - it's a twofer, I start the day off in a more leisurely manner and the critters live to bring home breakfast to their nestlings.

10/11/2008 04:17:00 AM  
Blogger Buffalo said...

All life has value.

10/11/2008 08:51:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home