Sunday, July 19, 2015

Thoughts From The Highway

It's been enjoyable seeing the wildlife along the road this spring. Obviously, I'm not referring to the road-kill. The young groundhogs have been venturing out of the den for over a month now. This year's squirrels and chipmunks have been seen even longer. I get tickled at the latter scurrying across the two-lane roads ahead of me. They raise their little tails straight in the air as they go.That's a trait found in many animals as they run. I assume that's where the expression "high-tailing it out of there" and its various tenses came from.

Squirrels seem rather plentiful, anymore, including the big fox squirrels, which took many years to come back after the winter kills of the late 70's. The prolonged deep snows of '77-'79 caused many to be unable to forage, thus they starved in their dens. The tiny bunnies are cute and remind me that the species isn't yet extinct. though it seems so the other seasons of the year.

I watched a young crow the other day, obviously just out of the nest. He was following his parents around, getting in their faces and demanding to be fed. They were doing surprisingly well at the task. I assume that seeing them scoop up a bug and put it in his mouth will eventually make him realize that he could eat better if he'd learn to do it himself.

To the unaware, it would seem that a lot of trees are dying this year. The seed pods on the locusts are brown and look like dead leaves from a distance, and the locust leaf miners seems to be at work already, making the real leaves turn brown. Also, due to the excessive rain in my area, the tulip poplars have brown tips on their leaves from a type of fungus that attacks them during wet springs. They'll recover, but it surely weakens them to some degree.

I've noticed in the past year on the road that people have gotten noticeably ruder and less considerate, even the truck drivers. I think it's not just on the highway, but in society at large. I remember that when I worked at my last telemarketing job that they had no button for "you're welcome," but had one for "no problem." I suppose they thought the two terms were of equal value. They AREN'T!

Our little dog has grown increasingly attentive to the calls I place to my wife, as I check with her through the day. She gets really upset if my wife doesn't let me say something to her. After I do, she lays down and rolls for minutes at a stretch in apparent celebration of hearing from me. Wouldn't it be great if we still found the joy in simple things that dogs and children do?


Sixbears said...

I think you still enjoy the simple pleasure of watching nature.

Trees are doing a lot better up here. However, I just saw some red maple leaves. They've turned already. Looks like a damaged branch near the road, but still . . .

JaneofVirginia said...

Thanks for posting, Gorges. Indeed, the things that dogs, cats and small children do, are indeed the good stuff.

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

Is it safe to assume that this was written at least a couple of months ago?

Harry Flashman said...

I've been going for short walks when it isn't too hot .Down the mountain, to the forest service road, and then to a wide, deep part of the creek. I let the dogs swim while I sit by the water on a big rock. I've seen a lot of big Gray Squirrels around my place, and lots of rabbits. Every once in awhile I'll see possums, foxes, raccoon's and other woodland residents.

People in general just seem to be ruder and more aggressive. As things get harder and harder in the U.S. that will probably accelerate, since people who are worried and stressed out tend to be brusque.

Gorges Smythe said...

It will be here soon enough, that's for sure, Sixbears.

Thanks, Jane.

No Jerry, but it was meant to cover several weeks of bumbling along.

I know you love the outdoors, too, Harry. You're right about human nature.

Mamahen said...

Enjoyed the post ...i'll post on fb a pic of a cute little bunny we saw on our mountain adventure :))

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

Trees and such as looking funny down here too. Sumac particularly. That's sweet that your dog wants to talk to you!

Gorges Smythe said...

Thanks, Mh.

Guess there's problems all over, Kathy. Yeah, the pooch is ornery, but she's lovable!