Monday, November 16, 2009

Launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis STS-129

"3...2...1...GO!"
The crowd cheers.
"There she goes!"
"We have liftoff!"
"Oh, yeah!"
"Woo-hoo!"


"Oh, dude."
"Mom, they're going into outer space. They're going into outer space!"
"That is unreal, man."

Rumbles, crackles and pops build up to a roar.

"Whooah..."
"Ooooh..."
"Look at it go into the cloud!"


"The boosters just split."
"Where?"
"There it is."
"Incredible."

Applause.


"Dude, that was wicked insane."
"Did you love that?"


Video of STS-129 Space Shuttle Launch
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Seen from across the Indian River about 9.25 miles from the launch pad.

More photos of STS-129 Space Shuttle Launch.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Florida Aquarium in Tampa

I was looking for a distraction this weekend and decided to go to the Florida Aquarium.


Jellyfish video:

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The lights change colors as the jellyfish swim by.


Leafy Green Seadragon video:

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The seadragons move so gracefully. They are seahorses with leafy camouflage that blends in with seaweed.


Here's the stingray tank. You can put your hand in to touch them.


Rays like to brush up against each other as they swim by. I like to learn about the creatures we swim with at the beach.


These shore birds are black-necked stilts.


A roseate spoonbill watches the people go by from the mangrove marsh habitat.


A brown duck in the cypress marsh habitat.


There's a new exhibit upstairs about home aquariums.


Goliath Grouper video:

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These behemoths like to hang around coral reefs and under bridges.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Banana Flowers at Florida Botanical Gardens

We went for a walk through the tropical fruit garden at Florida Botanical Gardens. The banana trees were in bloom. I never realized how many different kinds of banana plants there are.


Thousand fingers bananas are tiny. They're only about 2 inches long. Bananas are botanically classified as berries. The fruit does look like berries on these plants.


The fruit is the female part of the flower containing the seeds. The bud on the end of the stem is the male part of the flower.


Close up of a banana flower.


You can see how the fruit develops between the flower petals on the Raja Puri banana flower.

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More photos of Florida Botanical Gardens

Holiday Lights at Florida Botanical Gardens in December 2008