We are still safe and healthy, if a bit stir crazy. Our daily walks have been diminished somewhat by "93 feels like 105" degree weather but we have been keeping an eye on the fast growing yellow crowned night heron chicks.
Last week we went on an expedition to Marco Island, south of Naples, FL. Few things will reinforce our love of Sanibel more than seeing miles of high rise condos along the beach.
Out west, the bears are keeping the brigade very busy. In West Yellowstone, social distancing has a broader meaning.
Carl is spending lots of time online. Here are two astronomy photos that he found striking.
This is what our sky looks like at X-Ray wavelengths.
This is one of the most beautiful examples of what happens when a star explodes.
Meanwhile back here in the US, premature reopening and widespread refusal of people to wear masks and socially distance has erased months of gains.
We are counting down to our planned July 8 departure with growing trepidation. We will certainly go to St Augustine for Wyatt's graduation party - with masks and social distancing. Beyond that is TBD.
Stay safe, wear those masks and continue to socially distance.
We are still getting out nearly every day in spite of the heat and humidity.
Along the Refuge Indigo Trail we spotted this tricolor heron.
The air is very still so the reflection looks like the sky.
Our yellow crowned night heron chicks are getting big. Now there's no room for mom!
Meanwhile, in Grand Teton, the bears are out in force as are the visitors. Sadly, few masks and no social distancing in evidence.
In spite of the above, we have provisionally decided to leave Ding Darling on July 8th. We will spend a week in St Augustine, attend Wyatt's graduation party and then head for Red Bay, AL for coach repairs. When repairs are complete we will decide whether to go to Grand Teton or someplace else, perhaps western NC with less humidity and fewer hurricanes than here in south Florida.
We are still getting out most days for a two mile walk in spite of the weather (90 degrees, feels like 100).
Yesterday we spotted these blossoms on the Spanish Bayonet plants.
There are three active yellow crowned night heron nests along the trail. This nest has three growing, though still ugly, chicks.
Today the air was so still that sky and reflection were hard to tell apart.
Sandy's Clam chowder made from scratch. It was awesome!
Now a couple of graphs. This one is entertaining though hard to read.
First line is Coffee- always high in importance.
Next is car, once in lockdown, not so important. Next, Internet, always important but now more so.
Next is shaving-falls to zero.
The next, hard to see, is alcohol. It climbs right off the chart (see yellow line through title bar). Toilet paper spikes early but supplies recover. Last is sweatpants that show a steady rise as we develop pandemic paunch.
This last graph is less entertaining. The Univ of Washington pandemic modelers reran their model yesterday. Instead of a gradual decrease in deaths, it shows the beginnings of a spike with an uncertainty range that is almost double the initial peak.
In case you missed it, today we launched US astronauts from US soil for the first time since 2011.
Here Doug Hurley (L) and Bob Behnken depart the suit up room for Pad 39A
Just before they drove off, the Hurley family, wife Karen Nyberg(also an astronaut) and son Jack have a private moment, not including the NASA photographer!
Doug and Bob were strapped in and hooked up by the SpaceX suit technicians. Just before they closed the hatch, Doug reached over to peel off the name tag from his suit tech. You can see it in the upper left corner of this photo. That's going to be a great souvenir when he gets it back.
When they start pumping liquid oxygen, the super cold pipes cause huge condensation clouds.
Finally at 3:22:45 the Falcon 9 roared to life and the flight was on.
On the way to the International Space Station (ISS).
The rocket engine plumes spread out as the atmospheric pressure reduces at altitude.
This shot shows what the crew sees on their triple touch screen.
Here the second stage engine glows orange as the earth recedes. ISS here we come!
Meanwhile the Falcon 9 first stage has deorbited and landed on a drone ship in the Atlantic to fly another day.
Tune in tomorrow at 10:27 AM as the Crew Dragon capsule docks with the space station .