One thing that has really surprised me here is the amount of wildlife, considering the fact that we are only 20 miles or so from New York City.
I don't mean that we have large mammals gambolling through the garden, although we do seem to have an unusually high number of fat squirrels. There is also a beautiful red parakeet-type bird that I have yet to identify, which is a bit more exciting than sparrows when you are staring out of the kitchen window doing the washing-up.
But Long Island being a good few degrees warmer than the UK, and a lot more wooded, means that we have an exotic insect population. For example, the other day I completely freaked out in the car when I realised that the faint tickling on my wrist was a simply enormous winged black creature. The Doctor thinks it may have been some kind of moth, but all I know is that it looked like a miniature version of a Doctor Who monster. It promptly disappeared down the side of my seat, only to re-emerge on my leg a minute or so later. At this point we had to stop the car and try to evict it, because The Doctor was not prepared to drive with me screaming out suddenly every few minutes. The wretched thing was now, of course, nowhere to be seen.
Then there are the mosquitoes. Every time I walk down the drive one of the little buggers comes to nibble me, and, following our neighbour's example, I have become paranoid about not leaving the porch door open at dusk. Littleboy 2 has obviously got this message. "Mummy, where are the scooters?" he asked the other day, staring out of the window. Darn, I thought, he's finally clicked that their mini-scooters aren't here - they, along with the rest of our shipment, have yet to arrive. It was only when Littleboy 1 started talking about 'scooter bites' later that I realised he meant the mosquitoes.
However, there is 'good' wildlife too. The fireflies glowing in the garden as we sit having supper. The rabbit that bounded right past the Littleboys as they played in a local playground. And the huge live hermit crabs we found on the beach yesterday, attracting a little crowd of fascinated kids. (On closer observation, the boys in the group just wanted to look at the underside of the crabs, while the girls wanted them to be killed or tortured.)
But there is one thing we don't (yet) appear to have. I nearly screamed the other day when The Doctor announced something from the kitchen; what I heard was "we have mice". Mice, the bane of my life in London - surely I should have known we couldn't escape from them. But no....he repeated, "We have ice". Yes, our great big American fridge/freezer makes industrial quantities of the stuff at the flick of a switch, as he had just discovered. So, lovely iced drinks and no rodents. Hurrah.