Rockville Pike is the main north-south route through White Flint. It carries a heavy traffic load and an accident or traffic incident can cause chaos.
Yet early Thursday evening, just as rush hour was winding down, traffic southbound came to an abrupt and unexpected halt. Brakes screeched, tail lights flared angrily, some cars at the end of the pack swerved violently from lane to lane, others fish-tailed between the lane markings. The left lane stopped first, then the middle, and finally the right. I was in the right lane, well behind the left and middle lanes, and at first couldn’t see what was causing the blockage. I slowed anyway. I was more interested in whether the cars behind me would stop.
As I crept forward to match the stopped lanes, I saw the awful truth about what shut down Rockville Pike . . .
A family of Canada geese, mostly adults and almost grown, but with one gosling significantly younger. Maybe it was the one who would grow to be a swan.
But they were casually crossing the Pike, single-file, webbed feet flapping on the grey pavement, with no concern whatsoever for traffic. And not at a light or crosswalk, either. Just in charge of the road, and everyone knew it. Took about two minutes to clear the three lanes, and then traffic slowly wound up again. Cars zoomed by, as though nature had never intruded on the asphalt kingdom.