Life has been so hectic lately. First, my laptop had to go the the black-hole hell of the Geek Squad support hospital because my wireless card had stopped working. After being without it for three weeks, an inept but apologetic employee called to tell me that while my laptop was back from the black hole, somehow they had managed to drop it, breaking the screen, and now needed my permission to repair the damage that they had caused. What? So now I’ve been without it for another week with no idea when it will be returned in working condition to me. Seems like really poor customer service to me!

During this time, I was fortunate to spend a week in the mountains of the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania. Fall migration is well under way, especially the raptor migration at Hawk Mountain with kettles of Broad-winged Hawks, Sharp-shinned Hawks, Red-tailed Hawks, Bald Eagles, Coopers Hawks, warblers, and Monarch Butterflies all making their way south. The Monarch above was found while hiking up the trail to the peak of Hawk Mountain.

We stayed with friends at a house owned by their friend in Palmerton, PA, and had a great time traveling around the area and observing the wonders of migration. Imagine our surprise when we discovered that Palmerton is the site of one of the first and largest EPA Superfund Sites!
I had not planned to be offline for a week as I had gotten a USB “aircard” for the little netbook that is my computer until the Geek Squad releases my laptop from captivity. What I did not know, however, is that aircards are only useful if you’re getting a phone signal. These mountains of Pennsylvania are notorious for dead zones, dropped calls, roaming unknown networks, etc. So, despite my best intentions I was offline for that period of time. It’s amazing how many emails, RSS feeds, twitter posts, etc. can pile up in a week!

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