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View Full Version : Hit a possum on the Springwater


Attornatus_Oregonensis
10-08-2007, 07:12 AM
This was this morning (10/8) at about 6:15am, about 1/4 mile south of the Ross Island Destruction Co's crossing, in the dark and wooded part.

I didn't even see the thing until the last second. It was under the fence separating the tracks from the trail. I was at the rightward edge of the trail going about 20. I swerved left and missed it, mostly I think, with my front wheel. I was then going almost sideways and I hit it full-on with my rear wheel. That sent me over the handlebars and to the right.

I got a bruised knee and elbow, but otherwise OK. No bike damage. I took my front light off and looked for it, but couldn't find it. I can't imagine that I didn't kill it, but it must have kept going.

This was a real bummer. I hate knowing I've hurt something.

I also had a black cat up by the Ross Island Bridge come pretty close to my bike. Be careful of the wildlife on the Springwater!

Haven_kd7yct
10-08-2007, 09:10 AM
'Tis the season when more people are out when it's still dark!

Everyone, be aware that wildlife cycles go with the sun, not with the clock. Just because you were out there on the Corridor at 6:15 during the summer and didn't see anything, doesn't mean being out there at 6:15 in the autumn and winter you won't see anything.

Be careful! :) Especially in the 'burbs around wildlife corridors; I've seen a couple of coyotes in my neighborhood while walking the dog at 6:30am. Talk about disconcerting! :) But they're just following the waterway in the ravine at the end of my neighborhood; we let them be, they let us be, it's all good.

A.O., glad to hear you aren't injured beyond scrapes and bruises, and your bike is okay! :)

Oldguyonabike
10-08-2007, 12:56 PM
As freaky as it can be to have a big urban rodent step into your path I am much happier to hear that you are OK than worried about a minor thinning of Portland's 'possum herd. I appreciate the Springwater's wildlife as much and maybe more than other trail users . The annual evolution of the osprey nest, the heron and other waterfowl et al are all such bonuses to the trail. But, to be honest, I'm not too worried about one less rabid 'possum. Glad to hear you and your bike are OK.

devtchkajenn
10-08-2007, 04:38 PM
I also had a black cat up by the Ross Island Bridge come pretty close to my bike. Be careful of the wildlife on the Springwater!

Heh, I've ran over a black cat on the Springwater right before the forest park. It seems a lot of people have encountered a black cat on the path at one point or another...

Birds have been scaring me lately....they always fly away at the last second!

mizake
10-10-2007, 10:09 AM
Heh, I've ran over a black cat on the Springwater right before the forest park. It seems a lot of people have encountered a black cat on the path at one point or another...

Birds have been scaring me lately....they always fly away at the last second!

There are (as far as I can tell) 3 black cats (and one grey tabby and an orange tabby) who live just off the trail under the Ross Island bridge.

I hope the one you hit is alright. I'm usually exceptionally alert around that area because of this. Those cats are fed by other trail users, and have been spayed/neutered as a part of the spay/neuter and release program.

Please be careful!

I've also seen turtles crossing the path (i usually stop and help them across) and if I see birds (or any other form of wildlife) on the trail, I will slow down until it's safe to pass. I also saw a dead pigeon on the path a few weeks ago and removed it from the path. Also, I saw some geese with their gosslings on the path a few months ago. I slowed as to not hit them, and was passed on the left by a couple of assholes who came way too close to me and the birds.

I feel you AO. I wouldn't want to see any of those creatures get hurt, and would feel dreadful if I had caused them harm.

mizake
10-10-2007, 10:12 AM
Conversely, I was riding down Ankeny and a squirrel darted across the street, directly intersecting me. I locked up the rear wheel and hit the front brake and the squirrel (in a case of amazing skill, or really good luck - on the squirrel's part) managed to make it between my two tires while I was still moving at speed.

Squirrels rock!

Attornatus_Oregonensis
10-10-2007, 01:12 PM
They should think about relocating that colony's food supply, which will relocate the colony, as it's not in the best spot for the cats' safety.

mizake
10-10-2007, 02:21 PM
They should think about relocating that colony's food supply, which will relocate the colony, as it's not in the best spot for the cats' safety.

It's sort of difficult because there's a shelter which they live in that's on the track side of the trail (east), so putting their food source on the other side (west) of the trail wouldn't work...

I'm not sure where would be a good spot.

At any rate, the cats are pretty good (from what I've observed from riding on the trail 2x per day since the 3 blacks and the tabby were kittens - specifically watching out for them, me being the cat lover/nut that I am) at watching for bikes and moving across the trail quickly. There are other less agile creatures crossing the trail regularly (turtles, geese, possum) and we should be concious of that.

Attornatus_Oregonensis
10-10-2007, 03:27 PM
The cats are pretty good, and I've found that they respond well to the bell.

The food is already illegally located along the rail right-of-way, so why not hop the fence and put it further away from the trail? That might offer the cats a little more safety.

And if you like cats, you'll love little Eli, the newest addition to our family (on Sunday):

http://picasaweb.google.com/annegately/MeetEly

mizake
10-10-2007, 04:49 PM
The cats are pretty good, and I've found that they respond well to the bell.

The food is already illegally located along the rail right-of-way, so why not hop the fence and put it further away from the trail? That might offer the cats a little more safety.

And if you like cats, you'll love little Eli, the newest addition to our family (on Sunday):

http://picasaweb.google.com/annegately/MeetEly

well....the guy I see feeding the cats doesn't look as if hopping over a 4' fence is something he'd be able to do on a regular basis....maybe I'm wrong...I just think the cats are going to cross the trail lots, and it probably has nothing to do with their food. Unless of course they were doing something down by the river and then got hungry and crossed back to where their food is.

Eli is ridiculously cute =D

bikerinNE
10-10-2007, 07:18 PM
Just a thought.... isn't the fence designed to keep people out of the area?

Attornatus_Oregonensis
10-10-2007, 07:38 PM
Yes, but it doesn't. Homeless people regularly cross the fence to access the space under 99E just south of the Ross Island Bridge (near the cat colony). The area is dry, isolated by a steep, heavily vegetated ravine, and invisible from the outside. It is also filled with trash, including biohazards such as hypodermic needles.

devtchkajenn
10-12-2007, 12:58 PM
I hope the one you hit is alright. I'm usually exceptionally alert around that area because of this. Those cats are fed by other trail users, and have been spayed/neutered as a part of the spay/neuter and release program.



Yeah, it was. That was a tramuatic experience for me because the cat was on the opposite side of the path from me just laying down being cute, but then as i was approaching it freaked out and pysched me out by running first to the left and then darting back in front me. I didn't even have enough time to react. Despite being thrown off my bike, I called for this kitty for 5 mintues, but I had scared it so bad it wouldn't come. As I started to leave though, I heard a few shuffle below me and then saw it run away.

The next day I was home and came across the same cat (and these were different times of the day) and thankfully it was in good condition. However, I think it recognized me because when I tried to slow down and sweet talk it, it ran out of my way faster then i've ever seen a cat run before!

Needless to say, I ride very slow around any types of animals.

And AWWW there are turtles on the path?! HOW CUTE! I wish I had to ride the path towards downtown for work...

beelnite
10-12-2007, 03:32 PM
Hey just to butt in with some self-righteous indignation:

The cats have more of a right to the trail than we do, don't you think? They've found a home, a caretaker, etc. I think it's up to us 'visitors' just passing through to accomodate and not try to relocate.

Of course - at this point, I consider them 'wildlife' and not domesticated pets.

Why make this point, beelnite? Well it speaks to a philosophy a lot of folks in this forum promote: Share the road...

...with cars, trucks, pedestrians, rockin' squirrels and yes... Ferile Kitties!

bikerinNE
10-12-2007, 07:13 PM
Hey just to butt in with some self-righteous indignation:

The cats have more of a right to the trail than we do, don't you think? They've found a home, a caretaker, etc. I think it's up to us 'visitors' just passing through to accomodate and not try to relocate.

Of course - at this point, I consider them 'wildlife' and not domesticated pets.

Why make this point, beelnite? Well it speaks to a philosophy a lot of folks in this forum promote: Share the road...

...with cars, trucks, pedestrians, rockin' squirrels and yes... Ferile Kitties!

I second your opinion. Leave the cats alone.

Attornatus_Oregonensis
10-13-2007, 02:46 PM
No, I don't think the cats have "more right" to the trail than "we" do. In fact, I think that's just plain ridiculous. Also, I was suggesting that the cats' food source should be moved for their own safety. I think you should probably think about what would be best for the cats before you just declare that people should just share the trail. That's pretty simple-minded. You can't always see the cats - as was the case with my possum.

beelnite
10-15-2007, 07:44 AM
Good point Attorney. OK if they are in danger then let's look at that:

Is the danger always present? Are there things individuals can do to lessen the danger? Can all individuals be expected to uphold the vigilance required to remove the danger?

We can't keep 'wildlife' off the trail, even if we move the food... would signs help?

I want the kitties to be safe. I also think each individual can play a role in keeping them safe.

K'Tesh
10-15-2007, 06:40 PM
Suicidal Squirrel Sur Springwater (in Spring)...

A friend and I were on the Springwater heading towards downtown near the new bridges last spring. A squirrel jumped off the signpost it was sitting on and then played chicken with my friend. It would have been fine where it was, but it dodged in both directions before making a run for the right side of the trail... it did manage to avoid the front wheel, but bounced off the rear... I think its hand was stuck under the tire, but it ran off before we could stop to see if it was ok...

Now if I'd have hit the Nutria(sp?) that I encountered on Fanno Creek, I'd have been a lot more worried... talk about large rodents, too bad someone decided that they had nice fur and brought em here, then let them go.

Rodents, Marsupials, and Felines (oh my)

mizake
10-16-2007, 11:03 AM
No, I don't think the cats have "more right" to the trail than "we" do. In fact, I think that's just plain ridiculous. Also, I was suggesting that the cats' food source should be moved for their own safety. I think you should probably think about what would be best for the cats before you just declare that people should just share the trail. That's pretty simple-minded. You can't always see the cats - as was the case with my possum.

I guess I could see moving the food to the other side of the tracks and a little ways down from their shelter (to prevent any potential raccoon/cat altercations, as the raccoons tend to eat their food at night - especially if it's wet). I haven't seen the guy who feeds the cats in a while, but maybe I could talk to him about it next time I see him. Maybe work out a time where we can get there at the same time and I could hop the fence to fill their bowls. The bowls should be protected from the rain somehow, too (which is why under the bridge is a good spot for it.)