Sunday, July 25, 2010

Seashore vignettes (1 of 2)

A change of pace and a change of venue -- a.k.a. a few days at the south Jersey shore. Now back, these impressions of the animal scene between Avalon and Cape May . . .

* the drive south goes through scenic wooded and undeveloped areas, and it included much less road kill along the way than I'm aware of in this area. Maybe that's because animals have sanctuary right off the road. Whatever the reason, it was a joy not to see lumps in the road ahead that as we came closer, became dead animals.

Which reminds me of an earlier post, about birds who fly low across roads, not knowing vehicles are death machines for them. I saw even more of this while away, and it included birds standing in the road eating junk humans had thrown out. Still another reason not to litter: birds must think, that's where the food is, so go there.

Now I'm wondering how long it might take the process of evolution among birds to warn them off roads and get them to fly higher over roads. Millions of years, probably, and by then, humans may have done so much other damage to the planet that the question will be moot.

* "Tula" is a young-seeming black lab female who was roaming around "our" street at the shore last night. She sniffed a pine cone in the street for awhile, then she crossed and re-crossed the street, as if trying to decide where to hang out. She wore a significant leather collar, but when I approached and petted her, it didn't seem to have license or ID tags on it.

Of course, Tula wasn't street-smart, as evidenced by her jogging back and forth without looking. She led me down a driveway into a back yard where people were eating on a 2nd floor deck. I asked if anyone knew where Tula came from and one woman walked through, met me out front and pointed across the street.

Sure enough, after she called out to a woman in the yard, that woman began calling "Tula," and the wandering lab made her way home. No one knew Tula was outside because they were all so busy keeping track of the children. With luck, she'll stay home and go out only on escorted walks.

* one other dog issue: The woman going out who asked her parents to "walk the dog" before she returned. She had left "the dog" -- actually only seven months old, and reportedly a chewer -- in her crate. Probably it didn't bother "the dog," but I was aware she has a name that, if used, would sound much less impersonal and much more warm and caring.

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