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The snow fence of the South … and the fox and the rabbit

Anyone who grew up in the North knows all about snow fences.

Road crews install the flat, angled wood or metal partitions 50 yards or so off a road as a wind-slowing buffer to encourage snow to drift or pile up against the lee side of the fence rather than spill across the road. The fences can be lengthy too: up to a couple of hundred yards.


There’s a parallel in terms of wind-blown trash down this way. The South employs its own warm weather version of the snow fence, aka street medians. Even though medians are intended to separate lanes of traffic, these low profile barriers collect their share of litter, too.

Most of what is pushed to the base of medians is of the small but visually annoying variety; cigarette butts (the cursed things!), bits of plastic, bottle caps, drinking straws, flattened plastic bottles and the like.

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Small debris tends to accumulate at the base of traffic medians. The junk is just a visual and environmental blight.

This jetsam may be small in stature but it presents big headaches when it comes to trash. It’s just plain urban filth. I see the problem from a safe distance but don’t work the lane dividers as religiously as I should since afternoon traffic wouldn’t tolerate some yahoo darting about in the tight confines between the median and cars.

Now, Saturday and Sunday mornings are a bit different. With almost no traffic buzzing by in the early a.m. hours, it’s safer for me to tote the bag to clean up along these dividers. And that’s just what I’ll do at intersections of Colony and Sharon View and Colony and Fairview and Sharon and Sharon View Roads.

What I wouldn’t object to on steamy mornings, however, is the cool or cold breeze that necessitates the northern version of these trash trappers.


One of the joys of my early morning weekend litter walks is a chance to commune with nature – such as it is in an urban area – in relative silence. That quiet is broken, welcomely so, by the glorious sounds of birds and the routine sight of deer prancing across the street.

And then there was this.

About 15 feet in front of me along Colony Road, a fox nonchalantly stepped out of underbrush and in it’s mouth dangled the lifeless body of a large rabbit. The hunter had found its prey.

Aside from a quick glance my way, the fox was oblivious to my presence as it trotted across the four trafficless lanes. Then things got a bit odd.

After it reached the other side, it didn’t automatically disappear among the trees and bushes, rather it continued southward on the sidewalk for more than a full block. It was just another pedestrian out for a stroll on a quiet weekend morning. If it was returning to feed a litter of kits, then that forest family had something to celebrate. It’s a sight I wouldn’t mind seeing again.

About Dave Bradley (264 Articles)
I was a writer by trade so one would think letters would come easily for me. It is so now, but wasn't always that way. Indeed, the first letter was written the Monday after Ellen started her freshman year in college. For years I've wondered - with no good answers - why I swiveled my office chair toward my computer screen to fire up a word processing document for that first letter. I just don't know. I just did. Perhaps it was the angst of separation or wanting to say things that had gone unsaid at that moment when we parted ways in front of her college dormitory. What was a one-off became habitual. When her brother Reid enrolled in the same college, his name was added to the salutation line. They were kids then and are adults now. No matter. The letter writing habit remains so today. I live in Brevard, North Carolina. I'm well away from where they live and don't see them nearly as often as I'd like. That's why letters, at least to me, fill the void of distance. The pages give me something to say and the space to say it. There is no assurance they read the letters; indeed, I have never asked if they do so. With the pace of their busy lives who could blame them for letting a letter sit unopened? Over time, it has dawned on me that the letters are both communicative - and cathartic. By nature, letters are about the writer; the writer can only write about their situation. Perhaps that is as it should be. It's all about the here and now from one person's perspective.

1 Comment on The snow fence of the South … and the fox and the rabbit

  1. Kudos to the fox for not using a plastic bag to carry its groceries home.

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