Posts Tagged ‘kennedy space center’

“If it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, we have to at least to consider the possibility that we have a small aquatic bird of the family anatidae on our hands.” Douglas Adams


Heads or tails? Northern pintails both. — Photo by Pat Bean

 Favorite Bird-Watching Places

A roseate spoonbill turns the water pink with its reflection. — Photo by Pat Bean

            Squished between the Kennedy Space Center and the Canaveral National Seashore  is Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.

On and around this Florida coastal area live over 1,000 plant species, 117 fish species, 68 amphibian and reptile species, 330 bird species and 31 different mammals.

I spent a couple of days roaming the refuge in search of the birds. These photos represent  just a few of the ones I saw.

Wood storks, snowy egrets, great egrets and white ibis feeding peacefully together, well until the snowy egrets got pushy. — Photo by Pat Bean

The world needs more such places.                

  Book Report:  Travels with Maggie is up to 43,203 words.. Not much else to say except I’m slowly plodding ahead. 

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: Make Mine Mystery http://tinyurl.com/9mnc8b4 Visiting Archer City has been on my To-Do List for some time now. I think I need to give it a higher priority.


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 “Hear! Hear! Screamed the jay from a neighboring tree, where I had heard a tittering for some time, “winter has a concentrated and nutty kernel if you know where to look for it.” — Henry David Thoreau.

The pier through the trees at Manatee Hammocks RV Park in Titusville, Florida. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Travels With Maggie

Florida scrub jay -- Photo by Pat Bean

I’m sitting by a bank of third-floor windows looking out past naked tree branches at a dull Chicago day in which snow has been forecast.

It’s quite different from the Texas Gulf Coast I left behind. According to today’s weather report, it’s 77 degrees and raining in Lake Jackson. I hope someone remembered to shut the windows in my RV and turn on the air conditioner for Maggie.

Actually I’m sure they – my son, Lewis, and his wife, Karen – did. Karen just texted me that Maggie had a nice walk this morning and shared their steak dinner yesterday evening.

I left Maggie behind to fly into Chicago for a week to visit my youngest son, Michael.

Thinking about my two-and-a-half-hour flight from one climate to another got me thinking about the winters of my past.

Oranges just outside my RV door. -- Photo by Pat Bean

I grew up in Dallas, where we might get a bit of snow that stayed on the ground less than a day. Then there was Texas’ Gulf Coast where the world stayed green through the winter, and a rare half-inch of snow maybe once every 10 years shut down schools.

In January, 1971, I moved to Northern Utah, where I didn’t see ground beneath the snow that year until early April. I took up skiing and came to love the snow.

Since retiring in 2004, winters have mostly been spent on the Texas Gulf Coast, although I did spend one December in Guam, and one entire winter in Florida.

That winter in Florida, while my friends back in Utah were buried in snow, I was seeking out shady spots – and getting a good look at my first Florida scrub jay, a bird that can be found only in Florida – and only in one small portion of the state.

I saw the bird on a tour that was part of the Titusville Bird Festival. For the week I spent in this area adjacent to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, I stayed at the Manatee Hammocks RV Park. It was a delightful place where I could pick fresh oranges just outside my RV door.

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