USA 26 May 2014

It is Memorial Day today (Monday) and we were warned that traffic would be slow today, but we weren't expecting it to be this slow...

We came across this little fella crossing the road in Manatee County on our drive from Brooksville to Miami. Actually crossing the road is a bit of an overstatement, he'd gotten about 6 inches in and decided to take a break. We just stopped to take his photo, but then a more considerate motorist stopped and actually nudged him across the road. He could move quite fast when someone was whacking him with a sandal.

We were told that today was a special day when most people would overeat and drink (like Kiwis on almost any weekend), so we weren't surprised to find this group of buzzards dining out on a small deer by the side of the road. Yes you could see them circling in the air, just like in all those old westerns.

We passed through a few miles of panther habitat around the Big Cypress National Preserve. They range free in a large area with the main road running through it. Unfortunately around 10 are killed each year by being hit by cars. There is no warnings about them being a danger to us, just that we are a danger to them.

Even so, I wouldn't want to meet up with one...

And in case anyone is reading this to any of my grandkids please reassure them that Poppa wasn't really standing by a panther, I added the panther in later. But I am sure they guessed that already.

You don't have to go far to see alligators in the wild. We came across this guy, and about a dozen of his friends, in a little creek about two metres from the road.

We drove through the tail end of a short storm and saw horizontal forked lightning for the first time. Very dramatic. A google search tells me that this is caused by lightning going from one cloud to another, rather than the usual cloud-to-ground. We thought that it was amazing. It was disappointing to find out that it is quite common. Sigh.

No photo, sorry. It was raining and we were too chicken to get out of the car.