Thursday, 9 September 2010

Another casualty

As a rural cyclist, roadkill is a constant in my life and in fact was so even as an urbanite. It gives a somewhat grisly insight into the local animal life and can be as close as one gets to some of our more nocturnal neighbours. When I lived in London it was mostly foxes, birds and the occasional hedgehog, but I can definitely report a greater scale and diversity in Norfolk as one would expect - so much that it makes local news. Over the last few months, I have encountered the usual suspects of hedgehogs, pigeons and rabbits by the score, but also muntjac, weasels, red deer and badgers.

This evening, for the second time in the exact same place I came across a grass snake that had clearly been run over. As it is a reasonably quiet road which runs along an embankment between woods, I would speculate that they may be coming out onto the road in order to bask in the sunshine on the warm tarmac, where four-wheeled death awaits. The first one was reasonably well preserved so I passed this on to Duncan for inclusion in his art work, but tonight's specimen was almost completely eviscerated, yet it retained the quintessence of green encircling its neck that even in death remains startling.

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