Seen on the street

“Look a deer!” and our car slows as if we have never seen deer standing beside the road. I’ve seen plenty of deer out in the wild. I barely look **really**. My husband points with excitement every time. As did our German visitors when they followed us home from the airport**,** and we passed a small flock standing along a dark stretch of road.
“That could be dangerous!” they exclaimed. Bemused we agreed. “Deer have jumped in front of us.”
Mostly we enjoy the deer as a serendipitous moment breaking the monotony of long drives. One such moment came when we started to pass a semi-truck with an empty flatbed. I glanced out the window and did a double take.
“Look! It’s a Tonka truck tied down with blue straps.” The large toy barely made a blip on the back of that truck.
“I wonder if he is making a big deal of giving his kid a Tonka truck,” I said and added, “Slow down, I want to get a picture of that.” I reached for the camera, focused it on the toy swaddled in blue tie-downs and shot a few a frames before we drove ahead of the truck.
The big and little trucks brought a smile during a long drive, as did the bear driving a car. My husband spotted it in a car passing him on the Interstate. Okay, it was a huge, stuffed teddy bear at the wheel of a car being pulled by a van. It tickled his fancy and kept him alert looking for other oddities.
Those were the first and last time we saw toys on the road, but armadillos are another story. Years, ago we drove from our snow bound, northern home state to NASA and saw an armadillo waddling across the median. We had never seen an armadillo outside a zoo or a book. So we ignored all the signs forbidding us against slowing down or stopping on the NASA highway.
I reached for the camera. The children scrambled to the window to see this rare creature in its natural state. An official looking car saw us, turned and headed our way. I quickly snapped another frame of the small creature. It was too far away to fill the picture. That did not matter. We had seen an armadillo.
Then we moved to southern Arkansas where these shelled creatures litter the highway every spring and I haven’t taken a picture of one since.
We did take a picture of the strange looking car leaving the off ramp of the four lane. I spotted it first. It had some contraption on the roof of the car.
“What is that? Follow it” I urged my husband.
He revved the engine to catch up with the unusual car. We followed until we were close enough to identify it as the Google Street car. Perhaps it came to do an update of the city streets and its full street view camera mounted to the top of the car recorded us following it.
We grabbed a cell phone and took several pictures for social media, “Look what we saw: the Google car. It was decorated with Google insignia and had a 360 degree camera fixed to its roof.”
We followed for a while. The Google car driver didn’t pull out his cell phone to snap a picture of our glee, nor did the truck driver with the Tonka Truck or the Teddy Bear co-pilot. But we still keep our eyes peeled for strange sights. It keeps us alert if nothing else.