Friday, October 27, 2006

Oh, go jump in the lake...

Do you get the sinking feeling that chemicals that have affected critters' reproductive systems are starting to affect animal behavior as well?

I mean, when otters attack (as there have been two that I've heard of this year, including one involving a pregnant woman in Roanoke), deer jump into the Tidal Basin, and a man is critically injured by a (normally docile) sting ray, something's rotten in Denmark. Now, the case of the deer may be different, as another sad situation may be causing their flights into futility--huntin' season. That's right, it's been demonstrated that deer-automobile collisions (like the one that took place the other morning in Virginia) increase dramatically during deer hunting season, which is also the time of year they are most likely to be reckless, being also mating season and all. The Tidal Basin rescuers showed stamina and bravery in rustling the frightened critters out of the basin, considering the unusual nature of the situation. Before this week, I was unaware, like most folks, of the deer's desire to perform aquatic ballet!

Unfortunately, with the end of daylight savings time coming tomorrow, I'm more afraid than ever of hitting one of these walking (and leaping!) studies in grace.

* * *

Perhaps I should save my worries for driving the Beltway (which I studiously avoid anyway), as this past weekend youngsters threw rocks and bricks onto vehicles. Miraculously and thankfully, no one was seriously injured. Whatever possesses people to commit such simultaneously stupid and cruel acts? (Especially after someone was seriously injured only a couple of years ago in Virginia by just such behavior.) Considering that this happened on a part of the road near the construction for the National Harbor project in Oxon Hill, it's a wonder that even more confusion didn't ensure, as the general area, as you can imagine, is a maze of turns, with traffic lights placed in new locations, and a new exit to the Wilson Bridge being built there, too, the rock-throwing idiots are fortunate that they didn't get run over getting to the construction site to find objects to lob at people's vehicles.


One thing that puzzles me about planning for the harbor is whether anyone has openly considered what effect this hubbub will have on historic Oxon Hill Manor, which is right next door, so to speak, to this glitzy megapolis-to-be. When the manor's renovation is completed, will people want to pay the county to have weddings and other events there, now that the peace and quiet that used to be there(although it was never far from Route 210), will be gone? Considering that the area near the manor is primarily residential, single-family homes in the immediate area, what impact will Vegas east have on traffic on the adjoining streets? (I can't properly consider Livingston Road a side street, but still...) Have there been plans to upgrade public transportation in the area, as buses only run morning and evening weekdays in that area? I don't recall a politician bringing up the subject, which is odd considering the exponential increase in congestion that the project is likely to scare up.

I better get a few more good looks at the area before it's developed to a point that I won't recognize it, which won't be too long.

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