Just back from a expedition to Michigan in the USA. We flew in to Detroit on a North West Airlines flight just ahead of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab in his $30 billion underpants. Our primary mission was to build a periodic table full of real element samples at the HQ of Dow Chemical. Well someone has to do it.
Northern Michigan in winter is cold and snowy. Good practice for the weather we have recently been experiencing in the UK. After completing the periodic table display, it was off to a local nature preserve for a spot of winter birding. Several hours produced a species count of about three (Blue Jay, American Crow and Canada Goose). Winter squirelling would have been more productive... there were lots of spectacular black ones that pretend to be Christmas decorations in the bare trees and also some bright orange ones that fight a lot. Chilled to the bone I retreated to the warmth to log last summer's butterflies, of which more anon.