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Old 04-27-2015, 10:53 AM   #1
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Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road...

Having traveled enough since having a Drivers Permit... many things can end up in the "middle of the road". Some parts of the country have specific organic or inorganic items to be found.

Organic:
- Skunks. They seem to be from Sea Level to 6,300 feet elevation here in Colorado. They smell differently in Missouri than they do here in the Front Range of Colorado. No matter the scent... they make themselves known, although not usually seen. Road kill Skunk in the middle of the road is something to avoid, when possible. You will suffer for some time until the scent just "wears itself out". Curious dogs will get a "nose full" and a variety of recommended techniques to remedy the stench.

- Armadillos. Somehow when driving from Kansas City, Missouri to the Arkansas border there is one thing you will notice. Road kill Opossum and Skunk become Armadillo. You know you are close to Arkansas. Once in Texas, they must outnumber skunk and opossum. My mother in law, a retired school teach from New York, was driving with us to Arkansas to dig Quartz Crystals in the Hot Springs area. I pointed out an Armadillo laying along side the road. She told me they were a "turtle" of some kind. I tried to reason with her, but let the career teacher have her way. Turtle... OK. Just a turtle with a bit of hair.

- Moose, Elk, Deer, Antelope, Cattle, Horse, Sheep, Raccoons, Opossums, Rabbits, Jackalopes, Birds, Snakes... each area of the country has specific road kills. The higher the elevation, the LARGER THE ROAD KILL.

- Porcupine. Our Blue Heelers wanted to smell one years ago. I learned how to pluck them from their snouts. Some look like small raccoons and others look like a walking bush. Occasionally I will see a bush sized porcupine alongside the road. They have little fear of... anything. Our Blue Heelers, still are curious about Skunks, but hopefully, resist the temptation for "porkies".

- Insects in those humid areas with lakes, ponds, streams, irrigation. Miller Moths, if I can call them Miller, adhere to the windows as well as grasshoppers. I actually put behind my front grill a screen door screen to catch the "bug kill" so they do not clutter the radiator venting. Then, the screen is brushed off to remove the collection of beetles (not Beatles), butterflies, grass hoppers, butterflies and other flying insects.

Now, do not get me wrong. I am not promoting road kill. I actually avoid road kill as I am looking for the deer who hesitat alongside the road... to chose to cross exactly when you are coming near. I have a record of getting a bird now and then, but surely not by want or desire.

A horse/auto/trailer collision is not pretty. A deer/auto collision can be no better, and some deer will jump before being hit and come through your windshield. Big Horn sheep may be grazing along the highway grass with any salt remaining from salting the highway during the previous snow. Prairie Dogs are particularly not the brightest when deciding when and which direction to run when you approach. Add to that chipmunks that must take lessons from the Prairie Dog.

Jackalopes. Larger than a Jack Rabbit you have the Wyoming Jackalope. Once above 4,500 feet elevation these shy members of the rabbit family are out after sunset. Many flat tires have resulted from their sharp tipped antler. When I was 17 years old, I hit one outside of Douglas, Wyoming and paid $35 to have it mounted, a two pointer. (For those of you from the East, two pointed antler on EACH side, not a FOUR POINTer.) Just an East and West difference in counting. Avoid them like a deer. I still have the mount within ten feet of me. Not much farther away than my 1934 Gillette, Wyoming Bison head mount to go with my Indian Artifacts. The Bison was from a fund raiser in 1934 when many were roaming some ranches in Wyoming and taking down fence like they were made from strings.

Maybe you have experiences to add to this morbid fact of traveling.

Areas where deer are common you can find "deer whistles" that you attach to the front of your vehicle. I have never tried one... as it might even attract a buck with a large rack to see me as a competitor to his harem. Maybe they work. Looks like a piece of plastic that someone made a million dollars coming up with the idea.

So... what have you to say? What is YOUR local observation?

All I have to say. A living or dead skunk can haunt you for some time. I was reminded of a song on a 78 RPM record called "Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road" that I had on an antique Wurlitzer jukebox years ago. Still true today.
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Old 04-27-2015, 12:26 PM   #2
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Usually the jackalopes are out hunting for snipes! Avoid both! Jim
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Old 04-27-2015, 09:45 PM   #3
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Have not heard that song in a long time.
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Old 04-27-2015, 09:49 PM   #4
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Louden Wainwright III
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Old 04-27-2015, 09:57 PM   #5
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Armadillos are pigs in a half shell. They are actually not bad BBQ.
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Old 04-27-2015, 10:14 PM   #6
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Louden's son Rufus is a genius. "Poses" - it's a must....


Sorry for the hijack
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Old 04-27-2015, 10:14 PM   #7
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Armadillos carry leprosy and other nasty stuff! Don't touch!!!


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Old 04-27-2015, 11:19 PM   #8
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We saw an armadillo at Hard Labor Creek State Park in Georgia. Maybe he was doing hard labor.

We also saw two Jackalope in Douglas, WY. One was in the middle of a miniature golf course, and the other was up on a hill above town.

Oh, and we saw a prairie dog town at Cherry Creek State Park in Aurora, CO before the snowstorm hit.

Fortunately for us, we ran over none of them.
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Old 04-28-2015, 08:23 AM   #9
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In our county the bumper bambi toll is around 2 every night. Almost every bush lot has a mansion somewhere in it and those people are all anti hunting. Bambi ends up in the ditch with a Mercedes rather than in the freezer with a bullet. Terrible waste.
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Old 04-28-2015, 09:17 AM   #10
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I had a Bobcat run across the road about 100 feet in front of me in broad daylight yesterday while riding my motorcycle through Napa Valley. And, last September while towing our AS through northern CA, we saw several dead black bears on the side of the road. Must be something about this area and carnivorous animals. Do Jackalopes eat any kind of meat, or just Snipes?
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Old 04-28-2015, 10:37 AM   #11
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Since the reduction in hunting season for snipes the increasing population has caused a great increas in the jackalope population so some states are considering importing chubacabras from Mexico to control the jackolopes. Who knows?
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Old 04-28-2015, 03:17 PM   #12
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Jackalopes are an Endangered Species of Lagomorphs

As of January 1, 1986, the Wyoming Game and Fish no longer issue hunting Live Animal permits for Jackalopes. Jackalopes were being confused as Easter Bunnies and being taken out of State for resale when small, without antlers. The danger was that they would get loose, grow antlers, shed them and they would eventually grow into two pointers and were interbreeding with the local Lagomorphs (scientific generic name for Rabbits). Just way too many horny aggressive rabbits and bunnies were resulting in too many serious dog injuries.

Jackanapes, as my computer spell check refers to Jackalopes, will return to higher elevations if removed to areas below 4,000 feet, but always prefer the thinner air of 4,500 feet+.

I guess Snipes do not occur out West. I have seen the bags and sticks to capture them, but mostly from persons living off the grid in Arkansas and Missouri. Way off the grid. Never checked that out as a local tale or an actual bird.

I am surprised no one has mentioned "Road Gators". They occur mostly on paved roads as they must be attracted to hot pavement. These will do some damage to an Airstream if you hit one. These are easily seen during the daylight hours. At night, you will be wishing you had not met up with one. Some are referred to as 18 WheelerGators.

I volunteered to work with scouts camped in Texas in 1971 at a big Jamboree. Must been near Mineral Wells, Texas. They roasted at least one Armadillo over a campfire. I had a piece. No. It did not taste like Chicken. More like a piece of dried out shoe with some seasoning added. I suffered no physical ailments... but sometimes I want to dig a burrow in the yard, for some reason.
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Old 04-28-2015, 03:34 PM   #13
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Be careful digging burrows, you might dig up a snipe. They have moved west but generally stay out of sight under the ground, like Bigfoot. Jim
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Old 04-28-2015, 03:42 PM   #14
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Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road...

I have no Snipes mounted here. Yet. But might work on it if I get an offer.

"Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road by Loudon Wainwright", 1972-1973
Must have played the 45 RPM Jukebox for that song! Call the local DJ Radio host and have it played four times in a row. Here are the lyrics. Sounds like a song an Airstream off the grid camper, without water can relate to...

Crossing the highway late last night
He shoulda looked left and he shoulda looked right
He didn't see the station wagon car
The skunk got squashed and there you are

You got your dead skunk in the middle of the road
Dead skunk in the middle of the road
Dead skunk in the middle of the road
Stinking to high heaven

Take a whiff on me, that ain't no rose
Roll up your window and hold your nose
You don't have to look and you don't have to see
'Cause you can feel it in your olfactory

You got your dead skunk in the middle of the road
Dead skunk in the middle of the road
Dead skunk in the middle of the road
And it's stinking to high heaven

Yeah, you got your dead cat and you got your dead dog
On a moonlight night, you got your dead toad frog
Got your dead rabbit and your dead raccoon
The blood and the guts, they're gonna make you swoon

You got your dead skunk in the middle
Dead skunk in the middle of the road
Dead skunk in the middle of the road
Stinking to high heaven
C'mon, stink

You got it, it's dead, it's in the middle
Dead skunk in the middle
Dead skunk in the middle of the road
Stinking to high heaven
All over the road
Technicolor

Oh, you got pollution
It's dead, it's in the middle
And it's stinking to high, high heaven
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