Saturday, February 11, 2017

Kennedy Space Center and Merritt Island NWR

We are now in Pensacola where we will be enjoying our last 2 weeks, for a while, in Florida.  Before our last stop in Alachua near Gainesville, we did a week in Titusville.  We stayed at the Manatee Hammock Campground across the river from Canaveral hoping to see a rocket launch.  Although there was one scheduled for that time frame, it was postponed and we were unable to view a launch.

However, we did explore Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge and we did go to the Kennedy Space Center:

always exciting to see new birds
this is a glossy ibis and below, though I could not get a good
pic, is a reddish heron

hard not to take a pic of a male
anhinga, they are so striking

a tri-color heron rushes by a juvenile roseate spoonbill

blue crab

two adult spoonbills

wood stork

wood storks and spoonbills

in the distance I spotted a juvenile bald eagle
 We had one of those "you had to be there" amazing experiences when we stopped at a canal bridge hoping to see manatees and instead saw dolphins rounding up their evening meal!  Dolphins hunt in packs and surround a school of fish herding them together then shocking them with a wall of water and gobbling some up.  It was awesome to see the dolphins swimming around to herd the fish then see the big wave and splash as they moved in!

 We spent a day at the Kennedy Space Center and only saw about half.  The highlight was the bus tour out and around the launch sites:

this massive building is where rockets are assembled

this is a close up of a hanger door on the right open and the 3 tiny little rectangles
in the middle of the pic behind the fence are people doors!

looking at lunch pad 39B where Apollo rockets and Space Shuttles were launched!

massive platform on giant treads used for moving rockets at 1mph to the launch pads

original control room for the Apollo series

bottom or first stage of the Saturn V

the Saturn V

replica of Atlantis fuel tank and rockets

space shuttle Atlantis

it's 5 o'clock here!

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