Saturday, October 31, 2009

Well, the month is up and Karen will be back posting tomorrow. Jasper has his Ferrari hat on so it's time for us to take off. Thanks for allowing me to share my pictures with you all. Farewell from the Space Coast.``Sharon

Friday, October 30, 2009

You cannot live on the Space Coast without witnessing a shuttle launch. This was taken from across the Indian River in Titusville, probably the best place to watch and experience the launch. I have gone several times by boat to the Banana River to watch but the saying goes, "you almost guarantee that the launch will be postponed if you go to all the trouble of going out in your boat to see it".

Thursday, October 29, 2009

My favorite part of the Kennedy Space Center other than the IMAX theaters is the Rocket Garden, a wonderful history of the U.S. space program. The Saturn V is pictured lying horizontally because it's too tall to display vertically. My Rockets of the World Chart gives a good comparison of the Saturn V bottom right to the shuttle, second from the left in the bottom row. It always amazes me when I see the small cramped capsule where the astronauts were seated. The shuttle's crew compartment is so much larger and the fact that they can move around once in space has got to be a plus.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Here we are back on the Space Coast. Most people flock to Daytona Beach and Cocoa Beach in Central Florida but there is a very pristine beach on the Canaveral Seashores called Playalinda Beach. Since it's located in a protected area, there are NO condos. There is an admission fee to get into the Canaveral Seashores area but you can use your National Park pass to get in. It's worth not having to look at all the ugly tall buildings. The only structures in the distance are the launch pads from the Space Center. It is east of Titusville and north of the Kennedy Space Center. There is a controversial nude beach there, but it is located at the far north end of the beach in a fairly remote location.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Junkanoo is a Bahamian celebration that is held twice a year: January 1st and December 26th. In the large cities like Nassau it is a carnival-like festival but in small villages in the Outer Islands the kids take newspaper and shred it into strips and make their own costumes and paint their faces to match. This boy was an incredible drummer.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Dolphins often accompany you while sailing. They especially like ride your bow wake. This one looks like it's floating in the air because the water is so clear on the Bahama Banks.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Conch on the Barbie. Living on a boat meant diving for one's supper. Conch was my "hamburger" of the sea: I figured anything you could do with hamburger, you could do with conch. Once you figure out how to get the conch out of the shell, the recipes are endless. This is conch pounded and put on the fire. Yummy.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

This is a typical Bahamian sailing smack boat. An old Bahamian I knew named Robbie, who was almost completely blind often sailed one from the Staniel Cay in the Exumas to Nassau (about 85 miles to the NE) and back with only a compass. Each April Bahamian sailors head to Georgetown in the Exumas for the National Family Island Regatta. I have not attended in a long time and I hope that they have kept their tradition and not gone to mylar and kevlar and all the other high tech gadgets that the sailboat racing industry have embraced.

Friday, October 23, 2009

I am including the Bahamas in my Florida pictures since as a sailor and diver, it has long been considered my "backyard". One of the places I visited on my sailboat was Small Hope Bay on Andros Island. In the 70's a small cottage industry was started in the area. They named the company Androsia and although now it is a well known company with a factory and web site, it began with old claw foot tubs for the tie dying and lines strung between palm trees for drying the fabric. ~~Sharon

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Blowing Rock Perserve is located on Jupiter Island (about 30 miles north of West Palm Beach). The rocky shoreline is comprise of Anastasia limestone. During the winter, after a strong front the seas can strike the rocks with enough force to create saltwater plumes several feet high, thus giving the area its name.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Key West isn't just about Hemingway and bar hopping. There is the Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory where you can walk amongst the many beautiful butterflies.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

If you tavel to the Lower Keys you will eventually come across the "Key Deer Crossing" signs. On a recent trip we finally saw several in a trailer park on Big Pine Key. This picture does not give a good perspective but they are less than 3 feet tall. Key deers are aptly called toy deers.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I lived aboard a sailboat for many years and one of the places that the boat was docked was Port Canaveral. This was taken back in the pre-cruise ship days, when the Port was a scallopers' haven. A much quieter, less touristy period for the Port. Unfortunately, the scallopers raped the beds dry and slowly one by one their rusted ships left the area; the putrid smell of scallop shells disappeared, and the the cruise ships arrived.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Edison, Ford and Harvey Firestone tried to find a plant that would grow in Florida that would produce rubber. Consequently Edison planted many differen trees on his estate, include the huge banyan tree, which is in front of the Visitor's Center and the Mysore fig tree. It was interesting to see the botanical gardens and the laboratory and museum that are on the grounds of the estate.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A must see place in Ft. Myers is the Edison and Ford Estate. Two of our great inventors, Thomas Edison and Henry Ford had winter homes beside each other. They have been beautifully restored and the grounds are a tropical paradise. Pictured are Ford's and Edison's house respectively. I especially loved Edison's house since it was a true Florida home in the old traditonal way of open breezeways and lots of veranda space. Further down the path is a barn with many of Ford's old cars. The houses are located on the Caloosahatchee River’s south side and affords a beautiful view of the waterway.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Here's the first baby with Mom--or Dad?? They were very patient with my constantly observing them. Oddly enough my cats did not bother them and they didn't seem concerned that there were cats around. Unfortunately when they left, my spider plant had a very flat top.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

One day I found a pair of doves on our front porch. They had chosen my spider plant as a place to nest. It's in a perfect location, just a bit of morning sun, then shade the rest of the day. I couldn't blame them for choosing this spot and they gave me great pleasure checking out their nesting progress.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I have seen both the Navy's Blue Angels and the Air Force's Thunderbirds perform before this show, but have never seen them at the same air show. What a treat!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

In 2003 the Patrick Air Force Base on the coast here hosted a spectacular air show. At that show we were treated to a flyby of a P51 Mustang of WWII vintage and an A10 Warthog as part of the U.S. Air Force's program called the USAF Heritage Flight that showcases the evolution of their airplanes over the years. Karen will recognize the Mustang: Crazy Horse.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Jasper goes to work with me every day. When the weather is cooler, I like to ride my bike so I bought a basket and made a carrier for him. Some cats think that life is cool and so are they. That's Jasper.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

One of my favorite garden plants is the bromeliad. It requires no soil; very little watering; and looks beautiful. This one is happily growing under our sea grape.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

My husband and I have spent a lot of time off the coast of West Palm Beach SCUBA diving. In order to obtain our Advanced Diving Certificate, we had to complete several different dives. One dive we chose was underwater photography. Here's a picture of a gray angel fish that I took and a picture of me taking the picture. With the Gulf Stream so close to the coast in South Florida, the water is usually very clear, often providing more visability than the more popular Florida Keys.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Spanish moss is really not a moss but a bromeliad. It has long been associated with a romantic idea of the Deep South in the United States. It thrives in the humid climate of Florida.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Another cypress and the St. John's River.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Hontoon Island State Park is accessible only by water either by private boat or you can take their small ferry boat across the river to the island. We take our bikes and as you can see from the map, there are quite a few paths to explore. The park is located on the St. John's River near Deland. Pictured are cypress trees. Their roots have distinctive structures called knees.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Last year Tropical Storm Fay paid a visit to Florida and liked it so much that she decided to hang around. There was very little wind damage but her rains flooded many areas. This is Lone Cabbage Fish Camp in West Cocoa on the St. John's River. If you go to the link and look at the yellow sign along the dock, you will see the same sign (Air Boat Rides) in my picture. The floating docks that are usually about 7 feet below the restaurant are almost even with the restaurant's deck. The restaurant was almost underwater.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Is it Real or is it Memorex?
My cat, Jasper, is known for wearing sunglasses so when I found this garden ornament also wearing sunglasses, I couldn't resist it. Jasper thought he was pretty cool too. ~Sharon

Sunday, October 4, 2009

We got a special treat that day, spotting a wild boar. Friends have also seen a bobcat but it has eluded my camera so far.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

No trip to a wildlife sanctuary is complete without seeing an alligator. This one likes to sun and pose for the tourist.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Black Point Wildlife Drive continued.
In the summer this area is under water but in the dry season there are many mud flats. The Great Blue Heron is one of its residents, with Ibis and ducks in the background.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Hi all. My name is Sharon and I will be posting while Karen is enjoying Paris. Although I won't be limiting my pictures to the Space Coast, the first batch will be from the Black Point Wildlife Drive near the Canaveral Seashore. Between late October and early spring you will never be disappointed in the diverse wildlife you will see there. The following pictures were taken in a single visit. This is a Roseate Spoonbill, one of the prettiest birds in Florida. Forget the Flamingos. They're usually made of plastic anyway.