It’s a Bird. It’s a Plane….

February 23, 2009 by Ellen Stimson in Vermont. New England

There are five seasons in New England. There are the same four that everyone knows about plus mud. When the snows melt and the rivers start to flow again, things get pretty muddy down here in the valleys. There are several feet of snow on the mountains and before long it will all be rolling downhill our way. We had two blizzards here this week and there are a couple of feet of new powder out there now, so it will be a while before we have to haul out the muck boots. But a couple of weeks ago we had a few fifty degree days in a row and another sign that spring might be coming back to Vermont making the rounds at coffee counters in all the country stores.

Our friend Irma was one of the ones telling the tales. She and her son had been driving along RT 30 enjoying the sun and avoiding the slippery melting ice when they heard it. It was a loud thwump. It scared them both. The ice must have fallen off an overhanging tree. Luckily it hadn’t hit the windshield. These falling icicles can be real hazards, off of houses onto pets and people, and from draping trees across windshields and car roofs. They figured they’d better pull over and check for damage. Sometimes, the ice gets stuck up there on the ski rack and what didn’t crack any windows the first time gets a second chance when it rolls the rest of the way down.

Irma’s son pulled over and got out to check things out. A minute passed in quiet sunshiny stillness. He slowly got back into the car. Irma, asked “Well, did you see what hit the car.?”
“Well is anything broken?”
“Nope.”…(Her son is a fifth generation Vermonter. Why say in 42 words what can just as easily be conveyed in one? Irma is from CT. She has raised three boys here with her Vermonter husband and has yet to fully adjust)
“Was it ice? Did it roll off somewhere on the road?”
“Well, come on then. What was it?”
“…..Oh nooo….”

And then they headed quietly, in stoic New England fashion, to the car wash.

You see when the river ice begins to crack, the rivers start to flow, and the hawks can finally find breakfast again. The fish are big and fat, and cold and the hawks seem to drop more of them from Feb-April than at any other time. They make a horrible noise apparently when they hit the car. And the fish scales can be found affixed to windows and radio antennas for months. There are a lot of these stories right about now. Maybe the hawks mouths are too cold to hold them just yet? Maybe the fish are too cold to be held. Everyone has a theory…..

So, yes, fish falling out of the sky. Really.

Irma and her son went to the car wash, and unfortunately, there were bits of trout caught in the ski rack that sort of baked on in the car wash. The car smelled liked cooked fish for a few days. Luckily the blizzard froze it again, and so the smell is gone for now. The benefits apparently of unending winter…..
We have fish falling out of the sky up here.
Maybe Job was from Vermont.


  • laurwilk

    Oh my gosh! This happened to me before and absolutely NO ONE believed me! I was driving alone in Minnesota a few years ago and something hit the top of my car – REALLY LOUD. I pulled over and got out and at first I didn’t see anything. I kept driving but I could hear something sliding a bit when I braked/accelerated. I got out again and there was a pretty mauled half fish on the top of my car. I never really knew how it got there. I didn’t know if it flew out of a semi or what could have possibly happened. Maybe a hawk dropped it on my car too? Ha. It was really the STRANGEST thing. I’m just relieved to hear this happened to someone else. I thought I was crazy!

  • Texan Mama @ Who Put Me In Charge

    THat is the craziest story I’d ever heard. It’s so funny I am definitely going to have to tell my husband about it!

  • library lady

    This is a story that could only be illustrated by Salvador Dali!

  • Bia

    THIS is a story for the dinner table tonight . . . my boys will LOVE this.

  • Jamie

    Fish falling from the sky? Hahaha, that’s quite bizarre! Only in Vermont, I would guess?

    Hope you’re staying warm out there.

  • Kate

    Fish falling from the sky? Jesus is coming. I just know it.

  • laurwilk

    Have you remembered the location of the Japanese or Indian restaurants downtown?

  • laurwilk

    I’ve been very interested in the topic of hawks dropping fish ever since I read this post. I really had never considered that to be the reason that I found a fish on top of my car. I figured a kid threw it or …I had no idea, really.

    But, my research shows that this really does happen. From what I read, it seems that eagles often times challenge hawks for the fish that they have. Hawks are better at catching fish than the eagles are and so the eagle then challenges the hawk for the fish. Sometimes in the challenge, both end up losing out and the fish falls to the ground.

    Very interesting. I have truly always wondered how that fish could have possibly gotten on the roof of my car!

  • starrlife

    That just cracked me up! I’ve been through many a mud season but never had a fish fall on my car…. how weird must that be?

  • beesknees


    This is a Vermont story to be sure

  • Kate

    You are so wise and I wish I could e-mail you, but I don’t have your address and can’t find it. Will you e-mail me? You can find it on my profile. But only if you want to.

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