A not great ending to a not great start…

storm, landscape, road, farm, rural, alberta, horizontal, prairie, summer, weather, Dan Jurak,

Life isn’t all peaches and cream. Some days are better than others. Some worse.

It all started with squirrels.

We have squirrels in our neighbourhood and as anyone who has lived near them can tell you they can be very destructive. Cute to look at not but not the damage they can cause to your property nibbling and chewing away at wires and insulation.

Around seven one morning the family dog, Cooper was standing at the double doors to our deck and crying. He saw something and he wanted to get it. Coop as we call him is a natural hunting dog. He was never trained to but he instinctively sniffs out, points and then flushes partridge all on his own on our walks in the country.

I haven’t raised a rifle to my shoulder in over forty years. I stopped hunting. That was my choice for Cooper his brain is wired to hunt.

Geese, ducks, magpies crows, rabbits and all other manner of creatures he ignores with the exception of partridge and SQUIRRELS. When he sees a squirrel he goes crazy.

So with my dog alarm having just gone off I got up from the computer and looked outside  on our deck to see a squirrel inside our humane cage.

I don’t harm the squirrels but instead cover the cage to calm them down and then drive them out into the country where there are large trees and release them. That was the plan on this grey and rainy day.

In a few minutes I was dressed and driving out of our cul de sac with a squirrel in the back or the Rav. As soon as I looked north, the direction outside of town, I saw the most incredible low, and stretching from horizon to horizon rolling cloud. It was white against a dark grey sky.

Instead of doing the smart thing and grabbing my camera equipment then I figured that I would drop off the squirrel and then hurry back to get my gear and chase the slow moving cloud.

Fifteen minutes later I was back home and soon out the door in pursuit of the rolling cloud. It was then that I noticed that my gas tank was slightly more than a quarter full. Never mind I thought I would soon be ahead of the cloud and making my way back to town for gas.

Once on the highway the cloud seemed further away. The more I drove the further away it was from me. I drove for about twenty minutes before I decided that I would never catch the photogenic cloud. Looping back in an arc I made my way into Edmonton stopping to take photos but never really being happy with what I got.

A full tank later I was at home and doing normal household stuff.

Keeping an eye on the forecast and my radar app I could see that things might shape up into an interesting evening and I had decided that I wasn’t going to miss out on the evening fireworks that were predicted by the weather forecasters.

Around seven in the evening I made my way out of town in the direction what looked to be interesting storm clouds on radar. Twenty five minutes later I could see a nice storm cloud on the horizon and made my way towards it taking the odd photo agains the now ripening canola. I continued this for another twenty minutes or so and stopped for a few quick pics before getting closer to the storm. Getting back into the vehicle I put the Rav in gear only to hear a grinding sound. I stopped and then moved forward the the sound disappeared.

A kilometer or so the noise returned, a loud, squealing, grinding noise. This was scary. Half an hour from home, should I call a tow truck?

Thinking that my brakes might need adjusting and that was the problem I pulled the parking brake on and with it holding the breaks pressed on the gas in forward and reverse. The noise disappeared. Whew! Problem solved.

I was close to the storm and it was now losing steam so I stopped where you see the photo above and took a few photos.

Pulling the vehicle around to return home I went a few hundred meters and the noise returned even noisier than before. Stopping the vehicle I got out, looked at the rear driver side, which is where it sounded like the noise was coming from, couldnt see anything and got back in. Driving forward the noise disappeared.

I safely made it all the way home until a hundred meters from home the dreaded noise returned.

So here I write this having made an appointment with a mechanic to get this fixed.

Maybe it is squirrel karma?

Happy shooting,


~ by Dan Jurak on July 19, 2018.

7 Responses to “A not great ending to a not great start…”

  1. Those car sounds give me a sinking feeling in my gut.Looks like an interesting storm in the photo, brings to mind last weekend’s “banger.”

  2. We’re headed into a few weeks of great storms and lots of blossoming canola. About the vehicle, I am hoping that it isn’t serious. I don’t think that it is. I guess I will find out tomorrow morning.

  3. We had a similar thing happen to my wife’s car last fall and twice I might add. The first time the sound was so loud that we had the car towed on a flatbed to the dealer and they couldn’t find anything once the car got there. The second time the noise was so loud that the entire neighbourhood was wondering what was going on. My wife parked her car till I got home from the office. I suggested she drive the car while I listened and as it turns out, the darned squirrels were to blame. It took me a while to find the problem but the squirrel has put a nut in the wheel well of the car and the nut was trapped between the brakes and the wheel of the car.

    So maybe it is squirrel karma ..check your brakes carefully for things the squirrels might be storing.

    Hope you get to the bottom of it and a great story Dan, as always.

  4. That is too weird!

    I park in a garage where no squirrels have ever been seen. The car visits the mechanic tomorrow morning so hopefully it will be problem solved.

    Your story had me chuckling. Too funny!


  5. Arun, you were close. I just got a call from my mechanic and he found a rock in the brake caliber. LOL

  6. Lol Dan! I am glad it wasn’t anything serious and glad you got it sorted out.

  7. BTW Arun, the mechanic had mentioned to me that he has seen the damage that squirrels have done to vehicles. One interesting one was where the air filter opening was full of dog food. LOL

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