Strange collection – blog 26

I am going to see an extinct butterfly’s last home so I may not have time to write a blog tomorrow (now today), so here, as a stop-gap,  is a collection of wildlife sightings and sightings of Americana that I just want to get off my chest:

  1. Amerigo Vespucci, after whom America is named, probably never came here, and C Columbus only got to the Bahamas. So this place might have been discovered by two geezers setting out from my home town of Bristol in 1497 – John and  Sebastian Cabot.  I’m in Cabotia!
  2. I was driving along a busy big road in Utah when in the distance I saw two ravens.  They appeared to be mobbing something in the central reservation between the carriageways.  I assumed it might be a fox but looked hard as I dashed past and saw an adult golden eagle not ten feet away tucking into some dead mammal.
  3. I haven’t seen many butterflies – but I have seen a monarch.
  4. A distant sign caught my eye as it seemed to say SOD in large letters.  This being the USA I thought it might be GOD, but it was a billboard advertising turf – Farm Fresh Sod.
  5. There are two magpies here – black-billed which is very similar to ours but has a longer tail, and yellow-billed which is very similar to ours but has a yellow bill.
  6. I could hardly believe this building which I drove past in Ohio.  I await the new RSPB headquarters in the shape of an avocet, or WWF’s panda building.
  7. I had a sudden worry that some of the things that I have been calling great white egrets were actually the white phase of great blue heron – but they aren’t ‘cos those don’t live where I’ve been.  But the GWEs don’t seem to kink their necks in quite the way that European ones do.
  8. I did see a roadside sign in Colorado saying ‘Vote Obama’ so somebody loves him.
  9. One of the consequences of having states, making their own laws, is that laws on fireworks differ greatly.  This is why you often see fireworks being sold and advertised at state boundaries.
  10. The United Kingdom is about the same size as the state of Oregon (I’ve never been to Oregon) but has 15 times as many people living in it.
  11. There are lots of billboards asking you to drain the water from your boat so that you don’t carry non-native species around the USA – if I had a boat I would comply.
  12. And there are also, for the same reason, notices asking you not to bring your own wood for barbecues but to get it locally – those tree diseases…

 

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3 Replies to “Strange collection – blog 26”

  1. Hi Mark. Love the Ohio building! Thoroughly enjoying your first-hand reports of sightings and other issues. This is beginning to build into an equivalent of James Fisher's "Wild America", with descriptions of motels and restaurants thrown in for good measure.

    Best wishes,
    John.

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  2. Loving the updates from your trip. The whale-watching sounds like it has been really worthwhile.

    Re: America - Here in Colombia they get very annoyed if you say America when you are referring to the USA.

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  3. I saw a building in Boston Massachusetts shaped like a milk bottle ! ( I think it was a diner)

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