Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Death under the trees....

Gentle rain fell as I left the house this morning. Slightly heavier than mist, it pattered softly against my skin and dripped slowly from my helmet. My glasses were covered.

I stopped for a newspaper, then pushed off toward work. Just after turning south into the pecan grove, a Chrysler 300 passed. Seconds later, I heard a thump and looked up in time to see something large splash into the roadside ditch. It was a deer, unmoving and apparently dead. The Chrysler stopped.

The driver got out before I reached the car. He walked quickly around to the right front corner to inspect the damage. In the pre-dawn darkness, it looked like the only real damage was to a running light which dangled from its wiring. The front clip, fender, and hood seemed OK, but it was hard to tell in the dark and rain.

He was OK, though clearly shaken about hitting the deer. I said I was sorry it happened, but I didn't really see the impact. And the deer was likely killed immediately or if it was unconscious when it hit the water, it drowned. I was not about to wade in after it.

I've had close encounters with deer in those wood too, both in the car and on the bike. So far (knock on wood) I haven't hit one. I should be thankful that since the roadside ditches are completely full due to all the rain we've had, they're effective barriers to smaller critters like skunks. I'm more afraid of skunks than deer.


Blogger Coelecanth said...

I have a friend who hit a bison with her bike. She was riding through a national park when it jumped out of a ditch in front of her and she couldn't stop in time. She ended up on the ground under it, thinking "Yup, that's a male alright." She got up and backed away keeping her totaled bike between her and it, for all the good that would do. The bison must have been very startled because it just stood there. She said it felt like hitting a brick wall.

She made it back to the corner she'd just come around and warned off the rider following just as a van pulled up. They threw the dead bike in the van and she jumped in. The other bike had a trailer with a dog in it. The poor woman on that one had to ride beside the van for a couple of kilometers with the bison running along on the other side before it headed off into the woods.

My friend came out of it with a broken thumb and a shin skinned down to the bone and a new nickname: Hardcore. This kind of thing happens to her all the time but the bison is still gets first place in the "I was just riding along when...." game.

2:13 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home