SpaceX Launches Car Into Orbit and Lands Three Rockets Back at KSC Today

In a short time we will be leaving to find a spot along the Mosquito Lagoon to view this big, triple rocket launch into space. The three rockets will be coming back to land on the launch pad (2 of them) while the other lands on a platform out at sea.

This is a video of how it should go, but Elon Musk himself is not sure about the success of this launch.  (Read my post with photos of the actual launch.)

Here is a way to watch it live:

pear whelk on seashell bottom

About the Little Pear Whelk Seashell

Pear whelks (Busycotypus spiratus) are cute little seashells and they can be colorful. They resemble the lightning whelk, before it grows big. But the Pear whelk has it’s opening on the right side, like most gastropods.  This one is also called a Fig whelk and it’s max length is 5.5 inches.  In Florida it is common along any shoreline.

In this first photo you can see the operculum (trap door) which is a hard piece that closes the mollusk up inside it’s home.  The snail is beginning to come out of the shell because I picked it up from the shelly bottom where he had been resting quietly.

I expected to see a hermit crab inside, and was delighted to see the creature who made the shell instead.  This water is very shallow as you can probably tell, so he was living close to shore.  I snapped this shot and put him back down without bothering him further.

pear whelk mollusk
Living Pear Whelk With Mollusk

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Above: Found this pear whelk while walking along a deserted beach in the backwater area of the ICW (Intracoastal Waterway). I’m guessing they prefer the calmer waters near the islands and that is why I never find them along the ocean beach.

In the photo below you can see how shells can look in the wild. They are not all that pretty when covered in mud and slime. I knew the type by the shape of the shell.  Yup, hermit crab inside.

Slime covered Pear Whelk Shell

I’ve never collected one of these shells because every one I’ve encountered (except for the live one in my first photo on this page) has been inhabited by a hermit crab! The shells are small and easy to carry on the back of the crab.

yellow pear whelk seashell
Pretty yellow shell

I just loved the pretty yellow color of this Pear. It stood out among the muddy bottom. It was moving along on the back of it’s new owner. Can you guess? Haha!

Below you can see the crab peeking out.  This is what I often encounter.  I think there are more hermit crabs in my area than there are seashells!

pear whelk seashell
Pear whelk seashell with hermit crab inside

Small shells like these are not the only place you will find hermit crabs. I recently pulled up a beautiful big knobbed whelk with such an owner.

knobbed whelk

About the Knobbed Whelk Seashell and Mollusk

When we go out boating in the backwaters along the Intracoastal Waterway in my area I love to stop at islands do some beach-combing.  It’s been cold here in Florida (okay, you don’t feel bad for me, I get it) but finally we had a sunny day in the 70’s, so we went out on the boat.

Among the larger seashells I have found while checking out the wrack lines (up where the tide deposits stuff) is the knobbed whelk (Busycon carica). Usually they are partial shells, or nearly unrecognizable from wear and tear.

The one featured on this page was found just off-shore along a camping island which was deserted the day I was there.  I’ve never found one this whole and beautiful.  It was exciting to see.

knobbed whelk
Beautiful spiral of a knobbed whelk

The water that day was clear, and cold for Florida at 62 degrees. It was January but in the 70’s and sunny. I was wading in the shallow water along the beach when my son spotted this knobbed whelk under the water. This shell was sitting at the edge of that black area of water you see in the photo. Continue reading About the Knobbed Whelk Seashell and Mollusk

Pictures of Beaches on The East Coast of Florida

This is a quick post with some photo collages of past pictures of the beaches I frequent on the East coast of Florida.

Location: Ponce Inlet, New Smyrna Beach, backwater islands of the ICW near Edgewater and Oak Hill.

We vacationed at a house on the waterway one year and although the house was not to our liking, the location was perfect. The sunrise photo was taken there. Continue reading Pictures of Beaches on The East Coast of Florida

sailboats along the Indian River in the rain

Outrunning A Rain Storm, Glad For the Bridge to Hide Beneath

My son and I went out fishing all day a while ago and we ended up outrunning a rain storm. The day was mostly sunny with only spotty showers offshore, so we weren’t worried about getting wet. Our boat Hewes flats boat has no cover, but it was still hot enough that being wet wouldn’t be so bad.

As we traveled along the waterway, heading south from Edgewater, we looked for signs of hurricane Irma damage and we did see some. JB’s fish camp restaurant is open for business, but the docks were still being repaired (they have been fixed and are very nice).

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Then we headed back north towards the Marina, and Outriggers Restaurant, and the Bouchelle Condos (buildings with orange roofs in the photo below).   Continue reading Outrunning A Rain Storm, Glad For the Bridge to Hide Beneath