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Old 09-10-11, 06:15 PM   #1
Kurt Erlenbach
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Things you see on a ride: Part XXV

Got to see this event during today's 75-miler through the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. It's a Delta II launching the GRAIL mission to the moon (sorry the video is not so good - it's hard to see the screen on an iPhone in the sun while wearing sunglasses. Also, I'm bad at videoing.). Here's a better still photo post-launch:



To the left of the launch site (in the center) is space shuttle pad 39B - all that's left are three lightning towers installed as part of the now abandoned Aries program. Pad 39A is to the left of that, and disassembly of that pad is starting soon.
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Old 09-10-11, 06:51 PM   #2
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i actually saw a live armadillo on the MU . seen lots of dead ones on the road / hwy but never a live one. was slowly walking across the trail - i nearly hit it. no wonder their survival rate is so low.
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Old 09-10-11, 08:22 PM   #3
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A dead chicken on the bridge across Lake Lavon. Been there about a week. A dead skunk would be an improvement . . .
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Old 09-10-11, 08:44 PM   #4
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Entrails from a pork rendering plant. Went on for about 5 km's.
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Old 09-10-11, 08:53 PM   #5
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Two gaggles of geese on the MUP. Some were on the side of the track away from the water and of course they are not going to let you get between them and the water, so the closer you get the faster they speed up to get across the road before you get there. Had to slow down for the second group.
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Old 09-10-11, 08:53 PM   #6
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The normal large numbers of dead possums and raccoons on the road today in rural southern Indiana.
No rockets to the moon.
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Old 09-10-11, 08:57 PM   #7
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Nice shot, Kurt.

It's a shame we're not launching folks into space any more.

Riding my first century of this year, I happened upon a very recent one-car accident today. I was headed east, and the car had been heading west. The driver crossed into the east lane and flipped her car. It was on its roof as I went by and was so near the road, I could have launched a snot rocket and hit it. A bad feeling came over me because I thought I might encounter a mangled bike and a dead cyclist, but fortunately that was not the case. It was recent enough that the police and ambulance had not yet arrived. The driver was sitting on the ground behind the car, and a fire fighter was attending to her. At the next rest stop, I learned that she had been driving erratically and had earlier missed a cyclist by only a foot or two.

This was a chilling experience. All things considered, I would rather have seen someone light off a big rocket!
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Old 09-10-11, 09:53 PM   #8
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Beer bottle - lots of beer bottles.
Dead dogs and deer.
Idiot drivers.
Old houses, now abandoned to the woods.

The other day, I watched a large hawk dive into a tree and snatch a squirrel right off a branch.
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Old 09-10-11, 10:52 PM   #9
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Flock of turkeys, with two trophy toms with beards almost dragging the ground...
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Old 09-11-11, 07:37 AM   #10
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Two turkey vultures circling overhead on a long upgrade through desert scrub land made green by our monsoon rains. Drivers who gave me plenty of room. Some nasty sand where the road dips down into washes. The beautiful Santa Rita mountains. Swallows feasting on bugs.
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Old 09-11-11, 07:46 AM   #11
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Only things I've seen lately on my evening rides, starting with the Good:

-Raccoons. Lots of them live in the local cemetery, where I frequently take a shortcut.
They seem to enjoy staring at me.

-Wild Turkeys. They have returned to the Northeast in a big way.

The Bad: Going out of business signs. There are a lot of them.
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Old 09-11-11, 05:30 PM   #12
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[QUOTE=trackhub;13208741]Only things I've seen lately on my evening rides, starting with the Good:


-Wild Turkeys. They have returned to the Northeast in a big way.

While on my ride, I past a yard with a flock of wild turkeys roaming around, there had to have been two dozen. I have never seen THAT before!
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Old 09-11-11, 05:37 PM   #13
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Had a pretty close encounter the other morning at twilight. Me, a deer and an oncoming car were in the narrow roadway not more than 20 feet apart at the same time. Car slammed on his brakes, I grabbed mine and the deer slipped and skidded across the asphalt between the two of us. Could have been bad for all 3, but we each went on about our business with no harm done.
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Old 09-11-11, 06:02 PM   #14
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While riding a road at about 20mph I saw a red-tail hawk leap out of the grass right next to me. He climbed only to about 12 feet off the ground and flew along with me for about 10 seconds before turning away. I couldn't help but think that the bird was showing off the small critter in its talons that it had just won.
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Old 09-11-11, 06:18 PM   #15
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Today, a woman honked at me for about 10 seconds as she went by in her SUV. In the car with her was an ugly-ass younger woman, hanging out the passenger window giving me the stinkeye.

It wasn't a pretty sight.
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Old 09-11-11, 06:30 PM   #16
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The other day, I watched a large hawk dive into a tree and snatch a squirrel right off a branch.
Might seem strange but I think this is so cool. I have never seen that before. I have seen a large bird with a fresh fish before.
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Old 09-11-11, 06:44 PM   #17
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I saw a guy playing a Ukulele... He had a good sound too.
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Old 09-11-11, 09:14 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by on the path View Post
While riding a road at about 20mph I saw a red-tail hawk leap out of the grass right next to me. He climbed only to about 12 feet off the ground and flew along with me for about 10 seconds before turning away. I couldn't help but think that the bird was showing off the small critter in its talons that it had just won.
thats great..we have coopers,sharp shinned,and swainson, in the yard, love to see 'em,great birds...
Bud
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Old 09-11-11, 09:33 PM   #19
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I messed up

Last edited by VNA; 09-11-11 at 09:40 PM.
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Old 09-11-11, 09:39 PM   #20
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A dead chicken on the bridge across Lake Lavon. Been there about a week. A dead skunk would be an improvement . . .
I would not be so sure that a dead skunk would be an improvement as I saw one yesterday on Grizzly Peak way up in the Berkeley hills looking over the Bay! It was a sorry sight and a certain smell and also very fresh kill--poor thing!

By the way 20% of the population do not find the smell offensive!
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Old 09-11-11, 09:54 PM   #21
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I almost couldn't believe my eyes a couple weeks ago when I saw a guy riding by on the local MUP... wearing a backpack. On top of the backpack and draped over his shoulder was his cat. I've seen cute little doggies in baskets and such before... but never a cat who liked to ride along.
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Old 09-11-11, 10:19 PM   #22
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I almost couldn't believe my eyes a couple weeks ago when I saw a guy riding by on the local MUP... wearing a backpack. On top of the backpack and draped over his shoulder was his cat. I've seen cute little doggies in baskets and such before... but never a cat who liked to ride along.
When I was a girl, I had a big tomcat that I would dress in a baby sweater and bonnet and put him in the big front basket I had on my bike. I rode him all around like that, he never batted an eye-just laid there in the basket and seemed to enjoy the whole process. Weird cat. Weird little girl.
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Old 09-12-11, 04:23 AM   #23
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Might seem strange but I think this is so cool. I have never seen that before. I have seen a large bird with a fresh fish before.
Cool because youre not the squirrel!
Birds of prey are both persistent and ruthless. Ive seen them land in chicken pens and attack the hapless cluckers. It surprised me because up til then, they were known to normally attack from the air.
Having raised chickens for years, I have no love for hawks.
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Old 09-12-11, 04:37 AM   #24
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I ride in a wilderness park MUP and there is no telling what type of animals and birds will show up. We see deer there all the time as well as wild turkeys, ferrule hogs, fox, raccoons, bobcats and all types of snakes. There is a creek that always overflows when we get very hard rains and floods the paved trail. There is a pedestrian bridge that was build to go around the trial and one day last week, I was riding the trail and as I was going over the bridge, I see this huge water moccasin floating on the water riding the current.
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Old 09-12-11, 04:39 AM   #25
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Because most of my rides are on trails or dirt roads through forests it's common to see various critters. Even on dirt, the bike is quiet enough that one gets quite close to the deer before they spook and run.

I've had baby deer the size of large dogs get on to the trail, and then lose their way, running back and forth untill they find a way back into the woods to catch up with mama. I have an Egret that some mornings soars along at my speed alongside me about 20 feet up. Snakes sunning themselves on the trail are common. I hope I never run into the one about the size of my arm that was completely across the trail again. I'm not sure who was more startled, me when he moved violently or him when I arrived. He was in a shadow on a bright sunny day and I almost ran over it before I noticed.

For a few years, I had an active bever house out in the water near the trail. I haven't seen them lately.

Oh, and people. Over the years, I've ridden past some truely bizarre people hiking on the trail. I've also encountered and chatted with quite a few cyclists.
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