Saturday, November 01, 2008

Surprised...?

I'm still a little surprised to find myself in the Mid West now after being in the South East just a few days ago.

This morning I got up early and took a train to Springfield, Illinois. Arriving here an hour later then scheduled - better late then never (although with first impression of Springfield, 'never' may well be an option I would consider!!) .

While on the train, I found myself peering with expert eyes into all the water holes we passed, expecting at any second to spot a gator. I was in Florida only 2 weeks but I certainly learned quickly how to spot the wildlife! And now I feel I still should be on the look out. Alas there are no gators this far north.

I did spot an small eagle like bird on a power pole, but was too slow with the camera.

Springfield is small and spread out - we're about 20 minutes out. It's main claim to fame is being the home of Abe Lincoln or as many younger folk might remind you, it's also the fictitious home of the Simpsons.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Racking up a few airmiles

I just arrived in Chicago after 2 painful days of exhaustion and headless chicken type behaviour.

After flying back to London on Wednesday, I had one full day and one part day to empty the suitcase of summer holiday clothes and refill it with wintry, sensible clothing.

I had a dentist appointment and a doctors appointment, a quick visit to mum, another quick visit to a client who is in London for a few weeks only and several bits of admin to catch up on.

As far as I am aware it is all done - although I doubt I have packed well.

Now to catch up on a little sleep before catching a train south early tomorrow.

News of Lucy

Lucy had a paragliding crash yesterday in India.

I'm not sure of full details except that she hit a hill and spent several hours awaiting rescue. She was taken to a local hospital and then earlier today was flown to another hospital in New Delhi.

It seems she has a broken rib and collapsed lung.

I think we should be feeling very lucky considering some of the paragliding accidents I have heard about.

Really hope you are back on your feet very soon.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Home and chilly!

I made it home and managed to fit everything in my 2 bags. I did have to toss out most of my clothes in the meantime!

We flew last night from Miami to London and arrived in first thing this morning to a very cold frosty day. It had snowed the night before - quite substantially in some places!

A bit of a surprise when the temperature has barely dropped below 80 degrees for 2 weeks and we arrive back to about 30-32 degrees.

Brrr

Monday, October 27, 2008

The alligaor and the heron

Yesterday afternoon we went out the the edge of the Everglades and did a short walk.

First up was a great blue heron. It is a huge bird - up to 4 feet tall and 7 foot windspan. He was sat in the grass with just a bit of neck and his head showing.

A short distance further and we spotted a young gator - I'm guessing last years baby - and then some more tiny ones.
We watched for a while and then walked on a bit further.

The heron suddenly flew up and landed on the path in front of us and slowly and slyly started to stalk the baby gators. We watched as the heron got closer and closer and had his head lowered to catch his prey.

Suddenly there was a splash and a rustling of the reeds and shrubs around the waters edge. The mother gator was on her way to protect her babies!


The heron stopped dead and while still eyeing up the babies, was also fully aware of the presence of the big gator.

We were fasinated and really wanted to see the outcome - one way or the other. But a group of people walked past and the heron slowly backed away and the situation was over.

I have never been lucky enough to watch something like this and it made me feel like I was watching a nature program - without the narration.