Thursday, March 24, 2016

Outer Space Wetlands

Last night we were in Titusville to watch a  Saturn V rocket take off from Cape Canaveral. It was carrying a Cygnus cargo ship on a resupply mission to the International Space Station. Our hotel The Siesta is directly across the water from the NASA rocket assembly building. We did not know what pad the rocket was launching from but as it turned out it took off from behind the assembly building directly across from us.  

The Saturn V light up the night sky and  illuminated the huge building. The rocket took off without a mishap. As it arched across the sky we could hear the rocket engines roaring.

NASA Photo

The little parking lot where I watched the rocket until it was just a speck of light in the sky was full of people when we walked across the street. Some sat in their cars, others brought chairs, most cheered when we could see the rocket clear the top of the NASA Vehicle Assembly Building.

Seeing the big Saturn rocket fly off was absolutely amazing. The space program is by far the best thing we have ever done as a nation. Technology invented by the space program touches almost every corner of modern life, and almost by accident NASA and the Cape Canaveral Air Force station have preserved miles and miles of wild Florida tidal wetlands.

Cape Canaveral National Sea Shore is miles of sandy beaches perfect for swimming, wading, walking, it is one of the best Atlantic beaches I have found.
Fishing At The National Sea Shore
Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge is some of the best birding I have found in Florida. Pristine habitat for large and small animals.

Painted Bunting
The Male Painted Bunting has to be one of the most colorful little birds I have ever seen.
Northern Cardinal
Have been wanting to shoot a Cardinal ever since first spotting one on some motor bike road trip somewhere. That time the bird was waiting for his picture to be taken. Sitting there singing away and I had camera issues.
This trip the one bird I wanted to shoot  was the elusive Rosetta Spoonbill and the wildlife refuse was there for me.
Spoonbill And Friends
This is not the best photo of the day but in this photo is a Snowy Egret, White Ibis, Little Blue Heroin, Glossy Ibis, and the Spoonbill. There might even be an alligator in the water but I can’t be sure.

Baby Gators Enjoying The Sun
Mom was not far away and I had no idea that mother alligators hung around to watch out for the kid, but they do.

Young Tri Color Heroin
This little Heroin almost ran right up to me before turning and hiding just a step or two away, he posed nicely for this photo and finally the sought after ever elusive..
One of the better shots of the day.  Rosetta Spoonbill and its pal Snowy Egret…
Such diverse species in a well preserved and managed habitat. Perfect for rockets, wildlife, and humans…

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