July 25, 2007 [LINK / comment]

Caution: BEAR crossing!

I almost killed a Black bear on Monday, and it is possible that it almost killed my passengers and me. I was driving along Interstate 66 just west of Front Royal some time after 4:00 PM, when I noticed a large black animal in the median up ahead. A very big dog, perhaps? No. As we approached, I could see that it was a Black bear, and to my horror, it began to run across the highway in front of us. I swerved toward the right onto the asphalt shoulder and sped up, hoping to get around the jaywalking beast, and we all braced for impact. Fortunately, my evasive driving paid off, and the bear escaped unharmed. I stopped the vehicle and we could see the bear climbing up the grass slope toward safety. It couldn't have missed us by more than a few inches. If I had slowed down, I am pretty sure that we would have collided.

And if that scary wildlife encounter wasn't enough, a Red-tailed hawk flew right in front of our vehicle a short while later. Other notable bird sightings so far this week include a high-flying Great blue heron near Harper's Ferry, West Virginia, and a bunch of noisy Kingbirds in Bethesda, Maryland.

That Green heron is still hanging out at the pond on North Augusta Street, and on Monday I saw two of them there, confirming what local bird club member Lisa Hamilton told me. As for "yard birds," we have seen more House finches out back lately, but hardly any Goldfinches.

UPDATE: A bear trying to cross I-75 north of Atlanta on Tuesday morning was not so lucky. Hat tip to Instapundit.