This week I finally saw something that had been in front of my eyes for years.
The number of dead animals on the road "pulses" with a weekly cycle.
What finally made it click for me was one morning when I was on the way to coffee I crested a hill and saw a young, dead raccoon in the middle of the trash it had been pulling out of a trash bag. Clearly, it was trash day in this part of Eaton Rapids.
A common contract around here is to have one Captain Curby and up to three additional trashbags. The Captain Curby is fairly raccoon proof. The trashbags, not so much.
The pulsing is particularly pronounced this year. The last two winters have been unusually mild. It has been a dry summer and there is little natural forage. Consequently, we have a lot of coons and possum and not a lot of vittles for them.
The road kills seem to be biased toward the younger, smaller specimens. I suppose the old sows and boars are wise to the dangers.
But on trash day, even a few of the old ones get carried away by the smells and tastes of the goodies that are suddenly, and for one night only, placed on the ground mere feet from the tires of speeding vehicles. They rake the loot out of the bag and spread it on the ground. Then they sniff-and-feel to find the choicest bits.