He Who Hesitates….

…is lunch! 

One of the great joys of living in Vermont is the proximity to the wide variety of wildlife that proceeds unhindered by major urban sprawl.   Yesterday, on my way to a client hospital, I was driving Interstate 91 when I saw a shape in the middle of the southbound lane I was traveling in.    As I got closer, I saw that it was a gray squirrel, one of those ubiquitous little rodents that seem to always be sleeping on the sides of the roads this time of year.

This little guy was sitting on the broken white line, doing the which-way dance, usually a prelude to squirrelicide, as they seem to always find a wheel well.   At 65 mph (at least),  it was only a second or so between seeing something and identifying what it was.   But this little fella had another fate neither of us could foresee.  In the next heartbeat, from my right flashed an enormous red-tailed hawk, which had been perched in the roadside trees.   That hawk swooped down and plucked that squirrel clean, and was up and headed for the trees on the other side of the interstate in an instant.   That bird had a wingspan of at least five feet, and even riding in my car I heard the whoosh of the wings as it pulled back up, squirrel in the talons.   Amazing.  Magnificent.

Nature is beautiful, awe-inspiring, and uncompromising.   I know two things for sure.   It wasn’t that little fella’s day.  And if I am reincarnated, I don’t wanna come back as a rodent.   Everything wants to eat you.

3 thoughts on “He Who Hesitates….”

  1. I live along the Wisconsin River, here in Wisconsin. We have the largest population of Bald Eagles in the lower 48. Gad, but raptors are magnificent. Eagle practice reverse sexual dimorphism, that is, the females are larger than the males. I was down by the dam in Prarie du Sac, when I saw a Bald Eagle, and my first thought when i saw her, was ” Aren’t Piper Cubs supposed to be yellow? ” Oh, yes, raptors are Badger Approved!

  2. While was an Ohio County Engineer I was driving home, the middle of a line of three cars. I topped a hill and saw a Grey Squirrel on the side of the rode apparently wanting to cross. JUst before the first car got up to him, he started to dart across then stopped. He did the same thing with me. Then, almost as if he was just dithering, and had been gathering his courage to commit suicide, he darted out only to end up with his head under the front driver’s side tire of the third car.

    I like those little boogers, but they are pretty stupid much of the time. It also really stinks to be near the bottom of the food chain as they are.

    Squirrel stew is a pretty good supper as well.

    As Jerry Pournelle likes to say about squirrels, they’re just rats with better PR. Or Tree rats as pecan farmers call them.

  3. I don’t swerve for squirrels. They’re on their own.

    However, we keep removing the stupid squirrels from the gene pool. Our descendants may not thank us.

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