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27 June 2016 @ 11:08 pm
Stranger in a Strange Land  

We’re on holiday in America. Flew to Michigan, then drove to North Carolina. The first night in the RV, we stayed at one of those RV campground type places that feature heavily in horror movies. Obviously we survived, but Ted and I kind of went O.O at each other. Also I flooded the back of the RV by over-flushing the toilet! Go me!

But fireflies! I’ve finally seen fireflies! They’re goddamn magical, OMG. Wow. Wow. SO COOL! Also cardinals and bluebirds! I’d never seen them before! (My high school was the Kenai Kardinals. I honestly thought ‘cardinal’ was spelled with a K until I was about 20, and spent a fair number of years wondering why the cardinals in Pamela Dean’s Secret Country books were mis-spelled. #blush)

Thunderstorm along with the first fireflies, too. Lightning in the background, flashing purple against the clouds, with golden lightning bugs scattered thru the trees in the foreground. So beautiful. I wish I had the photographic skills to have captured the imagery.

Driving through MI, there are all these great little red-winged blackbirds all over the place. Very crisp coloring. “They look like little fascists!” said Ted.

“Well-dressed ones,” I said.

“Aren’t they all?” Ted asked.

Me: JESUS CHRIST GAS IS 2.49 A LITRE WHAT THE HELoh that’s a gallon JESUS CHRIST GAS IS 2.49 A GALLON WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS COUNTRY

Also me: oh 57km to Madison oh that’s not ba–oh wait that’s miles i really don’t belong to this country anymore

Northern Tennessee, I guess. Driving thru soft misty green rolling hills. Strikes me that maybe I’m sposd to see them as mountains & that we’ve reached the Appalachians. (TBF, they were probably the Appalachian foothills, as the Appalachians proper are somewhat more mountain-like. Wee soft things, but still, pretty definitely mountains.)

Americans are so…American. So friendly. Much smiles. I’d forgotten how when you’re on a walk most of the drivers will wave at you as you go by.

And the food. Weird goddamn flavorless anemic American butter. Weird goddamn cloying corn syrup American Pepsi. O blessed American root beer. O god, the land of 40oz “medium” drinks, wth, America.

Everybody in NC: OMG YOU SO PINK YOU BURNING
Me: I’m fine, I’m sunscreened, I just turn hot pink in the heat.
(I am tanning, though. For my value of tanning.)

I don’t want to live in the hills of North Carolina myself, but I can understand why people do. None of it’s anything like Alaska, not really, but it reminds me of home in its way, and it’s beautiful. I’d be really happy to come out here for a month or so to write and let Indy run around in the sunshine.

nc_panorama

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

 
 
 
Deborah Blakedeborahblakehps on June 28th, 2016 01:49 am (UTC)
Welcome back :-)

Now you just have to swing by upstate NY...

Fireflies are amazing. (You should check out my friend Alex Bledsoe's Firefly Witch short stories, now that you've seen them.) I get them in my yard some nights. My yard is filled with cardinals and blue jays all winter, and red-winged black birds are my harbinger of spring. (On the other hand, I don't live in a mansion in Ireland, so there's that.)

I hope the rest of your trip is filled with even more wonder. And fewer toilet accidents....
martianmooncrab: pic#59898509martianmooncrab on June 28th, 2016 07:09 am (UTC)
little red-winged blackbirds

they are the prettiest things... all basic black until they open up their wings
sophielandonsophielandon on June 28th, 2016 02:05 pm (UTC)
And the prettiest (and very precise) calls: "Baa-Wheee!"
Douglas Milewskidacuteturtle on June 28th, 2016 12:40 pm (UTC)
Growing up, we called them lightning bugs. Staying out late on a summer night when you should be was bed is part and parcel of the experience. I get a kick out of telling my daughter, "go catch fireflies!" knowing that its well past her bedtime and she'll have a blast catching them. I made sure that my niece and nephew from Singapore got to catch them, too.

I recall reading a snippet about how The Bangles (the rock band) were gobsmacked when they hit the east coast and the evenings were lighting up. They didn't know that fireflies were FOR REAL.

As for summer thunderstorms, yeah, summer thunderstorms. Sometimes terrifying and sometimes it's a first row seat to the best light show you'll ever see. Often both.

Now you got me thinking of Dixie Storms. I'm going to listen to a little Maria McKee.
Childlightchildlight on June 28th, 2016 02:27 pm (UTC)
OMG you are so close to me here in South Carolina LOL. As a kid my cousin and I would peel the glowing butts off the lightening bugs aka fireflies and stick them to our shirts so we could run around the yard glowing. I cringe to think about it now.
Fighting Crime with a Giant Dandelion Since 2013: Libellula juliapameladean on June 28th, 2016 05:12 pm (UTC)
I'm so glad you got to see fireflies and cardinals. And red-winged blackbirds are so very fancy. So are blue jays. I haven't spent much time in the part of the country you're in, though my brother and sister-in-law live in Raleigh. They really love many aspects of it.

Have a great time.

P.