|Two chaps on a bench
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
The bloke & my dad
Ready for heron-watching in the Nisqually Bird Sanctuary, Western Washington, USA. We also spotted two garter snakes, which made the bloke quite excitable despite their relative harmlessness apart from the stink they make when you pick them up. (The UK doesn't have many snakes.) Our biggest thrill, although we wouldn't have known it had we not met an avid bird-spotter who told us what we'd stumbled across, came from an unprepossessing brown water-bird known as a Virginia rail. For such a supposedly rare, shy and retiring creature, it sure was making an awful racket, presumably because it resented sharing its bit of the reed bed with a couple of ducks. (The ducks eventually had enough of the abuse and pottered off to a safe distance from the irritable rail. Quite sensible, really.)
This bird-spotter was one of the few people with whom we conversed for more than two minutes without him remarking on my dad's resemblance to a certain actor.