Tybee & Savannah National Wildlife Reservation.

Alligators are the stars at the reservation. We visited in mid-March (during Spring break) which is a tad early. Mid-April is better. Still we saw (in addition to the big lizards): white ibis, glossy ibis, house swallows, coots, anhinga, osprey, great white egret, cattle egret, and blue heron.  And we weren’t particularly careful about it (there were several other birds we didn’t identify).

Not all the birds were natural. This shows what my cheap mirror lens can do.

This blue heron calmly waited for us to take his picture. (he was fishing).

On Tybee, the gulls were enjoying the washed up jellyfish, when they weren’t strolling about and begging for handouts.

Tybee beach.


More field research. Aarhus is hosting a summer school in crystallography and I tagged along as an ex-crystallographer. It was refreshing, especially compared to my dear university. GSU is in the first circle of hell for academics.

Aarhus itself is a fairly modern city, with nominally friendly Danes. Most of them speak English because my Danish is non-extant. Danish itself is interesting, because the roots or the words are clearly evident when written, and almost impossible to hear when spoken. A large part of English comes from old Norse, with the word endings, conjugations, and declensions stripped away.

This shows a section through the old town. A half-timbered building and a bicyclist.
Beware of bicyclists; they will run you down and they ride in dense packs, big dense packs, big dense fast packs. At least most of the time they follow the traffic rules.

One difference between Danish and English buildings is the use of pastel colours.

Right now they’re having a big music and beer beer, festival. Danish popular music is an acquired taste. You haven’t lived until you’ve heard “smoke gets in your eyes” in Danish. The (white) singer had Louis Armstrong’s gravelly voice down pat. We left when he started in on “It’s a beautiful world.” Danish rap is best left to the imagination.

The featured image shows the aftermath of an M32 sailing race in the harbour. The water on this part of the Baltic is flat. I suspect that’s not always the case, but right now I could use a sail canoe on it without problems.


Lyon is an interesting city. Contrary to the French stereotype, the people are friendly and we’ve had no trouble with our limited French. There is a dearth of air conditioning which is problematic in 33-34 degree weather, but it does cool down at night.

The architecture reminds me of California and Italy, with the exception of the Hotel d’Ville (city hall) which clearly inspired city hall in Philadelphia. I say inspired, but less charitably could say plagiarized.

The Metro system is a marvel. It is fast, moderately clean (there is a smell), and reminds me of a cross between the London tube and Marta. It uses paper tickets the way the Tube used to (before Oyster cards). e5.50 per day.

We explored the Roman, alright Gallo-Romain ruins above the old city (Vielle Lyon). (Using the Funicular railway). Then we descended to Vielle Lyon for a Glace (ice cream, dashed good chocolate ice cream, with dashed good chocolate sauce and heaps of Chantilly (whipped cream).

For those of you who are Three Musketeer fans – Henry IV married Mary de Medici in the Cathedral de Sant Jean in Vielle Lyon.