This past Christmas, Santa brought a wildlife camera to Casa de Shafer. We recently had reason to mount it on the front porch (you’ll soon see why) and we inadvertently captured everything that went by our house over an 18 hour period, providing a nice peek into a slice of the middle of this country.
For reference, my house is on a cul-de-sac off the end of a dead-end road. In other words, you have to be going here to get here and there is no through traffic.
Overall the critter cam has worked out great, as we’ve been able to get better looks at the deer, fox, raccoons, and other wildlife that frequent our property. With the abundant deer, my fruit trees are popular and I’ve slipped and nearly fallen from the remnants the deer leave behind.
It also reveals how many times per day our neighbor with the Fusion is going places.
He’s competing with this Ford Expedition that made ten passes during that same period.
White Fords are surprisingly popular here as two adjacent houses have identical F-150s, this being one of them.
Of those two houses, both have second pickup; one has recently added a current generation F-150 and the other has a late model F-250. Both are white, of course.
White is not my preferred color and it sometimes does no favors to the lines and shape of a vehicle (although they all have their bad color). One also could easily argue no color would help the aerodynamic boxiness of a mail rig.
And what a marked car belonging to the Missouri State Highway Patrol is doing here perplexes me. Nobody up the street (there are about ten house above me and you’ve probably deduced they are all uphill) is a trooper.
The Patrol buys its cars and SUVs in a variety of colors, so white isn’t a universal theme.
There is a white van sitting in our driveway but being the nonconformist, I enjoy red. Don’t look at the timestamp as you’ll know I slipped out of work early that day.
Somebody else also has an affinity for red. Yes, pickups are that common as most people here have at least one. This snapshot in time has captured more pickups than anything else.
Crew-cab pickups are likely the most versatile vehicle currently available.
As an aside, being toward the bottom of a hill (it’s about an 8% grade) really allows a person to get a head of steam built up on the way down. Rainstorms will produce whitecaps in the street which is always fun to watch. I also get whitecaps in the backyard just in front of where that buck is standing several pictures up.
By now some people in other locales are likely scratching their heads over all the privately owned light trucks but that descriptor doesn’t fit all of them. This Ford F-350 is commercially owned and has certainly been earning its keep.
This Chevrolet Silverado belongs to a contractor doing some remodeling next door.
Even this Chevrolet Suburban is being used in commercial yet discreet ways. It belongs to a mortician and it has hauled what you are thinking. He also has a black Chrysler minivan.
You may have also deduced nearly everything seen so far is from an American based manufacturer. True that. But there are some infrequent examples of other makes, vehicles that weren’t as well captured.
The house having the two white F-150s also has a car. It’s this BMW convertible – white, of course.
The young gentleman who drives this Subaru works at the local Ace Hardware and we chat regularly. It must be impossible to find a muffler for this Subaru because that thing makes the god-awfullest “blahhhh” noise as it downshifts to go up the hill. It could wake the dead and is much louder than the souped up Dodge diesel being used by a lawn mowing service in the summer.
A Honda CrossTour (or something like that) is an infrequently seen bird. I do rather like it in a functional and unique way. This and a Honda Odyssey were the only Hondas captured.
A Nissan Armada. Until now, I had not realized how many white vehicles permeate my neighborhood.
This Toyota Sequoia and my next-door neighbor’s infrequently driven Toyota Tacoma are it for Toyotas in my neighborhood. It’s interesting how both are light trucks, but that seems to go along with the general theme.
Passenger cars are simply dwindling in numbers.
Being middle America, there is always going to be the obligatory Impala, the car I’ve been calling the Camry of the Midwest.
Long ago, editor Jim Klein and I had a long conversation on the automotive landscape and how that look changes as one visits various parts of the United States and Canada. Admittedly, showing what goes by my front door is a microcosm within a microcosm.
As you can tell from these pictures, Ford and GM are king.
There are a lot of people I know who will drive nothing but a GM product. Ford might be a reluctant second choice for these people but the certainty is nothing else is ever a consideration. On the flip side, there are those in which only a Ford product is considered for purchase. That mindset is still very much alive although this might easily be a regional thing.
Much discussion has been made on these pages about people walking away from various American automobile companies and from my vantage point it’s obvious their market share has declined but much less than it has elsewhere.
It’s rather like the law of averages where there is always the high that offsets the low.
But trying to put a different spin on the overall picture wasn’t the intent of my placing a game camera by the front door. I was on a mission and getting all these finds was simply a bonus. You can see the the stupid fuzzy head of my target in this picture.
I needed to confirm how many groundhogs were present; they will be eliminated one way or another. However, I do give this disgusting rodent some credit. Only for a
Dodge Ram pickup did he stick his ugly head out.