Saturday, August 29, 2009

The squirrel dance on I-64

Driving to Richmond Friday afternoon on eastbound I-64, I saw something I've never seen before on the interstate. My vehicle was alone on a particular stretch of that roadway when up ahead two squirrels popped from beneath the guardrail onto the right shoulder. I've seen lots of critters on the interstate over the years but I honestly could not remember ever seeing squirrels before ... and certainly not two of them at the same time.

They sat there on the shoulder about a half-dozen car lengths ahead of me as if they were trying to decide whether to cross. Finally one took off across the right lane (where I was quickly approaching) and stopped in the left passing lane, turning to look at his (her?) companion. I figured I was about to squish one and possibly two squirrels.

As I got just about to them -- one in the left lane and the other on the right shoulder -- the one on the left did that "which-way-do-I-go" squirrel dance in the middle of the lane ... left, right, left, right ... and just as I got to him he turned left and scampered safely into the wooded median.

As I swished past, I looked in my rear view mirror for the squirrel on the shoulder (I hadn't heard or felt a thump under my wheels) ... and he (she?) was still frozen in place.

About 10-15 car-lengths behind me a pack of traffic including cars and 18-wheeler trucks was approaching the spot where the squirrel still stood frozen. As I watched him (her?) quickly becoming smaller and smaller in my rear view mirror, the pack of traffic began passing the squirrel and, at that point, I lost sight of it.

It left me with a blog post as I chuckled to myself thinking about it ... I know, trivial. But it was amusing. And it all happened in less time than it took to type this post. Wonder if the squirrels were ever reunited? And if they were, did they make it safely over the two westbound lanes of I-64?

Things to ponder while driving the interstate....

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