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Old 02-17-2012, 01:20 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by wasagachris View Post
I have to say that it is still a little foreign to me. I'm used to spending 5 minutes donning winter apparel every time I venture outside. Although I am getting used to it and could really grow to like it.
I understand the coat, gloves, hat thing. It takes me until July to feel safe going anywhere without a coat. When we lived west of Denver in the mountains, July 4th was the only day it was safe to go out in shirtsleeves. On the western slope, we get a little more warmth.

If you go home before winter is quite over in Ontario, you may have quite a shock as you will be totally unacclimated. Better have doctors standing by.

Gene
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:05 AM   #72
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Forgiven!

Hey Chris, wishing you the very best time with your Mom, it is so precious. Today in the Ottawa region (apparently the area with the worst weather on the planet, little did I know before moving here) the sun is shining, the snow is disappearing and the cardinals are singing come hither to the girls. We have had one of the mildest winters I have ever experienced. I have only shoveled twice and they were more like 'push it to the side, it's gonna melt'. Which is good because the snow-blower kicked-the-bucket with the first snowfall.
Lots of freezing rain but it has also melted quickly, nothing like the Ice Storm. I dug a big pond last summer in the drought, expecting it to fill from the snow-melt, ha! We used to say there were three seasons in Ottawa, this winter, last winter and the winter to come. Not so much now.
Have an awesome time, we all know you are truly an Alumaholic.
Leonie
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Old 02-25-2012, 12:39 AM   #73
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Atlas 5 Launch

Today was a beautiful day in central Florida, it was sunny with a gentle breeze and the temp hit 88F by early afternoon. A perfect day to launch a rocket right?
Well I certainly was hoping so as I have been to see this launch three times already only to wait through the entire launch window (yes I'm picking up the lingo) to find the mission was scrubbed. The first time it was due to severe winds in the upper atmosphere and the second two times because of rain.
It got a bit windy later in the afternoon and I became concerned that once again I would be deprived of the pleasure of seeing this happen.
We arrived down at the viewing location early so as to be able to secure a parking space with a good view (the window was from 17:15 to 17:59).

On a side note I have been trying to see some of the local wildlife that you don't see in the great white north. The first time out I was able to watch a pod of dolphins swimming just offshore but they were too far away for a good picture. Today the first thing I saw was a pair of seahorses. O.K. not actual seahorses but two horses in the sea but I couldn't resist the pun.
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Anyway back to the launch, as I said we arrived 30 minutes early and were standing around waiting when all of a sudden someone in the crowd screamed "there it goes". It caught me off guard and while fumbling to get the camera started and watch the lift off I missed getting a good shot of the fireball which was huge during the initial blastoff. I did manage to get a few shots of the rocket which was rapidly dissappearing up into the sky.
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There is no sound for about 30 seconds and when it is nearly out of siight then this very low rumble penetrates the air and you can feel it in your stomach. That is very eerie as we were pretty far away from the launch site and by the time you hear it the rocket itself is almost invisible.
The whole event is over in less than two minutes and all you are left with is the con trail and a feeling of satisfaction after viewing this spectacular event. I can only imagine what it would have been like to witness a shuttle launch.
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BTW turn your computer on it's side to view the last two shots properly.
There are two more launches planned for March and I will be going to both of them. I intend to visit the KSC ( Kennedy Space Center) for at least one of them.
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Old 02-25-2012, 06:48 AM   #74
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Fabulous. Everyone should get the chance to see a launch at KSC - it's amazing. I was lucky enough to see a nighttime shuttle launch; still sad that program is done.

Tom
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:25 PM   #75
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Florida Wildlife

Yesterday we made another trip to Merritt Island National Wildlife Reserve.
There is a beautiful scenic drive you can take. It is a few miles long single lane and one way. There are several stops along the way where you can walk about and learn about the wetlands, marshes and shoreline habitats of Florida.
We saw so many different species of birds in their natural habitat, feeding and interacting with each other. We saw several types of Herons, ducks, songbirds, egrets, and many Roseate Spoonbills. Wow are they colorful and fascinating to watch as they feed. they literally spoon back and forth in the water while feeding.
I also managed to catch a quick glimpse of a gator. Just a little one but it still is a gator.
Then this morning I saw a fair sized snapping turtle. It was just wandering down the middle of the entrance road to this campground.
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Old 03-01-2012, 08:03 AM   #76
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Campground Shopping

Yesterday we did a trip up the east coast of Florida from Titusville to St. Augustine. It was 110 miles one way and we went up US1 and A1A. We went through Daytona Beach.
I was on the hunt for campgrounds. We would like to find something closer to the ocean. What I found wasn't promising. Several were very run down and rough looking. You can almost hear the dueling banjo's playing as you drove in. There are however a never ending supply of 55+ mobile home parks with scores of older double wides sardined into tiny lots.
I did find one park in Flagler Beach which is just north of Daytona. It is right on the ocean and for $1200/month you can camp steps from the ocean. However forget rolling out your awning because if you do it will hit your neighbor's rig.
The park I set out to see was in St. Augustine and while it's not on the beach it is only a block away. You can drive on the beach and pets are allowed on the beach. The park is small and while some of the sites are nice and somewhat shady most are right out in the full Florida sun.
The day wasn't a total waste as I did find several A/S and a few vintage kins.
This one was in the Oak Hill area. It has been polished but is in very poor shape. The owner is trying to sell it for $29,900. I didn't even bother to try and talk to him. It is a 1970 sov.
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Right next door was this Avion.
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This old girl was resting on the beach in Flagler.
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Just as i'm rolling into St. Aug this little cutie pulls up beside me. I know it's not aluminium but still looks cool.
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it's a Shasta from across the pond. Note the GB sticker on the back.
On the way back while stopping for fuel I found another campground. A real nice guy is the owner and the park is nice,quiet and smaller that where we are now. However it is right adjacent to I-95 so that's a deal killer for me even if it is $300/month less. I did find some more aluminium though.
This graceful senior lady is well travelled. i talked to the owner a nice old gent who gave me the history of her. She started her life in Idaho before moving to Colorado for some time. She then ventured "up north to Alaska" before returning to washington state where he met her. Well it was a match made in heaven and they have been together ever since. When they retired a move was made to Florida where they now reside.
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This girl is living in the same park. It's a newer avion. I didn't talk to anybody about her.
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So although I didn't find what I was looking for it still was a great day seeing all this aluminium.
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Old 03-01-2012, 11:07 AM   #77
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Thanks for the aluminum photos. Nice photos of the wildlife reserve. But,

We had 7" of snow Tuesday and more expected today. Jealous?

Actually I like to see the subtropics for short periods of time, but humidity and heat don't get along with us.

Gene
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:05 PM   #78
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Thanks for the aluminum photos. Nice photos of the wildlife reserve. But,

We had 7" of snow Tuesday and more expected today. Jealous?

Actually I like to see the subtropics for short periods of time, but humidity and heat don't get along with us.

Gene
You're very welcome Gene.
As I sit here in shorts enjoying the sunshine in 85F weather no I'm not the slightest bitjealous of the 7" of snow you had.
If the heat and humidity get too oppresive I can always turn on the A/C.
I've only needed the A/C twice in the last month but expect that I might use it a bit more this month.
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Old 03-01-2012, 04:43 PM   #79
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Hey WC, thanks for all the pictures you've been posting. They've been a treat to look at.

You sure you're not missing the snow? We got about 6 inches yesterday. But it's 40 today and melting. Don't foresee needing the a/c anytime soon...

MC
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Old 03-05-2012, 08:09 PM   #80
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Florida Natives

Today was another visit to Merritt Island to see the Manatees. It took a little while for them to show up. Patience and calm are required in order to see these beasts. They are quite elusive and it's very hard to get a good glimpse of them. They are gentle giants. It was quite amazing to watch them ever so slowly meander along the edge of the shore gracefully feeding.
If you ever get the chance to come see them, the first clue to their arrival is a huge circle of calm in the water that surfaces as a result of them undulating their tails through the water to propel themselves forward. You can track their movemement by the succession of circles appearing in the water. Then suddenly they will surface to breath. As they feed their tails surface while the snout is deeper in the water to feed and after what seems like an eternity they surface,let out a snort, take a breath and submerge again to continue to feed.
It is hard to get good pictures. More than half the shots I took did not come out as I could not time exactly when they surface to the shutter on the camera. Here are a few shots that did come out. At one time we saw betwen 8 to 10 of them feeding together.
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Old 03-14-2012, 08:35 AM   #81
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More Natives

Yesterday was a beach day for us. Once again we went to Merritt Island national park. The surf was roaring and the under tow was a bit overwhelming to say the least.
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I took these shots whil walking the beach and when we went to sun and swim I left the camera in the car. I regretted doing that as some of the wildlife took a reall shine to us while sitting on the beach. First it was a little bird with only one foot, it decided to befriend us and came right up to us loking for a handout. A couple of hours later a possum came out of the dunes and walked all around us searching for something to eat. He must have been very used to people being around as he didn't seem to mind us being there at all.
On the way home we went to the spot where you are most likely to see some gators and sure enough they were there. It's hard to see how big they are in the pictures and there is nothing to get a scale of perspective from but these guys were between 8 and 10 feet long. I was quite glad they were feeling lazy form the heat and didn't think of us as lunch.
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Old 03-14-2012, 10:39 AM   #82
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Re: the possum: As a general rule, if you see a possum out in the open in the daytime in mild weather, there's something wrong with it, unless it's just been scared out of the den or something.
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Old 03-14-2012, 07:16 PM   #83
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Here comes the sun....

Glad to see you are enjoying your time in the sun! I bet you can hardly wait to get back home right? I am happy that you have had some time to enjoy some warmer weather and some unique events. Bring some alligator meat and an AS back on your way up north....
Sandy
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