My Evening Commute and a Big Bird30 August, 2009
I really must complement the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. I commute on I-81 and, despite the replacement of no less than 6 bridges between Wilkes-Barre and Scranton, plus some other bridge work, the only major delays I have experienced have been the idiots who speed in the work areas and create accidents. The traffic is sometimes slow, but the major backups are rare. The lower speeds (frequently 35 to 45 miles an hour) does let me watch bumper stickers.
Today, I saw one FSM sticker, three Darwin Fish, twelve Christian Fish, one Darwin Fish mounting a Christian Fish, and sundry “W” stickers. I also saw some birds.
Now I know that an interstate highway is not the ideal place to go birdwatching, but I often see vultures (usually over the construction areas (hmmm)), Red Tail Hawks, Sharp Shin Hawks and other large avian theropods.
Today, I spotted very large bird up ahead. In my mind, I started wondering, “black or turkey?” Vulture, that is. But it did not look ‘right’. Wing shape, wrong. Tail shape, wrong. Wingtips, wrong. Tail, too light. Could it be?
Sure enough, as the traffic slowed to about thirty-five miles an hour, the bird banked away from me and, in the full glare of the afternoon sun, the bright white head and tail showed up perfectly. A beautiful adult Bald Eagle. Sorry. We’re in Pennsylvania. A beautiful Bald Iggle.
I glanced at the cars around me (at 35, not difficult (just make sure I have ample space between me and the idiot in a BMW 740il in front of me (talking on his cell phone))) and realized that I was the only one looking at the Bald Eagle. Every single other driver was on a cell phone (a few were texting).
So, folks (not that anyone will listen), put down the damned cell phones and, if watching the road is too boring, at least watch the beautiful descendents of the therapod dinosaurs.
And the tune on my Zen? Fanfare for the Common Man.