Saturday, June 09, 2007


Here's another shot from my trip to the Kennedy Space Center. The most obvious thing on the horizon from where we were was the vehicle assembly building, where they mate the shuttle to the external fuel tank and the solid rocket boosters. This building holds various records for being big and tall and whatnot, but the coolest thing about it is the fact that it's so big and open, it has it's own internal weather. Imagine that. Oh, and I spent some time on Google Earth figuring out where I was in relation to all the action. Turns out I was 11 miles from the launch pad. That's a long way...


As promised, here are some pictures from yesterday's trip to the launch of the space shuttle Atlantis. We were on a causeway leading over to Merritt Island, which means we were a long way from the launch pad. So far that you couldn't actually see much of anything. The entire time prior to the launch, I was convinced the shuttle was on the pad shown above. So most of my pictures prior to the actual launch are focused on that pad. I didn't realize my mistake until seconds after launch, when I couldn't see anything through the lens. Turns out the shuttle was on the pad shown below. Look close, and you can see a little bit of the brown external fuel tank through the gantry. Live and learn, I guess.

I recovered pretty quickly, and caught the shuttle right after it had cleared most of the superstructure. Most of the white smoke you see is actually steam, from water dumped under the shuttle as the solid rocket boosters are firing. You can see the water tower to the left. Compare the view of the shuttle above to the one below, and you can pretty clearly see how it's rotating as it heads for space.


I just got back from a day trip to the East coast of Florida. Wanna guess why? More pictures tomorrow, err, I mean later today, after I've slept for a few hours...

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

A Bad Sign?

Maybe it's just me, but I thought it was pretty funny last night when I spotted this vulture perched atop a cross on the Greek Orthodox Church down the road. Just struck me as odd...

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Month Of June-Part 2

A couple more monthly pictures here for you, this time from my CD-sized calendar. Sharp-eyed readers with good memories might recognize these pictures, since the CD calendars recycle pictures from old full-sized calendars. But maybe these are new to you. The shot above is the Soldiers And Sailors Memorial in downtown Cleveland, Ohio. This picture doesn't really do it justice, as this thing is big! The shot below is one of my all-time favorite. I got incredibly lucky with the bird in full glide and the pier in the background. I shot this many years ago, and it was one of the pictures that really inspired me to go out and try to shoot birds more often. The bird in this instance is a great blue heron, and that pier in the background is the Anna Maria City Pier on Anna Maria Island in Florida. If you look really, really close, you might be able to see the Sunshine Skyway in the background way out at the horizon.

The Month Of June-Part 1

It's already the 4th day of June, and I'm just now getting my calendar pages up for the month. Oh, well. I'm lazy, I guess. Plus my refrigerator is broken, so I can't have cold food. But that's neither here nor there. What is here (and there) are a couple of great shots from my monthly calendar. The picture above is the yacht basin in downtown Bradenton, FL, on the Manatee River. The building in the background is a fancy restaurant, The Twin Dolphin. I've never eaten there, although I did go in once with the intention of eating. As soon as I saw the prices, I got up and left. The picture below is a building in downtown Cleveland, OH, called 55. I assume that's the street number or something, but I'm not sure. Look close at the upper right corner and you can see the big 55 emblazoned on it. The reflection is the more famous building across the street, Terminal Tower. I hear it's featured in Spiderman 3, but I don't remember seeing it.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Near The Beginning Of June

The calendar page for the week shows some rather stunning storm clouds forming opposite a sunset. The sun is to the left in this shot, rapidly approaching the horizon. You can see where only the tops of these clouds are being illuminated. Just for the record, this is the lake right out behind my condo. Just goes to show you that you don't have to travel far to get good pictures.

June 2007 AB (After Barry)

The very first day of hurricane season, and we get a storm. Well, the storm formed on the first day, we got hit the second day. Nothing much, really, just a bit of rain and some wind. But the wind was all coming from off-shore, which made for a particularly high tide. I made it out to the beach not long after high tide, and there was an ocean of water trying to get out of Sarasota Bay anyway it could. I got lucky and caught this unlucky snake above as he was whisked out into the gulf under a bridge. I watched him as long as I could, but he didn't make it to land. There were some surfers taking advantage of some large waves that he was headed towards, but I didn't get to see anything exciting happen.

This spit of land is usually a couple feet out of the water, even at high tide. As you can see, it's being overrun with the water. Oddly enough, most of this sand was washed up during one of the hurricanes back in 2004. It will be interesting to see how much remains after this weekend.

One of my favorite waterfront houses is this little house with the big dock on Longboat Pass. Look close and you can see that the water wasn't far from covering the dock and the porch. This is why, as much as I may like the house, I could never bring myself to live in such a place. No sirree, Bob!