The Fourth of July holiday is a time for family outings. Judging by yesterdays encounters, it would seem this tradition has been adopted by some members of the animal kingdom.
Mother skunk with five kit in tow crossed the highway. Well, almost crossed. In fear of not stopping in time, I beeped my horn. Big mistake. All six skunk froze, then grouped in a tight knot of milling bodies as Mother assessed the situation. Quickly, she did an about face, and rushed back to the safety of the waiting grass. The kit scurried in lock step formation behind her. Luckily we did not leave that encounter with an odorous reminder.
Continuing on….we made a sharp turn on a winding lake road, and locked our brakes, bringing the bikes to a halting stop. Our abrupt noisy arrival didn’t phase the Mallard hen taking a stroll across the roadway with her ducklings. Feathers unruffled, she reached the other side, paused, then took a careful inventory of her brood before slipping gracefully in to the waiting water.
Along side the highway turkey vultures were perched high in a dead tree, a solitary vulture was gliding in the sky over the roadway, keeping watch. A visual reminder, we must all be vigilant driving during this holiday season.
Side note on the wee ones: My four year old niece loved the family’s new baby chicks. She took a page from The Abominable Snowman (of Daffy Duck fame)…”Just what I always wanted. My own little baby chick. I will name him George, and I will hug him and pet him and squeeze him…….and squeeze him she did when he struggled against her closed hand, then he stopped moving much to her distress and his demise.