I was on my way to work this morning on the community bus (£2.10 return, very reasonable), heading up Creeting Lane, when suddenly, a deer leapt in the road in front of us, disappearing equally quickly into the trees on the other side. It wasn't the only one either, as there was another right behind it.
I looked across to the right, through the trees, where there were another four deer, the remainder of the herd, heading across the field beyond them.
It was a misty, murky morning in the Gipping Valley, and the lack of visibility obviously provides our larger wild mammals an opportunity to move from one grazing spot to another. But, whilst the deer have learned to take advantage of the fog, it adds a whole new set of risks for rural motorists.
Deer are surprisingly quick, and even more surprisingly solid, and if one appears on a narrow country lane in front of you, there is little chance of missing it. The prospect of a deer coming through the windscreen is not one to savour, and deaths are not unknown.
In New Hampshire, away from the Interstate highways, moose are a huge problem. Bull moose can weigh more than 1000 lbs, and given that roads are quite winding, you can be upon one far too late to break. Worse still, they are attracted to roads by the salt laid to keep the roads ice-free, I'm told, so reaction times are even worse if you need to brake.
Just another danger in a rural existence...