On the way in to work this morning - a gorgeous bright day, incidentally, without a hint of humidity - I came upon two carcasses. There is nothing remarkable about roadkill in general, but this pair caught my attention because one animal had been a squirrel and the other was the vulture that had been feeding on it when the great leveler came barreling down the roadway.
As it happens, this scene was accompanied by a companion piece of the radio about efforts to capture a sheep that has been living on a woody median between two interstate highways in Massachusetts. Even more remarkably, it has been doing so for about a year. I drive by the Exit 7 on 495 at the interchange with 95 on the way to Wareham, and there is nice habitat there. It has occurred to me more than once when driving by that there is even room enough to set up a tent and live rough without being obvious to passersby. The sheep has no such accommodation, but it has resisted becoming roadkill, and capture, for a long time, now. No word as to where it came from or how it got there, but if it had once been a pet it is very skittish around people.
Most obvious statement quoted in the media frenzy surrounding this, ahem, ewesitem:
"A sheep doesn't belong in the middle of the highway."
What I can't figure out is why the burgeoning coyote population in SE Mass hasn't had a go at this mutton in the median. Probably enough pickings for them on the suburban fringe without risking being roadkill themselves. Then again, they have swum over to the Elizabeth Islands on Vineyard Sound, where the prime attraction is Forbes family sheep.