[Editor’s Note: This article was written by the CTL’s Laurie Hansen.]
If you were within the circle of visibility you may have been lucky enough to see the Space Shuttle burst through the early morning twilight on April 5th. I was fortunate enough to see the shuttle at the Kennedy Space Center; it sat on the launch pad, waiting patiently before blast off. The entire experience was quite impressive.
I was equally impressed by the nature that surrounds all the astounding technology. Merritt Island is not only home to Kennedy Space Center but it is also a natural wildlife refuge with indigenous animals thriving in their natural surroundings which includes “1,500 species of plants and animals” to be exact. The refuge is untouched, completely natural, except for the rockets. The animals don’t seem to mind one bit.
Many of the species I observed took me by surprise. As I was shooting a picture of the stoic shuttle, three wild boar appeared in my frame! We also spotted alligators, turtles, manatee (well, not really but they do live there), armadillos, all sorts of birds and a majestic eagle’s nest.
We were told the eagles return to the same nest each year and the nest we saw is over 40 years old. It was originally a very large size but diminished after a hurricane. Then I wondered, “How on earth do they measure an eagle’s nest?” Very carefully, I’m sure! It must take a rocket scientist.