Saturday, August 11, 2012

Wildlife and Other Such Calamities

As evidenced by this earlier post that you really should have read already, I am most decidedly a city girl.  Well even a suburban girl would work as a descriptor.  What I am not is a rural girl.  The upshot of this is that it makes for some really good anecdotes and aren't you all so lucky that I'm sharing.  (Fully expects you all to be nodding at this point...off to sleep perhaps but in my world you're just agreeing with me.  ;)  )

We recently made our way to Eastern Washington to attend the wedding of one of our beautiful nieces and spend some quality family/friend time.  Deciding it suited our scheduling needs, we stayed in Spokane and traveled the hour or so to where family was.  As such, we spent a lot of time going up and down that highway number I can remember when I'm there but can't remember when I'm not.   Yes, that one.

I don't do a lot of the driving around that area; Mr. Eggshells schooled, worked, lived there most of his life so he's much more familiar with the streets and such.  Actually, if I drive our truck too long he's in real jeopardy of my declaring it to be "my" truck, and he likes it too much to risk that.  Plus, a lot of the driving is in decidedly rural areas, which, as I've already established, is not my ideal match.

I will now confess that I'm afraid of cows.  I take a lot of crap for this fear, being assured by rural people that they are harmless.  Bull!  (See what I did there? *flex*)  I believe this to be a reasonable fear; they are, actually, several hundred pounds bigger than I am, and I'm sure they know I've drank their milk and eaten their cousin.  I'm fairly certain they are currently plotting a coup, but sadly, I cannot find enough proof to back my claim.  I saw something similar with chickens in a movie once (and holy crap, that movie came out 12 years ago?  WTH?), and it was totally true. 

Needless to say, from the farming on the hill slopes to the variety of wild animal life there is to be had in that region, it is a fairly good understatement to say I'm out of my element.

It happened on the off-ramp of that one highway to get onto the other highway where, as Mr. Eggshells was navigating the abrupt curve (seriously there's acres of land, no curves need to be abrupt...these people went to planning school at the same place as the guy in our town who designed the northbound access on the I-5 - a neat little some kind of math/circle degree curve that's really awkward).  Where was I?  Oh yeah, the curve and it was there that I saw the stuffed animal.

We'd just gotten past it when I commented to hubby that someone had put a dead stuffed animal on the off-ramp concrete barrier.  He gave me a look and asked me to clarify what I meant.  I told him that I'd seen this upright animal on the guardrail, and that someone must've put it there as a joke.

It was about this point that I got the other look, the one that's half-amused and half-incredulous with just a smidgen of "facepalm, let me educate you", and he informs me that it was likely a real animal...based on my description, a marmot.  

Okay so I've heard of marmots, at least.  Apparently they're fairly prevalent in that area, and I was forced to believe him when he pointed another one out in the same location the next day....that moved.  

I still think the first one was a college prank.