Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Having been on call last night, I left work as early as was practical relative to the need.  Noon or there-abouts I exited the hospital to a greeting of freezing drizzle.  Resigning myself to a longer than usual trek home, off I set.  Once out on the highway, the windshield began freezing over as the defrost was not up to speed yet.  The road was bare but beginning to slush up.  Soon enough, and with the assistance of the windshield washer fluid, I was trucking along at between 50 and 55 mph.

"Not as bad as I thought," thought I.

In short order the line of traffic was getting slower and slower and soon I caught sight, up ahead, of one of those wide load rigs transporting those towering windmill bases.  There were no cowboys in this long snaking line and the road was becoming more and more slush covered so we were all constrained to our relative positions in the trail of vehicles.  Thirty was the top speed attained ever and as such left more opportunity to peruse the road side.

A red fox trotted across the highway .  Broad daylight and there it was as nonchalant as could be traveling through and by the populated roadside and homes there-on , probably on it's way to the near-by river for food and drink.

This act set me to thinking along that train of thought so common to us as we get older; "the times they are a changin'"   When I was growing up here in the rural back country of northern NY along the Canadian border I spent a majority of my waking hours out of doors.  And while much of those hours were spent in the urbanity of our small city, population 13,000, there were plenty of occasions to wander off into the nearby wilderness areas, stone quarries and farms.  My growing up years were not devoid of wild life observations.  On more than one occasion I'd come across a porcupine, a skunk or two, and garter snakes.  That was about it unless you count fish.

Now the area has not become less rural, more so perhaps, but in the last 20 years, my exposure to a more varied assortment of wildlife has multiplied: deer in my yard within the village, opossum, fox, skunk, raccoon, bats, birds of every variety; hawks, eagles and turkey vultures as well as spotted adders and assorted rabbits and grouse, even, most recently a black bear.  All in our village yards.  It seems, thus, that wildlife is greatly more prevalent in populated areas now than in the past century when I was a lad.

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Blogger Churlita said...

Yeah. There isn't as much uncharted territory for the critters to roam around in unseen. Sigh.

4:10 PM  

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