Archive for October, 2007

Birding close to home

Friday, October 26th, 2007

Sandhill Cranes

While driving through my condo complex this morning I spotted two Sandhill Cranes and a Wood Stork.
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Halpatiokee Park Photos, Oct 24, ’07

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

A short walk in the park today, using the route I worked out Monday. So only two photos.
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Got culture?

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

A couple of articles I read this morning got me thinking about American culture. You know, the culture xenophobic anti-immigration mobsters claim they want to preserve. That most American college students, even those born and raised here, are clueless about our history and can’t write a coherent paragraph, somehow escapes their notice. (I think it’s wrong to blame colleges for not teaching students how to write. That is the proper role of secondary education. Clear writing must be preceded by clear thinking. If you can’t think clearly by the time you’re 18, how can you hope to succeed in college, or in life? See the 2004 presidential election, in which half the country voted against its self-interest, for proof.)

Mark Morford notes the risks to society of clueless adults, and goes on to cite a possible explanation, “the lack of need among the government and the power elite in this nation to create a truly effective educational system, one that actually generates intelligent, thoughtful, articulate citizens.”
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Discovery Launch, Oct 23, ’07

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007

The beaches on Hutchinson Island are about 90 miles from the Kennedy Space Center, but I thought I might get some photos of Discovery taking off this morning. Some birds wandered by and had to be photographed, so I missed the first few seconds after liftoff. But the birds were worth photographing and you can see the shuttle engines burning in the first photo of its ascent.
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Halpatiokee Park Photos, Oct 22, ’07

Monday, October 22nd, 2007

Back to the park, and finally back to the lake! More photos.
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Discovery: A catastrophe in the making?

Sunday, October 21st, 2007

A NASA safety panel is arguing against the planned launch of the shuttle Discovery Tuesday. Their concerns are with the coating on heat-resistant panels covering the leading edges of the craft’s wings.

NASA management says the deterioration, the cause of which is unknown, poses an “acceptable risk,” though N. Wayne Hale Jr., manager of the shuttle program, concedes that failure of the panels on re-entry would cause loss of the shuttle and crew, as happened with the Columbia in 2003.
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Halpatiokee Park photos, Friday, October 19

Friday, October 19th, 2007

New photos from this morning. The birds weren’t cooperating very much today. I saw a cardinal, a glossy ibis, and several jays and crows but couldn’t get close enough for good pictures. This pileated woodpecker would not come around into the sun.

Pileated Woodpecker
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Another Dupuis WEMA Photo

Thursday, October 18th, 2007

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Cleared for takeoff

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

I probably won’t get out to take pictures today, so here’s another one from Dupuis.
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Dupuis Wildlife & Environmental Area

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

The complete name of today’s destination is the John G. and Susan H. Dupuis, Jr. Wildlife and Environmental Area. Hereinafter referred to as “Dupuis.” Dupuis is huge! There are two drivable roads, the Dupuis Grade, 7.5 miles (12 km) and the Powerline Grade, more than 10 miles (16 km) each way. Dupuis is about 22 miles (35 km) west of me.
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