When Dave and I were driving to Mt St Helens, we had a really horrifying, and then gratifying experience.
First off, driving up on I-5, a large beautiful brown and white hawk swooped down in front of a big truck just to our right, and I'm not sure if it caught a down draft or what, but it got thwaked and killed by the car right in front of us, who didn't even hit the brakes. It was an older man, I think, I hope, he probably didn't even see it coming. But it was a horrible vision I still have in my head when it spun up off the front of the car and into the grass strip between the highways. I'm sure it was dead, it was too violent of a hit. I hope it was quick and instantaneous death, painless.
So we were extrememly sad and bummed out and we talked about cars and nature, and this was all real hard for me having just come from Maine where I was seeing wildlife of all forms everyday in their natural environments.
So then we get on 504 toward Mt St Helens, and we came across a coyote that had obviously been hit by a car. It was writing around in pain in the middle of the highway, it looked as if it had been paralysed on it's back half and was really hurt and was never going to survive, but was going to suffer. There was a woman stopped on the other side of the highway, and we weren't sure if she had hit the animal or just came upon it in the road, but she had a gun, and waved us past, she was going to kill it and put it out of it's mysery. Driving past was so horrible, another very painful visual memory in my head that I'll have to deal with now, forever. At this point, we were both near tears, in a way I don't even like recounting it, but I found this day to be very symbolic and I felt like a lesson was there to be seen, or learned, it's hard to explain.
Because then, we made it to the end of the road and started out on a wonderful hike along the ridge of a mountain with an incredible view of the blast zone oif Mt St Helens, and there was no one else out there but us, me, Dave and Cozmo. Sure enough, once around the edge of the steep hill, we looked up and swooping above us was a beautiful large majestic hawk. The same brown and white coloring and amazingly large wingspan, free and wild, in it's element. It flew right over us. It was so gorgeous and strong. This made me feel a lot better about the earlier incidents.
So then after finishing that hike, we decided to head over to a lake near the monument and walk along the shore for a ways. This was a lake that was formed by the St Helens blast. We decided to leave Mo in the car for this one, because he already got quite a workout on the other hike.
Sure enough, we'd walked for about 15 minutes, when Dave looks up and says,"OMG, coyote!" And there it was, just ahead of us right on the trail, bushy tailed and bright eyed and we just stared at each other, the coyote looking right into our eyes. We obviously startled it while it was probably drinking from the lake (coyotes are people too you know!) and it scurried off up the hill and out of sight.
I can't really describe how this felt, but it felt like a lesson. It felt very coincidental.
All I can say, is I was glad to experience the animals healthy in their natural wild environment after the earlier incidents.
Wildlife is so amazing and valuable. It is sad when you see the ways that our human race tends to destroy them, and their habitats.