05.01.11

Florida Panther And Other Wildlife

Posted in Astronomy, Space Shuttle, Traveling at 3:58 pm by Rebekah

This morning I went to Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge with a couple of friends, and we saw a FLORIDA PANTHER!!!!!!! It ran across the road in front of the truck, probably no more than 100 yards in front of us!

Unfortunately it was too fast for me to take a photo, but it was very special to see that, especially as they are endangered. There are only about 100 of them left in Florida.

We also saw many different birds and insects, as well as over a dozen alligators and a river otter!

Here are a few photos. Once again, I took many photos, but will not get around to going through them and posting the best until some date hopefully in the not too distant future!

American Alligator…one of my first!

River Otter!

Various birds, including a Great Blue Heron, Coots, White Ibises, and a Grackle.

The launch is now postponed until at least the weekend, though I’m actually hoping it won’t be until at least the middle of next week, so I might get a chance to come back. I’ll be heading out tomorrow, sadly, but it should still be fun on the way back as I’ll be able to see some more new places. Despite missing the launch, I have had a phenomenally wonderful vacation!!

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04.30.11

Still Waiting On Launch…

Posted in Astronomy, Space Shuttle, Traveling at 9:15 pm by Rebekah

Still holding out hope! Went to Discovery Cove today (pics to come later!) and then to Canaveral National Seashore.

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04.27.11

Day 3: Almost There!

Posted in Astronomy, Space Shuttle, Traveling at 5:24 am by Rebekah

Another high risk for severe weather today, where I traveled through yesterday. Yikes!

It’s 67 over 65 here in Macon, so I’m already sweating and the sun isn’t even up yet. Ugh!

Ok, I’m off now. I’m headed to Savannah to see Tybee Island Lighthouse on the Atlantic (my first time at the Atlantic Coast of the US!)…and then down to St. Augustine and finally to DeLand, where I’ll stay with some friends during the launch.

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04.26.11

Day 2: Natural Bridge and Stone Mountain

Posted in Astronomy, Space Shuttle, Traveling at 9:42 pm by Rebekah

Today turned out to be a high risk for severe weather, but thankfully I remained ahead of any storms, and only had a bit of rain in Mississippi. Skies were fairly clear when I got to Atlanta.

Here was today’s route (click to enlarge):

I was quite taken with the beauty of the forests and hills (or “mountains”? I think this is still considered part of the southern Appalachians) of northern Alabama into Georgia. The number of pine trees steadily increased from northwest Mississippi all the way into Georgia.

In northwest Alabama, I saw a sign for something called Natural Bridge, so stopped to have a look. A little bit off the beaten path, I found that Natural Bridge is the largest natural bridge east of the Rockies, at 148 feet long and 60 feet tall. It was quite pretty. Next to Natural Bridge was a rock face that was supposed to look like the silhouette of an Indian. It was called Indian Face.

Indian Face

Natural Bridge

Alabama forest, near Natural Bridge

Talladega Superspeedway, in eastern Alabama

Turner Field, home of the Atlanta Braves. Atlanta is the only part of the Southeast I’ve been to before, but I didn’t get to see Turner Field the last time I was there. I quite liked the ballpark, at least from what I could see of it. The baseball poster on the left was bordered with the years the Braves made it to the playoffs, won the NLCS, or won the World Series.

Atlanta skyline, from Turner Field. Note the Olympic Rings on the right…this hung over the road to the ballpark. Atlanta was the site of the 1996 Summer Olympics.

This is also something I wanted to see near Atlanta. Stone Mountain is a granite hill on the east side of Atlanta. It is a large dome that seems to stick up out of nowhere. Carved into the side of the mountain (similar to Mount Rushmore) are three figures of the Confederacy: Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, and Jefferson Davis (from left to right). Stone Mountain is 1,673 feet above sea level.

I took the “skyride” (a cable car) to the top, and then hiked down (it’s about a mile).

 

The view from the top!

Looking towards Atlanta…it’s an amazing view!

Hiking down…

A beautiful Red-spotted Purple butterfly that sat and waited for me to change to my zoom lens.

A deer that also waited for me to change to my zoom lens!

I had a great day today. I’m in Macon, Georgia for the night, and then tomorrow I’ll arrive at my final destination! 🙂

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Day 2: Heading Out

Posted in Astronomy, Space Shuttle, Traveling at 7:07 am by Rebekah

I’m about to leave Tupelo. It looks like we caught a break here, as there is a gap in the storms right about where I am. There must have been some storm that passed through, though, as it’s wet outside. I didn’t wake up at all, which is good, as I was pretty tired!

Here’s the Day 1 Moderate by SPC:

Today I’ll be driving from Tupelo (northeast Mississippi) through Birmingham, Alabama (first time to Alabama!), through Atlanta, Georgia, and down to Macon, Georgia.

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