Lots of things run out into the road here in the Finger Lakes. Squirrels and deer, of course, but also a great number gophers and woodchucks. There’s a fair share of raccoons; I once nearly ran over an entire family of raccoons who popped their little bandit-y faces up out of a drainage cover in the middle of the road just as I neared them. Luckily, they stole away as quickly as their initially appeared. Skunks are an all too common victim of car-strikes, it takes a week or two for the area around a dead skunk to lose its serious funk. Foxes are more common than you’d think too, moving like a cat across the road in the falling dusk. As for actual cats, there are plenty, though they usually stay out of the road itself, preferring to watch the traffic lazily from the other side of the right of way. Opossums show up occasionally and just once I saw a giant tortoise of some extraction patiently waiting to cross a busy street. It was so large I first took it to be a dead deer on the side of the road until I got up closer and saw it swing its leathery neck around to watch my progress. Its surprising size (and how it so quickly changed from struck deer to living reptile) made me cuss loudly and swerve my car to give it a generous berth.
But rarely does anything so lovely block easy passage down our quiet roads.
This is real treat. I’ve seen this gentlebird before, with a little harem of two peahens in tow. Today he was alone.
I hope his two ladybirds weren’t lost in the hard winter, but are nesting productively and comfortably nearby. I believe these birds to be escapees from a local winery who acquired them for purely decorative purposes. The photo below was the best I could get of his tail, even with the inducements of a creeping car and little beeps he refused to startle and display his proud feathers.
He eventually cleared the way, vacating the road entirely for the preference of the high grass. I was sorry to lose the excuse for tarrying, a lovely thing such as this is a rare delight and well worth the few minutes postponement of my journey.