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Saturday, June 7, 2014

Safe!


The road super was mowing this week and drove straight into a situation he’s dreaded for thirty years—a fawn in the tall grass. He stood on the tractor’s brakes, raised the mower, stopped a foot short and sat shaking all over. The fawn did not move, just as instructed by its mother.  

Another road worker we know did kill a fawn this way, years ago, and went home, too ill to carry on. Tim thought about him as he backed the mower away from the fawn and positioned himself to begin farther down the ditch.

This time he watched like a hawk, and there it was, the second fawn, immobile in the grass. Another maneuver around and the rest of his day was just another uneventful summer day on the mower. Tim retires a year from September, and he prefers to arrive at the date with no more near misses.


He told me the story of the fawns as we stood in the road yard, craning to watch the vultures in the dead tree over the salt shed. I've seen them some mornings and didn't have a camera; he noticed them Friday and I did have a camera. Tim is a fan of the Boston pictures page and hopes to see vultures over the salt shed posted soon.






Why mow, when roadside grass is ideal for nesting birds, and flowers that support bees and butterflies? 

Actually, we mow our ditches to keep them clear for flowing water. Townships often do not have storm water drainage except for ditches, and the water is channeled down the valley into the river via the ditches. 

Most ditches are grass covered and pleasant appearing. Grass beyond the ditches is in front yards, or merges into woodland.

Ohio Revised Code stipulates townships must have their ditches mowed the first time each year by June 20th. It takes two men mowing a couple of weeks to get through Boston the first time.

Many roadsides in Ohio have "Do not Mow" designations to maintain the wildflower and wildlife habitat.

24 comments:

  1. I once almost hit a baby bunny with an old power reel mower. Hitting a fawn...that must be awful.

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  2. Thank goodness he saw the little guys in time.

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  3. Years ago I *thought* I hit a bunny on a service road while dropping my daughter off at a riding lesson. I cried all the way home. I can't imagine how awful it would be to hit a fawn with a mower....

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  4. It's good to hear about the kind hearts of these men. I wish your road super no more close calls.

    Years ago a bird connected with the front end of my car on a country road. I pulled over, and was going to pick the stunned bird off the road and put it in the grass nearby. Just then a large truck came roaring down the road. I watched in horror as one of its tires reduced that living thing to a smudge on the asphalt. It shook me to the core, how something could be alive and a split second later be non-existent.

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  5. Hari Om
    Heart stopper... Vultures are interesting - but in WHAT are THEY interested??? YAM xx

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  6. Good shots!! We have an open field that we don't mow, but the deer seem to like the park and can be seen casually strolling along the campground roads! The birds nest on the front porch and I have two families of Killdeer this year (word of beak, I suppose!). There is a bobcat lurking in the backwoods ......

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  7. I am so so glad he was alert - and skilled enough to stop in time. Wonderful news - thank you. And him.

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  8. That would have been sad. I hope he makes it through the rest of his working career safely protecting all the wildlife out there. Those were mighty big vultures!

    betty

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  9. Geesh, that is horrible. The other day I saw a vehicle stopped and thought he was odd, when I pulled up to a stop there where about 40 ducks crossing the parking lot.

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  10. What a close call! Give that guy a hug for me... he's one of the good ones! We were volunteering at a Refuge in Tennessee... I was driving down a county road... swerved to miss a snake... the guy behind me swerved... to hit it! Sometimes I just don't understand.....

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  11. Is the mowing done before the birds nest?? -- barbara

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  12. That was one lucky fawn. We have missed two chipmunks in one week. They cross three quarter of the road and then decide they do not want to cross after all. They could not do better if they wanted to commit suicide.

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  13. Oh, Joanne, i could feel a pit in my stomach as i read what you wrote. I'm so glad Tim was able to stop in time and to see the second fawn, too.

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  14. How upsetting to accidentally mow over a fawn, I would have cried for days. I'm so glad this year's mower spotted the fawns in time to stop and go around.

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  15. So glad to hear the Fawn was unhurt. Interesting facts too x

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  16. Phew! I can imagine how something like that would ruin a man's day. Do the vultures anticipate something happening? I'm all for not mowing.

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  17. I once mowed over a frog,I couldn't use the mower for weeks.
    We mow our country road sides about 18 inches,it makes wildlife more visible at night.
    Jane x

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  18. In Georgia they now mow only twice a year due to budget issues. Where our old house is deer hit me on the way to work all the time. I would see the deer. Stop. Then they would ram my Jeep every single time.

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  19. One wonders if the turkey vultures were rooting for the mower or the fawns.

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  20. I hit a deer once at night, clipped it's head with the front bumper of the van I was driving. I saw him coming but couldn't do anything about it as I was towing a fully loaded16 boat canoe trailer and any sudden evasive action or hard braking on my part would have resulted in a lot worse damage to the vehicle and people inside. I did manage to swerve just enough to just clip it's head instead of full body contact. I was pretty shaky afterward.

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  21. Thanks for passing by and commenting on my blog. How wonderful to have such wildlife so near to you - but then we have the seals and porpoises here at the coast I suppose. I saw roadkill deer the other day, an adult in fact - such a shame.

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