Rural Roadkill Report

As a country dweller, not a day goes by when I don’t see a dead animal beside the road. Sometimes I see the same animal for days. The same animal getting smaller as birds peck at it. The same animal getting mushier as cars drive over it. Folks, it’s not pleasant, but it is part of rural life.

My kids were 8 or 9 before seeing a dead animal on the road. The combination of van and car seats equalled kids sheltered from the seamier side of rural life. My daughter was about 8 or so when she exclaimed “Mommy, why is that deer lying down?” “Um, sweetie, the dear isn’t lying down, he’s dead.” Country life…it’s a little harsh.

On my travels today, I saw the same deer I have seen for 4 days, a flat skunk, and two small brown animals.

If I’m not seeing dead animals on the road, I’m hearing hunters across the road. My neighborhood is an interesting mix: on three sides protected farmland in historic preservation. On the 4th side an area of land used by hunters. Nothing is more distracting than a Sunday afternoon spent outside enjoying the rustling trees, the whispering wind, and oh yes, gun shots fired at poor defenseless animals. The hunting goes on for hours and hours. Thankfully, due to hunting season the shooting does not go on yearround.

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