Our farm borders on highway 34, so we get our share of logging trucks and commuters going by...in the last month alone, we've had 3 cars drive off the road! Scarey business. The first guy was busy reaching for a sandwich in his ice chest after a LONG morning logging....and he misjudged the curve of the road. He nose-dove into a pile of brambles and was VERY lucky to come out physically unscathed. He showed up at our doorstep, meekly stating that he had noticed our tractor and wondered if we could help pull him out of his predicament. It worked like a charm and the guy surprisingly was able to just drive off!!!! Amazing.
The second incident involved someone driving off the road a little ways from our property; a bee and a highly allergic passenger caused that scenario....their car was totaled....but on the bright side, we got the chance to sit and chat with the nice folks until the tow truck arrived.
The last incident involved a car full of people that just drove off into the ditch on the opposite side of the road after driving erratically ---myself and two other people on the farm went running over to see if everyone was ok. It looked like maybe the driver had had a stroke or ??... As far as we could tell, the driver had dozed and had started to head off the highway into our fields at the curve and then overcompensated when he turned the wheel to get his car back in his own lane. Embarrassed, he HASTILY got their car back on the road and drove off....barely acknowledging our presence.
People are so different under stress.....
But I digress...I started writing about the highway, because of the traffic...
A few weeks ago, I lay in bed listening to the maremmas barking incessantly for about 30 minutes. Not scared, or distressed barking---just on alert and frustrated. I dragged myself out of bed, grabbed our portable headlight (it's wonderful!!) and headed outside. The dogs were looking out into the vegetable garden that was in the process of being fenced in; the road side still only had poles with no fencing. Scoping the area that the dogs were barking at, I saw nothing.....but they were CONVINCED that something was there, so I walked over closer. That's when I saw it---a deer laying down in the middle of the garden. I walked over closer, to scare it off--- selfishly thinking only of my tender young lettuce. It was obvious that the deer had either broken or badly strained her hind legs or .... she tried to scuttle on the ground to get away from me and called out in distress. Bambi.
I headed back to the house, with the idea of getting a gun to come out and shoot her---put her out of her misery. But then I thought, maybe she just needs time to re-group.....you know, she probably just caught her leg on the new fencing and yanked it strangely: Given time she would be all right. yeah, right .....and then I thought "venison" and I was all set to call a friend that lives close by (I don't care for it myself)....But with the adrenalin created by her accident and the proximity of the dogs and me, I doubted if the meat would be any good to eat....
By the time I got to the house, the wind was definitely out of my sails and I was wrestling with my seeming inability to calmly walk up to the deer, look her in the eye and shoot her to put her out of her misery. Bob stepped in and after SEVERAL attempts located some state official to come out to shoot and remove the deer for us---but talk about bureaucracy!... everyone seemed to want to pass the buck.....or doe.
For over two hours, we tried to block out the thought of the deer....hard to do when the dogs are barking incessantly. When the State Policeman finally showed up, we were told that this deer belonged to the state of Oregon--- even if it was hurt and on our land....and if I had shot it (and dragged it off to butcher it) without a deer hunting license and out of season, I would have been breaking some great Oregonian law. Right... let the poor thing suffer for 3 hours instead. By the time he came back from getting his gun from his car, she had died....apparently from being HIT BY A CAR (see...there's that highway!) The poor thing had dragged herself down from the highway about 100 feet through a wall of blackberries to get to our "safe haven".
On the bright side, the wolves and the White Wolf Sanctuary now have some meat...on the dark side, the little yearling that had been hanging out on the river side of our house for the whole 3 hours, is now without her mother...she does have a friend though that she shows up with every morning. Myself, I'm still sorting out my head---