Thursday, April 28, 2011


Taking in a White Sox game at the U.S. Cellular Field.

Watching the El train go by the Chicago Library Centre.

Checking out the skyline from the Museum park grounds.

Watching people check out their reflections in Millennium Park's Cloud Gate sculpture.

A view of the Mayor's green roof atop of City Hall.

Water Tower and John Hancock building.

Jelly fish exhibit (totally awesome) at the Shedd Aquarium.

And the classic Chicago sign for the Chicago Theatre.
It has been ages since I've posted on this blog, so I decided to pick it up again, mostly because I had the above fun photos to share from a recent trip to Chicago. I've been looking forward to visiting the "windy city" ever since the company I work for was acquired by a Co. based in one of the neighbouring cities. I had the weekend to go exploring on my own and I have to say, it was a lot of fun.

Highlights from this trip were: eating deep dish pizza at Lou Malnati's (it was so good, I felt a little sick after); taking in a Sox game (even in the freezing rain - the beer kept me warm, sort of); going on a green architecture tour with the Chicago Architecture Foundation (I highly recommend this as you get to see the Mayor's green roof - not visible to the average tourist); seeing countless Impressionist and Modern works of art at the Chicago Art Institute (this was recommended to me and I'm so glad for it!); and meeting a very cool local designer at her store - Workshop.

Here are all of the photos I have uploaded from Chicago:
Chicago Apr 25, 2011

This was a trip that I took on my own and I was glad to have done it. It's a great feeling to know you're not afraid to travel when single. Yahoo!

Until next time, kate.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Rock bang!

There was a time when I thought I might retire this blog, but my Dad's questions about when the next post was going to be up changed my mind.

Lots of changes have happened over the past month and a half. I made my move back up to Canada, left beautiful South Carolina behind and settled into a new city: Ottawa.

The transition has been pretty smooth. I was lucky to know that I had a part-time job waiting for me, and a sister to live with, when I arrived in this new place. I'm working for TerraChoice Environmental Marketing as a communication and media consultant. And you'll never guess what one of my tasks is... to write for their blog. It's been a big learning curve and I'm very glad for it. I suppose those of you who are interested can let me know what you think:

I guess I'm going to keep my own blog, er, thing going. I'll write about some of the issues around sustainability and climate change that I've been learning about, and share with you some of the adventures I take part in. I know you all really care about that.

I'll leave you with a video I took of the fireworks display in Ottawa this past July 1. There are some funny and overly enthusiastic Canadian chanters toward the end. Oh, and I should explain the title of this blog. Alexiss took me to a completely laugh-your-ass-off rockband play as part of the Ottawa Fringe Festival. Imagine two young White Stripes-but-Germans rocking out on super tiny instruments (and playing well) and having the audience chant, "Rock, bang. Rock-bang!" Funny. And as a teaser for the blogging that is to come, I will say to watch out for it... change is afoot.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sunsets over South Carolina

I can’t believe it’s come so fast… my last day in South Carolina is finally here. It’s hard to put this experience into words and just sum it all up, but I can't leave without saying goodbye.

Nine months ago I set off on this adventure to teach students environmental science in a place that received some very high praise. I was told I would see dolphins swimming by the beach every day and that I would learn to hold snakes and alligators. The first week I spent in this southern paradise, I could hardly believe my eyes (and much to my fellow staff members amusement) - I never grew bored of the sight.

Some of the things I will remember most are the kayak paddles across the estuary to Botany Bay island, walking the various staff members' dogs on the beach, and working with the many young students and trying my best to answer their curious and bright questions. I know this is a place I would like to come back to and visit and I would also like to invite my friends to come up and visit Canada. Yes, it is colder up in the great north, but we know how to have a good time, too.

I'll leave you and this adventure with a few sunset pics taken from the camp's beach on Seabrook Island (thanks for the idea, Dad).

Monday, April 21, 2008

Alligator wrangling in four steps...

American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) - direct descendant of 45 ft. crocodiles that roamed the Earth with the dinosaurs.

Did you know...

Alligators have a third eyelid called a nictitating membrane, which is transparent and allows them to see underwater.

In their lifetime, alligators can grow up to 2,000 teeth. Imagine being this guy's tooth fairy!

If you thought alligators were around all year, think again. Though the weather is quite nice in the southeastern United States, gators go into hibernation from December to March.

Alligators are now under protection and their numbers, once listed as an endangered species, are slowly climbing. They can live to be between 30 and 50 years old.

Barrier Island's alligator, Carolina, is roughly five years old and small for her age. She's been in captivity her entire life and will probably not grow to normal size. Alligators can get to be up to 10ft in length, but records have shown some to reach up to 19ft. We know we have a gator because Carolina has a rounded snout, only a slight overbite and is fairly dark in colour.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter tales and a romp through a swamp

Easter is usually a time when families get together over dinner or a meal and hang out. This Easter, being far away from home, I took advantage of the weekend to go "swampin" with some of my staff who were also spending this holiday sans family (though one had a few members with them... a very funny bunch, too, I might add).

Nine of us took off on Friday to start a trip that would take us to a dark and murky place - Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia. We overnighted at Laura S. State Park just outside the swamp... and let me just say that the mosquitos were bad. We did make it through the night, despite some having eaten a rather unsavoury can of beans, and woke up bright and early to get our canoes in the waters at Okefenokee.

And paddle we did. You can see from the pictures just how amazing the swamp is. We did see a number of gators, though nowhere near as many as if we'd paddled further into the swamp. I'm alright with that. I got close enough to them to have had my fill. We even named one that made camp right beside our overnight platform. He will forever be one-eyed George to us. Though we did tease him a bit, we were reminded by a slow and toothy display that he was a threatening predator to be respected.

Ooo, check out this cottonmouth snake (venomous) that one of our campers almost stepped on. It gets its name from its pink (cotton-coloured) mouth that it displays to ward off enemies. Worked for me!

After a peat moss fight (one of the best mucky messes you can ever get yourself into), lots of paddling, water snakes and other wildlife sightings and joke battles overflowing, we all got back safe and sound. This swamp is totally worth visiting. Our only regret was not being able to spend more time there, to get deeper into its belly... er, not an alligators.

For more photos from this trip, you can visit my album on google's website:

Okefenokee Adventure

In other travels, I visited Alexiss in Ottawa last weekend. It was super nice, despite circumstances including poor Lexy falling down some stairs. We celebrated Easter over some gifts sent to us from Mom and Dad and made a video of a "chick vs. bunny" race:

The weather made sure not to disappoint and snowed steadily while I was there. I took pictures of the paths that had to be carved out of the stuff to show my southern counterparts that, yes, we Canadians do endure a blustery winter. It's a bit embarrassing to admit that I've never been to Ottawa before, but I liked what I saw and met with some very exciting organizations/companies while I was there (so keeping my fingers crossed that something will come through from this visit). Seeing our parliment buildings was also kind of uplifting and made me feel proud to know my sister was starting her career with them. That's all for now folks. Remember to drop me an email to let me know how you're doing.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

It's been a while

I'm in it real deep this time. Well, the water and the mud, that is.

Most of these pictures were taken in January. I really shouldn't rub it in, but it's really not that cold here right now. Granted, I am wearing a wet suit while seining with Jessica and I'm freezing in our infamous "mud pit" on a Let's Sea class, but that's nothing compared to Canada.

I've been rather tardy with a post because let's just say things have been up and down with the program down here. Our staff has been rather occupied with the comings and goings of bosses and, well, I can't really write more. It's enough to say that my southern experience has been quite the full one. This post will be a short, but I just wanted to share a few photos and will try and write something more meaningful soon.

Hope you are all well.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Bottlenose dolphins galore

Nature's body surfers. (from Tideland Treasures, great book, by the way)

Bottlenoses cavort in ships' wakes and near shore waters. This social mammal travels in "pods" or herds of 4 to 6. Members tend or defend wounded, sick or young. They communicate underwater by high-frequency squeaks and whistles emitted through their blowholes. Dolphin navigate and locate food by making guttural clicks and responding to echoes made when the sounds rebound from objects. This built-in sonar is known as "echolocation".

I got the above footage from the beach in front of the camp I work at. The dolphins regularly swim in this bit of the water known as the "estuary". The island across the way is known as Botany Bay. On a side note, I went kayaking there today to collect some shells. The temperature was above 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Mmmm, I'm kind of digging this weather.