Saturday, August 23, 2008

Leapin’ lizard!

There is something odd about the sight of a 100-foot-long gecko floating in the sky. High above a field in Mountain House a lime green lizard slithered about the sky. The inflatable kite was one of many taking to the sky for the town’s 2nd Kite Festival.

I could see the gecko floating above the park as soon as I turned off Byron Road. It was one of a couple flying in a field reserved for the larger size kites. The gecko was tethered to a car as it swished around in the morning breeze.

The kite was a pretty cool looking device. It was hollow with no sticks of framework. The gecko used cords to keep the shape internally as the breeze filled the body. Lifting the lizard’s head into the oncoming breeze fills the body and with a steady pull on the lines it jumps into the air.

It was a fun sight as the breeze would rock it back and forth with the tail often just grazing the dirt. When the morning winds finally disappeared the gecko brush along the field. As I got in a close with a wide-angle the gecko flopped and loomed up toward me. The kite owner joked I should run before it squashed me making it the first time I have ever had to run from a 100-foot-long lizard on assignment.

The day was filled with games for kids, professional stunt kite demonstrations and some family kite flying. The breeze was a little light for the kites to stay aloft for along, which is odd considering Mountain House’s reputation as the windy city. It will be fun to see what takes to the sky at next year’s festival.

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